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Fulfilling My Friend’s Craving: Oven Fried Chicken and Waffles

April 4, 2011

Chicken and Waffles

I’ve started to notice that the conversations I have with my friends often end with food; usually it is one of us trying to make the other jealous with what we’re eating, asking what we should have for dinner or sharing food porn pictures. The result of these banters is usually an insane craving for whatever we were just talking about. I have absolutely no idea how this topic came up but one of my good friends, Anna, asked me what my last supper would be. I quickly answered with an extravagant 5 course menu, which having said it out loud just made me sound pretentious and realize that it needs a bit of revision. Anna, on the other hand, replied with a short list of delicious comfort foods that is close to her heart. The one that stuck out to me was Fried Chicken and Biscuits, my mouth immediately started to water and memories of my first Fried Chicken and Waffle started to flood my thoughts.

My first fried chicken and waffle was from this shack on the side of the highway on the drive back from Rehoboth Beach. It barely had a sign out front, there were 3 picnic tables set up and my meal was served in a brown bag. Even though I have never been able to find the “restaurant” again, I still dream about the crispy-juicy fried chicken, and thick-fluffy waffles. The skin of the chicken was so crispy that when you bite down I’m almost positive that people next to me can hear the crunch and the meat was perfectly tender and juicy. The waffle was light and airy, unlike the dense and heavy ones we are accustomed to. Now when the Fried chicken and waffles are this good I usually omit the syrup, but I couldn’t help myself but to pour a glug-ful over my last bite, and it was heavenly.

I wanted to share my experience with my friend, Anna, I know it wasn’t going to be the same as fried chicken and biscuits but it was close enough and I needed to satisfy MY craving too, right!? So I set out to find the perfect fried chicken and waffles recipe that would come close to what I had. I have been hearing for some time that Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc serves the best Fried Chicken and Waffles, after doing some research I concluded that the chicken must be soaked in a brine overnight to gain even more flavor and to maintain its juiciness after the cooking process. It also needs to undergo a double dredging to get that super crispy skin. I also baked the “fried” chicken, I know it is not the same and I may be bastardizing the traditional fried chicken but I wanted to prove oven baked can be almost if not just as good as fried and it’s healthier.

The traditional waffle batter is just a thicker version of a pancake batter, usually you mix the eggs, butter and buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients. I have found that that results in a denser waffle, so I took the extra step and separated the eggs. The egg yolks are first mixed in the with wet ingredients, added to the dry ingredients, then the egg whites are whisked until it forms stiff peaks and folded into the batter. This will unsure a light, airy and perfectly fluffy waffle! The fried chicken has such a crispy and firm texture already that you really want the waffle to have a contrasting texture. Seriously, try it out I promise you wont regret the few extra steps!!

Oven Fried Chicken
adapted from momofukufor2
makes 8 pieces

1/2 gallon water
1/2 cup     kosher salt
1/8 cup     honey
6                bay leaves
1/2 head  of garlic, cut horizontally
1 tbsp       black peppercorns
1/4 of a    bunch of thyme sprigs
1/4 of a    bunch of flat leafed parsley sprigs
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

2 cups     all purpose flour
1 cup       cornmeal
1/4 cup   garlic powder
1/4 cup   onion powder
1 tbsp      paprika
1 tbsp      cayenne
3 teasp    kosher salt
1 teasp    freshly ground black pepper

2 cups     buttermilk

1 bunch  flat leaf parsley
3 cups    canola oil for frying
sea salt

1. For the brine: combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using.

2. Rinse the chickens and place the chickens in the cold brine and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse and pat the chickens dry, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin. Let the chickens come to room temperature outside of the fridge, 1-2 hours.

3. Mix the coating ingredients together in a bowl, transfer half to brown paper bag and set up a dipping station: chicken, coating, buttermilk, paper bag of coating, cooling rack.

Chicken Dredge

4. Dip each piece of chicken into the coating, patting off the excess, then into the buttermilk and into the paper bag coating. Shake to coat the chicken, place the chicken on a cooling rack.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then take the chicken out of the oven and brush with oil and put them back in oven to cook for another 20 minutes.

6. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes to redistribute its juices and cool slightly.

7. While the chicken rests, heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium low heat to 300 degrees F and add the parsley leaves to the hot oil and let them cook and crisp for a few seconds. Remove the parsley, put them on paper towels to drain the excess oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Buttermilk Waffles
adapted from sugar crafter
makes 8 waffles

3 large eggs,  separated
1 3/4 cups      buttermilk
1 stick             butter, melted
1/2 teasp       vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups     All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teasp    baking powder
1 teasp           baking soda
1/2 teasp       salt
1/4 cup          sugar

1. Preheat the waffle maker to medium-high heat, and preheat your oven to 200 degrees (for keeping the cooked waffles warm). In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until well-blended.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

Waffle Ingredients

3. Add the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth, do not over mix. In another bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Whipped Egg Whites

Fold in the Egg Whites

4. Using a soup ladle, spoon a ladle full of batter into the waffle maker and close the lid. Cook until light golden brown about 5-6 minutes. Repeat until you run out of batter. Transfer the finished waffles to a cool rack stacked on to baking sheet, and place them in the oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve them.

