Having recently been reminded of an ill-fated trip I took to Atlanta a few years ago, I began thinking back to some of the highs and lows of the journey.
1. I was there for work…low, but work meant interviewing Chris Robinson, a awesome music video producer and director of the movie ATL…high.
2. Diana Ross was staying at our hotel…high, but she refused to sign an autograph…low.
3. I didn’t get a part in the movie…low, but I did get to try Chicken & Waffles for the first time…high!
Chicken and Waffles are a southern tradition. The roots of the recipe are somewhat debatable. According to Wikipedia recipes for the famous dish appeared shortly after Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron back from France. The waffle iron had been used for quite some time in Belguim to make…you guessed it…Belgian Waffles.
When it made it to the plantations of the south, house kitchen workers learned the recipe and began to use it for special occasions and celebrations when they were able to get chicken. Today, Chicken and Waffles has become an art. With places like Cali’s famous Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles and Atlanta’s Gladys and Ron’s (owned by Gladys Knight!! – - clearly why I went there) giving it street credibility, the dish has now found a place in restaurants from fast food to full on gourmet!
The combination can be a little heavy though, so I tried to lighten it up a bit with Oven-Fried Chicken and Waffles.
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermillk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2-3 pounds Chicken Breast, Wing, Thigh, Leg
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Olive oil cooking spray
Whisk buttermilk, mustard and garlic in a shallow glass dish until well blended. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
Whisk flour, paprika, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the flour mixture in a paper bag or large sealable plastic bag. Shaking off excess marinade, place one or two pieces of chicken at a time in the bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place the chicken on the prepared rack. (Discard any leftover flour mixture and marinade.) Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray.
Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, about 25-30 minutes minutes.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk Maple Syrup
Preheat a waffle iron and lightly grease. Into a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. In a clean bowl, beat the eggs. Add the butter and buttermilk and beat to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well. Pour the batter into the hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown and lightly crisp. Remove and if desired, top with a slice of butter, and serve with the chicken and maple syrup