You’ve seen it on Stacy’s Instagram frequently. One of our favorite treats is the southern classic chicken and waffles. Many people have asked us to teach them how to put it together so that they don’t have to find their nearest Roscoe’s. Of bigger concern, of course, is the pesky fact that fried chicken and waffles are not particularly gluten-free friendly. It is our hope that this post will help you to get in touch with your soul food center and pull off a delicious meal!
The origins of the chicken-waffle alliance are shrouded in a lot of mystery. While we know that fried chicken itself is of French invention and the waffle is Dutch, the two did not come together until they reached America. There, both entered the upper class table as delicacies, due to the scarcity of chicken and waffle irons. Sometime in the 1800s, both foods found their way into African-American kitchens where the crispy, salty chicken was found to pair well with crunchy waffles and sweet syrup.
The dish was then popularized in Harlem, New York where jazz musicians and fans would descend upon late night restaurants to partake in it. Why this dish? Because it’s wonderful drunk food. Later, in the 1970s, the most famous restaurant was opened in Los Angeles, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.
So what are the considerations for putting together a chicken and waffles?
Matt made Stacy and Stacy’s mom The Domestic Man’s Fried Chicken from The Ancestral Table for their birthdays.
- Ideally, you’d want fried chicken. The crispy skin is the ideal here. Barring that, roasting the chicken is next best.
- Your pieces ought to be one of the more fatty portions, like legs, wings, or thighs.
- Do not under season! The salt is one of the most important parts here.
- Not too sweet! Too much sweetness would be overwhelming to your chicken.
- Not too soft! You want crispy, firm waffles.
Vivian, Stacy’s podcast co-host, comes over to record Strong Woman Radio and eat Chicken & Waffles regularly!
If you’re going to fry, I recommend you get an electric fryer like this one. The electric fryer has many advantages over other methods of frying. First, it has a thermostat to get you to the right frying temperature and keep you there automatically. Second there are additional safety features such as a breakaway cord, safety lid and no open flame to prevent fires and burns. Remember: frying involves temperatures that far exceed boiling water. It will burn you severely if you’re not careful!
Your alternative would be a heavy bottomed pot with a fry thermometer. You must watch it constantly, though, because the temperature must stay on target. Too high and the oil will burn. Too low and the chicken won’t cook through and it won’t crisp.
For oil, choose something with a high smoke point. Coconut oil, avocado oil, and lard will all do well for the task. Don’t use butter or extra virgin olive oil because they will certainly smoke. After you’re done frying, remove your chicken to a draining rack lined with towels to crisp. After all frying is done, pour your oil through a sieve to filter out any impurities, then store in an airtight container for the next time you fry.
And of course you’ll need a waffle iron. We use this George Foreman Grill with swappable plates. But any waffle iron will do, of course. Be sure to spray with avocado oil or brush with coconut oil.
Optional: Stacy says no waffle is complete without whipped cream. We make our own using the cream from full fat coconut milk or grass-fed heavy cream in our iSi Cream Whipper.
P.S Although less traditional, we’ve come to also love Pork & Chicken. This pulled pork was made in our InstaPot then pan fried in a cast iron pan to get crispy, but you can find our best recipe for pulled pork in Beyond Bacon for Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder which achieves both in one step!
Here are our recommendations for recipes for chicken and waffles:
- The best recipe for fried chicken we’ve ever made is from The Domestic Man.
- Our Paleo fried Chicken Finger recipe (pictured first) is in Real Life Paleo.
- We usually simply use roast chicken, try this recipe.
- If you’d like to use wings, we recommend our recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken Wings from Real Life Paleo.
- You can always use our waffle recipe (pictured first) though you may want something less flavorful.
- Try The Paleo Mom’s recipe for Perfect Paleo Pancakes in a waffle iron, they made even better waffles!
- You can also try Against All Grain’s version.
- Sometimes we like to use Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix, which makes a nice waffle and is fairly paleo-friendly.
Megan, Stacy, Vivian, and Nicole dive in after an evening of recording SWR Ep 15 and lifting heavy things!
Serve to squat partners, athletes, active kids, pregnant women with serious cravings, family members, great friends – well you get the point, this combination is a hit with everyone!