To assemble the Chicken & Waffles: starting with the waffles, stack a piece of chicken on top of the waffle then garnish with the fried parsley.

Printable Recipe

Chicken and Waffles

Luckily for Anna, I was smart enough to set aside a separate portion before my friends and family demolished the 2 large batches I had made. I brought it over to her house the day after it was made and to my surprise even after reheating in the oven the chicken remained crispy and still juicy and the waffles maintained it’s bite! I watched as Anna dove into her share, of course I quickly asked her what she thought. And after a long pause after her first bite, I saw the biggest smile and that’s all the answer I needed.

Chicken and Waffles with Beer!

Cheers and until next time happy brunchin’

P.S- Since I was posed this question I would love to know what YOUR last supper would be?


15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 10:29 am

    yum! loooove waffles. i love how airy the waffles taste when i beat the egg whites first, but i’m usually too hungry/lazy to do it. hehe!

  2. April 5, 2011 4:30 pm

    I usually am too lazy and just opt for the regular waffles but sometimes it’s totally worth the effort!

  3. April 7, 2011 12:18 am

    In my late 20’s, I’ve only just learned about fried chicken and waffles. I’ve yet to eat them together. I’m jealous of all you that have already eaten a lifetime of chicken and waffles.

    We don’t have fried chicken and waffles here in New Zealand, but I accidentally had something similar the other day when we made french toast with bacon and maple syrup and ate that with some leftover KFC. It was pretty good. Little did I know at the time that chicken and waffles was actually a dish elsewhere in the world.

    My last supper would probably be something close to my heart too. Definitely something Cantonese. Maybe wonton noodle soup? Or roast duck with lots of plum sauce and rice.

    • April 7, 2011 6:19 am

      Chicken and waffles is definitely a southern comfort dish in America. I didn’t learn about it until one of my friends introduced it to me and my life was forever changed! If you get a chance seriously try it out for yourself, the chicken is far better than from KFC no offense to KFC but homemade is ALWAYS better right?

      That’s funny, one of my last dishes is Peking Duck with hoisin sauce wrapped in a gua bao with scallions! I think duck is one of the most delicious meats.

  4. April 7, 2011 6:43 pm

    Oh yes, I do love duck! In fact, I had duck for dinner last night. Not Chinese style though, it was at a bar and it was in a pie. Oh well. My husband tried duck for the first time after he met me and he was really angry that he’d lived his whole life up to that point without having duck on the menu. I think he’s been working hard to make up for lost time ever since. You’re right, home made fried chicken is better than KFC but I have this weird thing where I don’t deep fry at home. It’s like I’m in denial. If I don’t see the food going into the deep fryer, maybe it never actually happened and food just is naturally deliciously crisp.

    • April 7, 2011 6:49 pm

      Oh I’ve actually never had duck in a pie before, how was it prepared? I’m really curious about this duck in a pie dish now, is it like shepherds pie? I actually went through a duck phase this past winter, where I ordered the duck every restaurant I went to that served a duck dish. There’s something about the texture of duck that is far superior to any other game.

      I don’t deep fry at home either. It just creates such a crazy mess in the kitchen, which is exactly why I oven “fried” the chicken. I wanted the crispiness without all the cleanup.

  5. April 8, 2011 7:01 pm

    Mmmm…I love oven baked crispy stuff. Well, the duck pie I had was in a creamy sauce with mushrooms. To be honest I felt it didn’t really show off the duck. It could have easily been a creamy chicken and mushroom pie. Tasty for sure, but it cost about three times as much as a chicken pie. Eeek! I know for next time just to get 3 chicken pies instead! Teehee.

    • April 10, 2011 3:14 pm

      Haha. It’s always unfortunate when the main ingredient is masked by a sauce. At least if you had 3 chicken pies, you would have had some leftovers 🙂

  6. February 20, 2012 11:10 pm

    I’ve never had waffles (Australia is a strange place) but I just bought a waffle iron and I think this might be the first thing I make. Sounds divine!!

    • February 21, 2012 10:51 am

      I cannot wait for you to make your own waffles! It’s really a treat.

  7. Kim permalink
    July 24, 2012 9:29 pm

    Love that this is oven fried!
    Im always looking for healthier twists on unhealthy foods!
    The recipe looks awesome I love how crispy your chicken turns out but it seems so exhausting and tedious 😦
    Is it as tiring as it seems ?

    • July 24, 2012 9:32 pm

      It’s not at all tiring, it takes a few steps and some preparation ahead of time but the outcome is so so worth it!

  8. vernabee permalink
    November 25, 2013 8:00 pm

    what temperature did you bake the chicken at? you left that out and im making this tonight!!

    • November 25, 2013 9:04 pm

      I’m so glad you are making this tonight!
      I baked it at 375 degrees F. I hope you enjoy it!


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