Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicken and Waffles, the Pilot Episode

Warning: Take your Lipitor before reading this post.

So. Fried chicken?
I know that here in the midwest we're not exactly fried chicken experts, but I had been craving some in the most intense way for a couple of weeks and not a single venue was coming to mind where I knew I could be guaranteed fried chicken that would be homemade and tasty enough to be worth the calorie bomb. It's a sad state of the affairs of food when homemade fried chicken is any part of the country.

And then, on a totally different but just as fat and cholesterol-laden subject, my neighbor, or rather my totally awesome neighbor offered to get me a re-up on Lorentz Meats bacon on his way back from a dirt-biking adventure in Cannon Falls. Because as you've heard me whine about before, I can't get the stuff around here ever since Coborns took over Simon Delivers, and I'm addicted. And my 20# stash from the last days of Simon Delivers was running frighteningly low.

So bring me bacon my totally awesome neighbor did...eighteen pounds worth! And as a means of repaying his willingness to be my bacon enabler, I offered to have him over for brunch, along with his lovely wife and daughter, and then I invited my other appreciative-of-bacon-pals Ms. Knit-Whit and her man over too. And then I started wondering what to serve alongside a big pile of bacon.

Hello? Waffles anyone?
We've been on a little bit of a waffle bender around here as I'm sure you know. So that part was obvious. But what goes better with waffles than FRIED CHICKEN? AhHA! Menu planned.

So a fried chicken and waffle and bacon feast it was:

fried chicken and waffle brunch

I had actually never made fried chicken before, which seems crazy since it's one of those things that's probably better when it's homemade no matter what and I am all about the homemade goodness. I used Art Smiths "Two Day Marinated Fried Chicken" recipe because I understand him to be the unofficial (fat white guy) king of southern cooking and I remembered seeing him talk about it on Oprah once years ago. It turned out pretty dang good, or at least good enough to make me certain that it won't be the last batch I make.
For the waffles portion of the event, I mixed up two different batches of yeast batter for a taste test. One was my stand-by Belgian Waffle recipe from the Joy of Cooking that I told you about recently, and the other was Mark Bittman's overnight yeast waffle batter because Corgi Mom (hey you!) says she likes it better than JOC's.
So we gorged on waffles topped with delicious options like warm strawberry compote, carmelized bananas, toasted pecans, fresh berries, local maple syrup and freshly whipped cream. The fried chicken hit the spot, and the six of us managed to eat our way through two pounds of bacon. But don't worry friends, I won't tell anyone we ate all that bacon.

Turns out the word on the street claims there are a few local places to get good fried chicken and waffles, but now that I've tasted my own, I'm not sure I care :)


Sounds tasty? I haven't had waffles and fried chicken together, yet. So, which waffles are better?
I liked the JOC recipe better, but not because Mark Bittmans aren't 100% delicious. It's just a completely different waffle experience, and I think it's one of those things thats like mom food. The way you've always had it is the way you like it best, aka the "right" way. That Bittmans batter is faster to put together counts for a lot in my book.
Hey, can you by any chance tell me where you got your dishes from? I kind of really like them, they look nice and BIG (but maybe that's just the angle?)...
hey you!
The dinnerware is from Crate and Barrel and I've had it for 20 years! (yikes, really?) It's called "Cafeware II". They still sell it, although the bowl shape has been changed.
It's big and thick (like my thighs, what a funny coincidence!)
The service pieces I've just collected over the years from various discount stores so they're a mishmash.
You're my hero!
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