Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chicken and Waffles

When we agreed to be brand ambassadors for Kahiki Foods, we received a shipment of various products, including bags of tempura-crusted chicken nuggets in two flavors. We devoured one bag of chicken with its accompanying honey sauce, but decided to use the other one in a different the chicken component in chicken and waffles. Why not? without the accompanying sauce, it's just fried chicken--crusty, crispy fried chicken.

What got me started down this path was the bag of blue cornmeal I purchased at the grocery store last week. Blue cornmeal makes me think of Bobby Flay, and Bobby Flay makes me think of chipotle peppers. (Or, as he pronounces it, "chi-poh-ta-lay.") What could I concoct with blue cornmeal and chipotle peppers (both in the pantry) and whatever protein I had in the freezer (myriad)?  Every time I opened the freezer, I saw that bag of tempura chicken, and sometimes it even fell out on my foot. Why not use it, sans the bag of orange sauce (which I might be able to use for something else in the future)?

Once I decided on chicken as my protein, chicken and waffles seemed appropriate. I incorporated the chipotle into the cream gravy.  Once I added it, with a little extra smokiness from smoked paprika and a nice pinch of cumin to continue down that Southwest flavor path, the sauce tasted like queso. Even without any cheese. So I added cheese, too. Just a little, because I didn't want the sauce to end up being too thick.

It turned out really well. There are a ton of extra waffles though, which will be called into duty for breakfasts during the week. A nice bit of extra sauce, too. The leftovers will definitely get another handful of cheese, and maybe some sauteed chorizo. I hear a pile of tortilla chips calling its name.

Blue Corn Waffles with Fried Chicken and Chipotle Cream Gravy

For waffles:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ½ cups 2% milk

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cups 2% milk
1 chipotle en adobo, minced
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pinch smoked paprika
Large pinch cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
Fried chicken or chicken nuggets
Chopped scallions for garnish

To make waffles: Preheat waffle iron. Preheat oven to 250°F and place a baking sheet in the oven.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk and butter until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.

Spoon batter into waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Cook until golden and crisp.

Place cooked waffles onto the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat until all waffle batter is used. Makes 12-14 waffles, depending on the size of your iron.

To make sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute without browning. Slowly whisk in the milk and stock. Raise the heat to high and continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken and the raw taste of the flour has been cooked out, about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle and scallions. Whisk in the cheese and seasonings, adding more or less to taste.

To serve: Top waffles with chicken pieces or nuggets and spoon some sauce over all. Garnish with scallions.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats.

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