Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and waffles is one of those combo dishes that has always appealed to me. I love waffles and I love fried chicken, so why not put the two together? And yet I realized recently that I had never actually eaten chicken and waffles. The thought of topping a waffle with hot and crunchy chicken and then pouring gravy or syrup over the top has never appealed to Eric for some reason so I’ve never been successful in getting him into a chicken and waffles restaurant.
I recently decided to right this wrong and found myself searching online for a chicken and waffles recipe to make for dinner. I figured that way Eric could just eat his chicken plain if the thought of topping a waffle with poultry bothered him so much.
If you can consider a chicken and waffles recipe healthy, then I suppose this is it. In this recipe, which I found on the Food Network site, you actually roast the chicken rather than fry it. Yes, you douse it in clarified butter first. But you don’t go Googling “chicken and waffles” looking for health food, do you?
The result surprised all three of us. I am not usually a gravy person, but I am a mustard person and I loved this gravy over the crispy chicken and crunchy waffles. Neko typically loves waffles, but I was a bit concerned about how she’d feel about these savory waffles—made with thyme and ground mustard—topped with gravy instead of syrup.
But she loved the meal. As did my husband, who is a Texan and therefore prefers chicken-fried-chicken to *real* fried chicken (pity him).
This dish takes a little bit of work, since you have to cook three things at once, but it’s very forgiving. It’s fun to make and even more fun to eat. I can’t imagine any kid (or adult) who wouldn’t be happy to see waffles on the table at dinner time.
Chicken and Waffles
adapted from Food Network
serves 2 adults and 1 toddler
1 cup flour
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/5 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 boneless chicken breast halves with skin on
2 T clarified butter (easy instructions for clarifying butter here)
For Dijon cream sauce
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch kosher salt
Make the sauce:
In a stainless-steel saucepan, combine the cream and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by one half.
Remove from the heat and whisk in Dijon mustard and salt. Keep warm.
Make the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, rub the chicken breasts with the clarified butter, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down in the hot skillet.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy. Turn the breasts over and cook for another minute.
Flip the chicken back onto the skin side and place the skillet directly in the oven. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Remove the skillet from the oven and let the chicken rest for several minutes before slicing.
Make the waffles:
Sift together the flour, sugar, mustard, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs. Combine the wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and thyme to form waffle batter.
Ladle the batter into the waffle iron, following the manufacturer’s instructions. While the waffle iron is closed, trim any overflow with the back of a knife. Cook until golden.
Serve waffles hot, topped with hot roasted chicken and a generous amount of hot Dijon cream sauce.