Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fried Chicken & Waffles with Bacon Whipped Cream

The one experience I missed out on in Los Angeles (aside from getting discovered and living the life of a diva) was a late night run to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. While discussing possible brunch ideas with Nancy this weekend, she recommended this dish which has forever occupied a good portion of my brain's desires (it's pretty much that and knowing what it feels like to be tall). Then once she backed out, I was forced to eat it all by myself to deal with my pain and unresolved abandonment issues (My future cardiologist and I would like to thank Nancy for this). The result was perhaps the most ridiculously awesome brunch ever with the ultimate in delightfully unlikely combinations.

Fried Chicken
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Servings: 6 pieces
Time: 45 minutes
Emeril calls this essence.

Vegetable oil for frying
3 drumsticks and 3 wings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp creole seasoning

I was seriously disturbed after touching all this raw chicken.
  1. Rise the chicken under cold water but don't dry it.
  2. Combine the flour and spices in a gallon ziploc bag and mix well.
  3. Add the chicken, seal and shake well to coat evenly.
  4. Place the coated pieces on a wire rack over a baking sheet and let sit 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Fill a large deep skillet with an inch of vegetable oil and bring to 350 F.
  6. Fry the chicken for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through turning once.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
Fried to (almost) perfection with only minor burning!
While this won't rival Popeye's anytime soon, this was a great fried chicken that went well without outshining the waffles (and let's be honest the waffles are the most important part of this). The chicken was both crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside with some nice flavor. I would try to enhance the spices next time by doubling the essence mix.

Buttermilk Waffles
Servings: 6 waffles
Thick waffle batter
Time: 10 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Maple Syrup
Bacon Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
My new best friend. I call him Waffle McIronstein.
  1. Preheat and lightly grease a waffle iron.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, butter and buttermilk together.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well until no longer lumpy. Note this should be a thick batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
  6. Almost burn your chicken because you're trying to get the smoke detector to shut up since waffle irons aren't small apartment friendly.
  7. Top with maple syrup and bacon whipped cream.
The world would be a better place if everyone had waffles for breakfast.
After a lifetime of chowing down on Eggo waffles, I was ready to be knocked off my feet by my first homemade try. This waffle was wildly successful thanks to the great buttermilk. These didn't need the fried chicken or bacon whipped cream to be a fantastic breakfast, but adding those additional components only shoots these clear past the moon into uncharted brunch territory.

Bacon Whipped Cream
Servings: More than you'll need for all the waffles
Time:  15 minutes

4 strips of bacon
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

It's bacon!
  1. Fry the bacon until crisp. Set aside to cool. (It's probably best to do this before prepping the chicken or waffles so it has all the time to cool and won't melt the whipped cream).
  2. Whip the cream in a stand mixer at high speed until stiff peaks start to form.
  3. Add in the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and bacon and continuing beating.
  4. Make sure the bacon is mixed well throughout and top your waffles generously with this.
Shockingly, the maple syrup ends up being the indispensable ingredient in this decadent and wholly unnecessary (yet oddly so very necessary and right) topping. The bacon is a nice touch, but since the whipped cream isn't infused with the bacon flavor, you only occasionally get that bacony goodness. The whipped cream also pairs surprisingly well with the fried chicken (as does the maple syrup) for a complete and (un)healthy breakfast.

This is what the birth of a clogged artery actually looks like.
Absurd is the only world I can think of to describe the meal that currently has me relegated to sweatpants on the couch. This would even please the world's greatest waffle critics like Leslie Knope and Stephanie Brown (two references to Bryan's Batgirl in the past three posts. Perhaps I'm starting to miss it.). The fried chicken and waffles work amazingly well either separate or disgustingly piled one on top of another to give one of the most utterly satisfying meals you'll ever have. The results truly define the epitome of comfort food.
Colorful and delicious!
As always, My Mess Their Kitchen is an equal opportunity food lover. My vegetarian friends out there should not be deprived of this culinary masterpiece. If you're not in the mood for making this, I highly recommend the soy chicken pancake at Vegan World in Studio City. But if you're a brave soul who seeks to remedy their insatiable craving for fried chicken and waffles in your own kitchen, here's what you need to do. No change has to be made to the waffles (Obviously this is just vegetarian and not vegan. When my brain is able to process information again, I'll try to give vegan suggestions.). For the fried chicken, bread the Gardein chick'n scallopini pieces and fry for considerably less time (since they're much thinner). You can change up the whipped cream by either eliminating the bacon altogether or by using bacon free "bacon" bits or tempeh bacon (but I think the crunch of the bacon bits would likely go better). Good luck, and I'll see you in the cardiac ward!

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