Monday, April 14, 2008

Oh My Damn

I have been craving chicken and waffles for weeks. It started when the bootleg version of Roscoe's opened in Chicago. Bootleg is the kindest word I have for the foolishness surrounding the Bronzeville restaurant that I think was a year in opening.

Needless to say, because the Chicago version was named Rosscoe's, I had reservations about going. I also have issues about going to restaurants for soul food. Clearly it's something I can do at home. I really like going to restaurants to be challenged and inspired; I like to eat things that I haven't made at home before. So yeah, CPK -- once I nail your crust, it's a wrap! I also had my "Phil" of chicken and waffles at Phil the Fire in Cleveland (RIP).

Back to the subject. I skipped church today. I know; I'm a heathen. I had power chains put on my braces last week and I have had a killer intermittent toothache. Today I gave up and reached for Vicodin, so I figured not driving would be a good thing. The extra time at home gave the chance to rock a f'o' real breakfast.

Let's get started. We've fried chicken before. Brine it, flour it and get it into some hot grease. Drain it on a wire rack.

Moving on to the waffle -- this is my first waffle from scratch! Yea! I turned to Cook's Illustrated for the recipe because they had a recipe for two. This is the fluffiest waffle ever. I'm no longer missing The Waffle House.

Here's the setup: egg yolk whisked with melted butter; flour, baking powder, corn meal and salt; buttermilk; and an egg white beaten to stiff peaks. The genius in me decided to do this by hand. About 10 minutes later, I had stiff peaks.
Make well in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquid. Whisk gently until the mixture almost comes together. Be gentle! You don't want tough waffles!
Now, switch to a spatula and fold in the egg white.

Now you're ready to add the batter to a preheated waffle iron. Bake until desired level of brown. I don't like Belgium waffles anyway, but I must say that thin waffles are wonderful in this dish. I've had the dish before with the thick waffles and it just wasn't working for me.

Let's assemble, shall we? Get some syrup and butter. For years, I have melted the butter inside the syrup. Sometimes I add hot sauce to my ketchup. Shortcuts are a good thing.
Add your chicken. I have to put in a plug for the boneless, skinless chicken breasts here. I especially love them in this dish because everything can be eaten with a knife and fork -- all in one bite. Trust me. If you brine your chicken properly, you won't even miss the skin. Pour a little syrup on the chicken.
Grab the hot sauce and decorate the chicken accordingly.
You are now ready to get yo' eat on.

Damn. That was good.

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