I tried my hand at something really unusual the other day. I was having my gang over for dinner and was at a complete loss as to what to fix so I took suggestions. Being a smarty pants, Jonathan suggested chicken and waffles. He had only had that dish one time before and has been obsessing about it ever since! He knows I don’t fry food, so he was sure I wouldn’t go for it. Well… I did! It was a hit!
I tried my best to duplicate some of the flavors and make the dish as rich as possible without frying anything. The version Jonathan ate was thick fluffy Belgium waffles piled high with deep fried boneless chicken breasts in a peppery breading. It was served with maple syrup and tabasco sauce. Weird. But I thought, hey, why not give it a whirl? I mean, while chicken and waffles has been a well-loved Southern tradition for centuries it seems to be re-gaining popularity and popping up on menus all over the country.
I decided to focus mainly on the chicken. I butterflied chicken breasts and marinated the pieces in buttermilk that I spiked with tabasco and seasoned with season salt and course ground black pepper. I let the chicken soak for about 3 hours. I then spread the pieces on a baking sheet, drizzled them with olive oil and baked them in an oven until it was cooked through and starting to turn golden. I flipped them once half-way through. It took about 20 minutes.
While the chicken was baking, I made a maple, bacon butter. In a food processor I blended together softened butter, maple syrup and fully cooked bacon pieces.
I cheated and purchased frozen Belgium waffles and heated them up in the oven after I removed the chicken. (It only takes 2-3 minutes) While the waffles were hot, I spread the maple, bacon butter all over the waffles. I made sure to fill all of the little holes with the rich butter. I then piled each waffle with 2 pieces of chicken and served the plates with extra syrup and tabasco on the side!
Everyone said they loved it. It was unusual for sure! But Jonathan DID eat a second serving the next day… I took that as a compliment! My chicken and butter recipe follow. Good luck with this one. I served it at dinner with a kale and avocado salad dressed with a honey mustard vinaigrette. It would make a great brunch dish too, though, especially with a side of fresh fruit.
“Chicken and Waffles” Chicken
1 package of chicken breasts, thinly sliced
4 Cups of buttermilk
¼ Cup Tabasco
Season salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1. In a big bowl, pour the buttermilk and the tabasco. Sprinkle about a T of season salt and ½ T black pepper into the buttermilk and whisk it all together.
2. Add the raw chicken to the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and put in frig for 3-4 hours.
3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and drizzle the tops with olive oil. (Discard the buttermilk)
4. Bake 10 minutes and then flip the chicken over. Continue baking another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and starting to turn golden.
Maple Bacon Butter
2 sticks of butter (softened)
4 pieces of fully cooked bacon
½ Cup maple syrup
1. Chop the bacon into small pieces.
2. In a food processor, blend together the butter, the cut (fully-cooked) bacon and start to blend
3. With the processor running, add the maple syrup and let it process until it is all smooth and blended.
This butter is yummy with chicken and waffles or spread over pancakes!