Breakfast for Dinner Party: Waffles

I’m glad I bookmarked where I found this idea because I definitely wanted to give proper credit to Apples and Onions for this genius appetizer idea. I DID NOT THINK OF THIS IDEA, nor did I make the waffles. I do not have a mini waffle iron. They were Pricechopper brand, for anyone who enjoyed them haha.

Some of my partygoers had never heard of the combination of chicken and waffles before. So many Yankees at my party. The duo must be traveling up north from its Southern birthplace very slowly. This is very unfortunate.

This was the first chance for me to try out my “best of both worlds” fried chicken method, combining elements from The Neely’s spicy buttermilk fried chicken and Sunny Anderson’s crispy fried chicken. As stated in my Breaking Bad Sunday dinner post, the Neely’s have the superior flavor, and Sunny has the superior coating texture.

This post and my other Breaking Bad post are my most popular, because people often Google this TV show even though it has DRASTICALLY TRAGICALLY IMMENSELY UNDESERVED low ratings because people don’t know a good thing when they see commercials for it. If I wrote about Dancing with the Stars or some such television, I’d probably be on TV myself at this point, you know, just saying. Mango Tango.

In any case. The chicken results were fantastic. Adam Linder, singer/songwriter/guitarist of the indie-punk band Sister City, declared it was the best fried chicken he had ever eaten.

Food Network Mash-up Popcorn Chicken
Adapted from Sunny Anderson and The Neely’s

Special equipment: A deep fry/candy thermometer. I would not recommend doing this without a thermometer. They’re <$10 though. When the oil isn’t the right temp. you can’t really figure out why the chicken isn’t coming out like it should. Too hot? Too cold? Very difficult to tell. Unfortunately, some thermometers for other cooking purposes may not go up high enough (350F) since most meat needs an internal temp. of 180F at the most, so a meat thermometer won’t work for this.

Ingredients

5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 cup flour

1/2 gallon buttermilk
4 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

3 cups flour
1 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper

About one quart canola or vegetable oil for frying

Season the chicken generously with the salt and pepper then dredge generously with flour. This will help the buttermilk mixture stick to the chicken.

Mix together the buttermilk, hot sauce and cayenne pepper in a large non-reactive container. That means no metal besides stainless steel. Glass, plastic and ceramic are fine. The acid in the buttermilk will eat away at some metals. Pour in the chicken, mix it around to evenly coat. Cover the container and marinate overnight.

Mix together all the breading ingredients in a paper grocery bag. Shake off excess liquid from the chicken pieces and dump em all in the bag. Close the bag and give it several good shakes. You’ll feel mighty authentic. Once all pieces are coated in flour, you can dump in any extra buttermilk mixture if you want to get kind of a double-battered thing going on. I did this because I like to make a mess. It created some chunks of a paste-like mixture, which I thought was helpful because you want the coating to stick to the chicken and paste is sticky.

In a large pot, heat the oil to 350F keeping the burner on medium. Depending on your stovetop this could take awhile. 20 minutes or so on my crappy electric stove.

Using a spider thing or tongs, drop about six pieces of chicken into the oil. They will float to the top when they are done cooking, about 4 minutes or so. Cut open a couple of the larger pieces when you’re just starting out just to make sure they’re not undercooked.

Put the cooked pieces on paper towels or a cooling rack with paper towels underneath so excess oil can drain off. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil. It may drop somewhat once the chicken is in there. Adjust the heat as needed. Complete the rest of the chicken in batches and season with a little extra salt at the very end.

It took awhile, but YOU DID IT!!!

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About Jen Cantin

Follow Jen Cantin on Twitter if you have nothing better to do! Wouldn’t want to impose… Two cats and three times more ‘tude than the leading car insurance provider.
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