Who really needs to pay for overpriced fried chicken and waffles when you can make them AND experiment with them at home? Sure, you’re not making something completely healthy but at least you can control the ingredients that go into your mouth. Not to mention, you can alter it to your liking down to the last grain.
By all means, pay Cluck Clucks a visit and enjoy their mouthwatering savoury fried chicken and waffles. But if you’re someone who loves being in the kitchen (like me – sometimes), then you must try making this recently trendy not-too-complicated meal.
The idea randomly dawned on me one day during the month of Ramadan, where all food possibilities seem extremely appealing and possible to recreate even for a novice cook. I had already been experimenting with all sorts of cuisine (my family will attest to that), when I thought, “why not try my hand at fried chicken and savoury waffles?” Scroll to the end for the full recipe. Read completely for my tips, tricks and secrets.
My dad recently brought home a huge batch of fresh garlic and I used it in a few things and became instantly obsessed. The scent of the fresh garlic had everyone wondering what I was cooking up. I put a lot of it inside the waffle mix after mixing all the ingredients.
The dry ingredients is the easiest part of the process. If you would like, you can tweak these by substituting white flour with whole wheat flour or gluten free options. Just be sure to adjust the amount of liquid ingredients accordingly. You might wonder, why the need for granulated sugar? The waffle does not come out sweet at all and it helps bring out the savoury flavours. It is not a lot of sugar but you can adjust according to your own taste buds and preference.
The recipe didn’t call for black pepper or other seasoning but I do like to add a little bit of something to my dry mixes just to give them a little love. For the savoury waffles I added a teaspoon of ground black pepper and dried crushed basil leaves.
I found the most time consuming but most satisfying part to be the beating of the egg whites. This is important to the waffle mix because it adds to the quality of the final product. In the past I have made waffles skipping this part and just adding the eggs whole and it hasn’t made a difference to the batter, however you can tell when you take a bite into the waffle that it feels and tastes fluffier when you take the time for this extra step. This process requires you to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. You should be able to flip the bowl upside down without any of the egg whites slipping or falling out. They should form peaks as pictured below. You can do this manually with a whisk but I found that to be even more time consuming and painful for my hand and I was not satisfied with the end result. If you use a hand beater, be sure to use the whisk attachment as this is what helps to create the peaks faster.
This buttermilk waffle recipe does not require much besides the usual ingredients. I added my own oomph to the mix by stirring in chopped fresh garlic and cilantro – my favourite herb to add to almost any savoury dish.
Frying the chicken is quite simple (explained below). However, it can get tricky if you are not gentle and quick. The flour and buttermilk can stick together and become chunky on the chicken and/or even stick to your fingers instead of the chicken.
You can sandwich the chicken in the waffle or eat it straight from the top using a knife and fork. Sahtein!
Prep time: 1 hour to marinate chicken
5 minutes to make chicken dip batter
15-20 minutes to shallow fry chicken
15 minutes to make buttermilk waffles and more depending on your waffle maker
8 boneless, skin on chicken thighs or breast (you can use skinless but the dip batter will not stick as well as it would on skin)
2 cups buttermilk (1 cup for marinate and 1 cup for dip batter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sea salt for marinate
1 tsp sea salt for dip batter
1 tsp paprika or cayenne pepper depending on your spice tolerance
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp hot sauce (more if needed)
1 tsp dried thyme or basil leaves
1 cup (or more) vegetable oil for shallow frying
Marinate the chicken in a ziplock bag or air-tight lid container. Mix 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon sea salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce. Soak chicken in mixture and marinate in refrigerator for an hour at least (over night for more flavourful chicken).
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour with 1 teaspoon salt, ground pepper and dried basil or thyme leaves. Separate this mixture into two medium bowls. In a third bowl, (similar in size) pour 1 cup buttermilk. You should have three bowls to dip the chicken in before putting it in a shallow fry pan.
Remove chicken from marinate and pat dry (but not completely dry). Dip in first bowl of flour, shake off and then dip in buttermilk. Shake lightly and lastly dip in second bowl of flour, shaking off excess before slowly dropping it in a shallow fry pan. (It is important to have two bowls of flour because you do not want to lump the flour from dipping in the same bowl after the buttermilk step)
Keep the heat at medium or medium high depending on your stove. You don’t want to overcook or undercook the batter or the chicken. You might need more than five minutes on each side, gauge accordingly and remove from heat into towel paper to pat dry excess oil.
Serve on top of savoury buttermilk waffles. Recipe below.
Savoury Buttermilk Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
2 large eggs (separated)
2 cups buttermilk
6 tbsp salted (or unsalted) butter melted
1 cup chopped fresh garlic (optional)
1 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper). Next whisk in egg yolks only, along with buttermilk and melted butter. Add any optional ingredients at this time such as the chopped fresh garlic and cilantro. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks (as mentioned above). Gently fold the egg white peaks into the batter (folding is very crucial to the end product, do not stir in). Heat your waffle maker and follow the appliance instructions to make the waffles. Serve with fried chicken on top or sandwiched together.
This recipe was especially popular with my family. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try! I would love to know what you have been cooking and what has been really successful for you! Comment below!