Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chicken 'n Waffles...Skillman Style

I'll be honest: I've never understood the whole thing about fried chicken served on a waffle. I mean, really! I get the concept of a lovely square of leavened fluffiness as a repository for fallen juices or sauce, but this? The waffle seems to be there to sop up the grease? Ew.

Still, I've been intrigued....wondering how I could be immune to such a classic pairing. So much so, that I could almost say I was haunted.

So it's safe to say the notion of waffles is rarely far from my mind when I crave fried chicken. Ah, but even during Passover, you say? YES!, I say: Passover fried chicken is wonderful. Under a crunchy coating of seasoned matzah meal lies juicy, flavorful chicken! And since it was Passover, I dip one and a half times, not my usual two.

But Pesachdik waffles? Truly, I'm not one to try to fit year-round food into this holiday's mold, so no Passover Pasta or Pastries or Pain Perdu 'round here. That can wait the eight days. I prefer to put the holiday into the food and this year, the muses gifted me with uncanny inspiration: Waffles made from the batter I use to make potato gnocchi (NO flour!) for the Seder. A silky mix of mashed potatoes, eggs and herbs...yum!

Now, I get Chicken 'n Waffles! They were light; they had flavor; they added something to the meal. A light drizzle of pure maple syrup and I was entering the Promised Land!

Here goes:

Matzah Meal Fried Chicken 

-Heat about an inch of canola oil in a large cast iron skillet to 350.
-Place 3 or so cups matzah meal, seasoned liberally with salt, freshly ground pepper, granulated garlic and smoked paprika in a dish suitable for dredging.
-In another, similar, dish mix 6 to 8 egg whites with about a half cup of hot sauce.
-Dip the chicken in the wet mixture then the dry and repeat the process with just the tops. Place on a wire rack over a baking pan to dry and set the crust. 
-Fry to a crispy golden brown - about 10 mins per piece - or until the internal temp reaches 170 and drain on another wire rack over another baking pan.
(These proportions should coat the parts of a whole chicken.)

Potato Waffles
-Boil 3 large baking potatoes that have been peeled and cubed in salted water until fork tender.
-Rice them (or mash 'em if you don't have a ricer) into a large bowl.
-Mix in 4 T butter, salt and ground black pepper, about a third cup minced fresh parsley, 2 finely chopped scallions, and 5 beaten eggs. The mixture should be rather 'gloppy.'
-Heat your waffle iron, and using those directions and a lot of spray oil, ladle in your mixture and crisp to perfection.

I have seen the light...and it is good! Enjoy this variation - at Pesach or any time of year!