The exact origins of the dish are unknown, but living here in San Diego I have always heard of the famed Roscoe’s up in Los Angeles. It has an almost cult following of chicken and waffle patrons and is always recommended. I have had it at several upscale restaurants in various forms and sizes, too. Wether it came from the post-Civil War era after the migration North of African Americans is unclear, but it has been traced back to be a Baltimore, Maryland custom. I also read that in the 1790s, after Thomas Jefferson purchased a waffle iron from France on a trip, it was introduced into our country’s cuisine.
Whatever Fried Chicken and Waffles’ origins, I find it to be a delicious and satisfying meal. I really enjoy the sweet and savory combination. The crunchy, salty piece of chicken mixed with the sweet, crispy outside but soft on the inside waffle.
In these I added rendered, crisp bacon and the waffle batter was cornmeal based. So good, it’s amazing and all served with fried chicken on top of a waffle with melted butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. The waffle recipe is an adaption from Tara Duggan’s wonderful book, “Waffles Sweet & Savory Recipes for Every Meal” that has so many great recipes and ideas for the not always for breakfast treat.
Fried Chicken and Waffles
- 8-10 chicken tenders
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 tbsp butter
- vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pieces bacon sliced thin and rendered crisp
- In a container large enough to hold all and keep chicken covered, soak the chicken in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes or overnight. The lactic acids tenderize the chicken.
- Mix the flours, salt, black pepper and poultry seasoning together in a bowl. Dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour to coat well.
- In a large cast iron pan or frying pan render the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat about 1/2 inch of combined oil, bacon fat and butter in the same pan. Place the chicken tenders in the butter and oil and fry for 6 to 8 minutes. With tongs turn each piece over, then cover the pan to cook for an additional 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and salt well and keep warm while making the waffles.
- Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. I like to use my batter bowl that has a lip on it for easy pouring.
- In another bowl whisk the buttermilk, eggs and butter to incorporate completely and pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Add the bacon pieces and mix together.