Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Waffle Witch Plays (w/ her) Chicken


Everyone's heard of chicken and waffles. It's a tried and true, sweet-and-savory combination. There are restaurants named after it... Lay's recently offered it as a limited edition flavor of potato chip... hell, if you Google "chicken and," it's the second suggestion on the list after chicken and dumplings. And for good reason. Can you say, foodgasm? Anyway, due to my recent dabbling in wafflewichcraft, my waffle iron has been getting constant use, and my witchy-wheels got to turning yesterday after I cooked up a batch of Clinton Kelly's insanely delicious (and figure-friendly!) crispy chicken thighs. (Seriously, guys - so freaking good! I cook them at 450 degrees for 45-55 mins until they are borderline chicken-jerky on the outside and moist inside.)




<------ Clinton's Crispy Chicken Thighs















If you can resist the overwhelming urge to immediately snarf the whole sheet, then, first of all, you are superhuman. Second of all, put those bad boys in the refrigerator and eat them the next day as a midday snack or for lunch. They totes taste like cold fried chicken, are full of protein, and are under 150 calories per thigh.

The fam and I are less than superhuman, and we may have eaten a sheet of 8 small thighs among us, shortly after these emerged from the oven. Minus a few pan scrapings/pickings I saved for later...





Crispity, crunchity, chickeny goodness ------>














After eyefucking those crunchy bits for longer than I'd like to admit, my eyes wandered to the shiny waffle iron sitting a few feet away. Hmmm...

Chicken...


Waffles...


Chicken and waffles...


Chicken in waffles?


Chicken. In. Waffles.

YES!!!!!!!!



Chick'n'Waffles



Before you bawk at the idea of these, give them a chance!

Couldn't resist. Sorry.

(So not sorry.)

You could very easily prepare these according to your favorite waffle recipe, with the additions of the spices, syrup, and, of course, the chicken. I wanted to make them a bit healthier, so I made a 
grain-free/gluten-free version.

Ingredients:
2 tbs chia seeds
6 Tbs water
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup almond, coconut, or dairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (preferably stone ground)
1/2 cup tapioca starch, arrowroot, or cornstarch
2 tbs coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup crispy chicken pieces, finely chopped

Mix the chia seeds and water in a small mixing bowl and allow to set/gel while you prepare the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the almond flour, cornmeal, starch, coconut flour, baking powder, and spices. Reserve.

To the chia seeds, add the coconut oil, pumpkin, egg, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Gently mix until almost combined. Add in the chicken, and gently fold in until completely combined. 
Do not over mix. Allow batter to rest while you preheat a waffle iron.

Pour the batter onto the iron, close the lid, and cook until the iron stops (or mostly stops) steaming, about 3 minutes. Remove and repeat.

These are delicious with a classic maple syrup, but they are over-the-top served with this maple-mustard syrup:

Maple-Mustard Syrup

Ingredients:
1 cup real maple syrup
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 whole cloves

Whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook 15-20 minutes, until syrup has reduced a bit. Remove cloves before serving.

The waffles topped with this syrup are a perfect balance of sweet and savory. One of my new favorite breakfasts. For reals.

And if you really want your family to love your face off...

go OVERTHETOP and serve these waffles with my family's favorite bacon.






































I'm not kidding. After one bite of this badass breakfast, my 10 year old son closed his eyes for a moment (to savor - duh- taught him well), opened them and looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm so glad you're my mom."

If that doesn't melt your heart, this bacon just might.

Black Pepper Brown Sugar Bacon

Ingredients:
8-12 slices good quality (preferable uncured) peppered bacon
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown (or coconut/palm) sugar

Line a half sheet pan with a silicone mat or with nonstick foil. Line up the bacon slices on the pan. Slather the bacon in the mustard, flip over, and slather the other side. Sprinkle half the sugar all over the bacon, then flip over again and sprinkle the rest on the other side. Place the pan in the oven, and set the (cold) oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the bacon has rendered its fat, about 20-30 mins, flipping the slices occasionally for even cooking. Cool a few minutes and serve. 

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, bring this bacon into contact with paper towels. 

Unless you want a lot more fiber in your diet.

Once you pull the bacon off the lined pan to serve it, there will be delicious bacon caramel (a.k.a. "bacon crack") semi-stuck to the pan. Please don't waste it. EATIT! Or save it. It freezes beautifully in a freezer bag. Use it like sprinkles on your favorite things... cupcakes, cobblers/crumbles, ice cream, in your oatmeal/grits... IDONTCAREJUSTEATIT!!!



UPDATE!

Who doesn't love a little recognition?! Thank you, EveryDay w/ Rachael Ray magazine for featuring this recipe on your blog! 'Twas very exciting!

You can read the feature on their blog.


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