Monday, January 6, 2014

Manly-Man Meal Monday = Fried Chicken & Waffles!

Well, that was a nice little hiatus.  I hope everyone out there, friends, family, or whomever, all had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season!
Just because I wasn't blogging, doesn't mean I wasn't in the kitchen!  I did a load of cooking over the last little while, and the scale shows it!  Ugh.  With the start of a New Year upon us, you'd probably expect to start off with some resolutions, and goal setting...all that jazz!  I decided, that's what every other blog is doing!  I bring you plenty of health-conscience recipes all year long!  So, to start off 2014, I am going to begin with a new feature:  Manly-Man Meal Mondays!  
My man is not a kale, vegan, raw, or paleo life-styled man.  My Man loves all the over the top food creations, like foods inside other foods?  That's totally his thing.  Or that show Epic Meal Time, where they drink, swear a tonne, and put bacon in and on everything!  If you haven't seen it, check them out on the interwebs.  Hilarious, but not always edible.  These are the things that inspire his palate, and the ideas he brings to me.  I do my best to make his food dreams a reality... just in a slightly more realistic way!  So here we go - 2014!  And the first Manly-Man Meal Monday!
The inspiration for this creation was from Epic Meal Time's "Waffle Wing" creation.  The chicken wing is baked right into the waffle! Whaaa?!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
 Recipe adapted from: The Candid Appetite

2 large chicken breasts, cut in through the middle, and in half.  (Chicken breast are way easier for a fast fry.  I also attempted this using drumsticks, but was worried about under cooking them.  I'm a frying newbie!)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Franks Red Hot sauce
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I must have extra spicy Cayenne? I used only 1/2 tsp jic)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
canola oil for frying

Using a medium sized bowl add buttermilk and hot sauce.  Give it a stir, before adding chicken to bowl.  Ensure chicken is completely immersed, before covering with plastic wrap and setting aside in the fridge.  (Candid Appetite states: "If you don't have the time, this step is not crucial but will help make the chicken tender and juicy")
In a shallow dish make your dredge by combining the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Now you're ready to coat the chicken!  Take a piece from the buttermilk bowl, slightly drain off, and throw into the flour. Pat the flour into the chicken, on both sides. Return to the buttermilk bowl (with the rest of the chicken) and coat both sides. Place the chicken back into the flour, once more, and coat both sides. We’re double dipping the chicken. Lay  the coated chicken on a rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat in this manner until all the chicken is coated. (Candid Appetite recommends: Allow the coated chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes, this will allow the fry to dry a bit and stick to the chicken).
While the chicken is resting, heat up your oil!  Use a heavy duty pan, like a iron skillet.  Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken in batches, two pieces at a time, so the temperature of the oil stays high.  Allow the chicken to fry about five minutes per side, or until a crispy texture, and deep brown colour is achieved.  I placed my chicken on a paper towel to soak up the extra grease, before transferring them to a wire rack place over a cookie sheet, in a 200F oven, to keep warm until the waffles were ready!

Bacon Cheddar Onion Waffles
 Recipe adapted from: The Candid Appetite

2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
6 slices bacon, cut raw & pan fried
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions thinly sliced, or chopped using kitchen scissors
cooking spray, for waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron, & if you don't have a carton of buttermilk, prepare your own, by adding a couple Tablespoons of lemon juice to milk, and allow about 5 minutes to curdle. Get all your waffle add-ins prepared ahead: cut up the bacon, and pan fry until crispy, place on paper towel to soak up access grease. Melt the butter, shred the cheese, chop the onion, and set aside.
In a large bowl add together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt & black pepper, set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggs. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the eggs, cooled butter, and buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, stir the batter until just combined. It'll be lumpy, and that's okay! Fold in the cooked bacon, shredded cheese, and green onions.
Spray the preheated waffle iron with cooking spray, and then add about 1/2 cup batter (more or less depending on size of waffle iron), to each waffle section. Cook until the waffles are golden brown, about 3-6 minutes. Place the cooked waffles on a cooling rack, so they stay crispy. Continue cooking until the batter is used all up, I don't recommend saving til later. Serve the waffles up warm with maple syrup and the fried chicken included with this post! So good! To rewarm, place the waffles on a baking sheet in a 300F oven for about 5 minutes, or pop in the toaster!

We ate the Fried Chicken & Waffles with plain ol' maple syrup the first night, and it was so, so, good. 
The next afternoon, we used the leftovers to try the sandwich that Candid Appetite created. I finally had the opportunity to use the fancy green peppercorn dijon mustard that my parents brought home for me from France last year. I was waiting for "the" dish that called for that extra somthin' somethin'! 
The Fried Chicken and Waffles were re-heated in the oven to retain their crunch, and added to it were sliced avocados, tomatoes, leafy greens, and the Maple Maple Mustard sauce. 
 Good Lord! Look at this deliciousness!

Maple Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth.  Use as a condiment in the Fried Chicken and Waffle sandwich, or try as a dipping sauce!


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