Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Chicken and Waffles

 


Below is an article about the dish known as Chicken and Waffles:



CHICKEN AND WAFFLES

Considered an American dish, Chicken and Waffles is a fusion of two food times - chicken and waffles. The dish is part of a variety of culinary traditions that include soul food and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. It is served in certain specialty restaurants in the United States. The combination that is regarded as part of African-American or Southern tradition is usually served with condiments such as butter and syrup and has become a local custom in Baltimore, Maryland. However, the Pennsylvania Dutch version of the dish is usually served with pulled or stewed chicken and gravy on top. This version has become a custom in Northeastern United States.

Several theories about the origin of Chicken and Waffles do exist. But they are theories and is not exactly regarded as fact. Waffles entered American cuisine in the 1600s with the arrival of European colonists. A chef to the prince-bishop of Liège originated the waffles used in this particular dish in the 18th century. The popularity of waffles saw a boost following Thomas Jefferson's purchase of four waffle irons in Amsterdam after 1789.

Hotels and resorts outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania began serving waffles with fried catfish in the early 1800s. Such establishments also served other dishes like fried chicken, which gradually became the meat of choice due to catfish's limited availability. By the 1840s, broiled chicken and waffles became the specialty at Warriner's Tavern in Springfield, Massachusetts. The establishment was owned by Jeremy and Phoebe Warriner, two well-known African-American abolitionists. The Warriners hired African-American women as cooks for the tavern. They were usually freed or runaway slaves who had learned their trade in Southern plantation kitchens. Chicken and Waffles had been extravagant breakfast staples in plantation houses through much of the South. Earlier, I had pointed out that the chicken served with waffles by the Pennsylvania Dutch was usually stewed and topped with gravy. This version had became an established common Sunday dish among the Pennsylvania Dutch by the 1860s.

The combination of chicken and waffles did not appear in early Southern cookbooks such as "Mrs. Porter’s Southern Cookery Book", published in 1871; or in the first African-American cookbook, "What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking", published in 1881 by former slave Abby Fisher. The lack of a recipe for the combination of chicken and waffles in Southern cookbooks during the post-Civil War era may suggest a later origin for the dish. Popular culture had associated Chicken and Waffles with the South by 1917 with the publication of Edna Ferber's novel, "Fanny Herself".

Fried Chicken and Waffles had arrived in Los Angeles, California by 1931. The dish was served at The Maryland, a local restaurant that marketed the dish as a Southern specialty. The protagonist in James M. Cain's 1941 novel "Mildred Pierce" was a woman who finds success serving "chicken-and-waffle dinner" at her Glendale restaurant. Chicken and Waffles had become a staple in New York City's African-American community in Harlem as early as the 1930s in such locations as Tillie's Chicken Shack, Dickie Wells' jazz nightclub, and particularly the Wells Supper Club. The dish eventually regained popularity in Los Angeles in the 1970s, due to the fame of former Harlem resident Herb Hudson's restaurant Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles. The latter has become known as a favorite of some Hollywood celebrities and been referenced in several movies.

Below is a recipe for Chicken and Waffles from the Delish website:


Chicken and Waffles

Ingredients

Fried Chicken
1 quart buttermilk
2 tbsp. kosher salt
Mix of bone-in chicken thighs, breasts, and drumsticks (about 2 lbs.)
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp. paprika

Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
6 tbsp. butter, melted, plus more for waffle iron
3 Large eggs, separated
1 tsp. cayenne
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Large eggs


Preparation

1. Brine chicken - In a large bowl, mix together buttermilk and 2 tablespoons salt. Add chicken and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

2. Meanwhile, make waffles - Preheat oven to 200°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of kosher salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, butter and egg yolks. Gently fold wet mixture into dry mixture.

4. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped egg whites into batter, being careful not to over mix. (A few fluffy streaks of whites are fine!)

5. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instruction. When the iron is hot, brush grates with melted butter. Spoon about ⅓ cup of batter into waffle maker and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Place cooked waffles in a clean kitchen towel on a baking sheet. Place in oven to keep warm while preparing chicken.

6. When ready to fry - Fill a Dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer with vegetable oil until 2" to 3" deep, then preheat until oil reaches 350º. Prepare one sheet pan lined with paper towels and a wire rack.

7. Transfer chicken from brine to another sheet pan and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper.

8. In a large, deep bowl, whisk together flour, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl, beat eggs with 2 tablespoons water. Using tongs, place chicken in egg mixture, roll in flour mixture, and shake off excess. Fry chicken in 2 batches until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes (internal temperature should read 165º). Bring oil back to 350º before adding last batch.

9. Place chicken on wire rack and season with salt immediately. Plate waffles with a pat of butter and top with 2 to 3 pieces of fried chicken. Serve with maple syrup on the side for drizzling.


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