I used to work for a small Southern restaurant in Washington DC. I wasn't a cook there – I bartended – but I did learn a lot from the chefs during my time there.
One thing I learned about was chicken and waffles. Not being from the South, I'd never really heard of this combination. When I worked my first brunch shift and approximately 80% of diners ordered it, I figured I should maybe try it out!
The combination of salty, crispy chicken with sweet, crispy waffle is seriously one of the best combinations in the world. It's one of those things that's hard to describe, but just trust me. It's very good.
Normally, the dish is served with a huge amount of fried chicken topped on a waffle and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I decided to change it up a bit by using pounded chicken breasts. The fried breasts fit perfectly between two waffles and make a great breakfast sandwich!
RECIPE: Chicken and Waffle Sandwich
There are obviously two main parts to this dish. You should do both at roughly the same time so they are done together.
Let's start with the chicken.
To make a good fried chicken, I always recommend marinating it first in buttermilk overnight. This makes the chicken really nice and moist. I added a few spices to my buttermilk also, like paprika and salt and pepper.
I made the mistake of marinating my chicken before pounding it out, but I think it'd be easier to pound it out first. Just place a chicken breast between two pieces of plastic and pound until it's an even thickness.
A mallet works well for this, but I've also used a bottle of wine in a pinch. No need to go crazy on it. Light pounding will get the job done.
When you're ready to cook the chicken, mix together some flour with similar spices (paprika, salt, pepper, etc.) and lightly dredge the chicken in the flour.
Meanwhile, heat about an inch of oil in a cast iron skillet. Ideally, you want it at 350 degrees.
Then fry the chicken for about 8-10 minutes total, turning it once halfway through.
The finished chicken should be really golden brown and crispy. The best way to let these drain is on a wire rack so the oil drips away from the chicken.
Ok. On to the waffles, which you can be making at the same time. The batter is super easy. Just mix together the dry and wet ingredients separately. Then stir them together until they are combined. A few lumps are okay.
Depending on your waffle machine, you might need to cook yours for longer or shorter, but I cooked mine for about 8 minutes and got about 10 golden brown waffles out of this batch of batter.
If you aren't a fan of waffles, I've seen this same dish served with pancakes, which is pretty fun also.
When you're ready to serve these guys, add some butter to one side of the waffles and sandwich a fried chicken breast between the waffles. Drizzle the chicken with some maple syrup and you're ready to go!
I took a big bite to confirm that it was as good as I thought it would be. It was.
This sandwich was a pretty hearty breakfast but I had absolutely no problem polishing it off!. If you're looking for some good comfort food, give this a shot!Nick is still in a food coma from this. Be sure to check out his blog, Macheesmo and his Tablespoon profile.