How to Have a Fried Chicken and Waffles Party

Chicken and waffles are one of those food combinations that have a cult following.  In Los Angeles, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is an institution, and I’m pretty sure Lay’s makes a Chicken and Waffles flavored chips.

I remember having Roscoe’s once in high school, but I don’t remember if I tried the chicken and the waffles together.  I’m pretty sure I ate them separately.  That’s clearly not the “right” way to eat them.

Like most things I find intriguing, I wanted to try making my own chicken and waffles.  But let’s be honest, frying chicken is not something I’m going to take lightly.  I wasn’t going to just make 2 pieces of chicken, 2 waffles and call it a day.  No no.  This was my first time frying chicken.  It was going to be an event.  And thus the Chicken and Waffles party was born.

The first thing you need for an event is guests, so I recruited this crew to be my chicken and waffles testers.

guests1

So if you’re like me, and you feel the need to make chicken and waffles an event, here’s a how.

What You’ll Need:

  • Chicken: I used drumsticks and thighs
  • Peanut Oil for frying
  • Buttermilk for the chicken (and the waffles)
  • Flour, paprika, salt and pepper for dredging the chicken
  • Yeast, Milk, Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Salt and Butter for the Waffles
  • Maple Syrup or just pancake syrup
  • Plate, forks, knives, napkins
  • Beer.  Lots of beer. And ice to keep it cold.

First things first.  You have to convince people that you are an awesome cook and that your chicken and waffles will be amazing.  I suggest creating invites to get people excited (don’t see how they wouldn’t be, also don’t tell them you’ve never tried frying chicken before).  I used Evite, because I’m a nerd.  But you can also e-mail, text or call your friends to invite them.  Make sure they RSVP so you know how much to make.

I estimated 3 pieces of chicken per person and at least 3 waffles per person.  My worst fear is someone leaving my house hungry.

A day or two before your event buy all the things you need (see list above).

The night before the event, start your waffles.

I used Smitten Kitchen’s Essential Raised Overnight Waffles.

They were amazing. I absolutely recommend them!

But because I’m a fiend for feeding people, I figured one waffle recipe for 8 people wasn’t enough (I was right).  So instead of doubling the recipe, I used a recipe a friend shared with me (made day of).  It was oh so buttery and tasty.

Day of…

Set up your table.  Dress it up, dress it down.  Always include fresh flowers.

settable


Start making the chicken.  Let me preface this by saying this was my first time making fried chicken.  I did A LOT of research.  After reading the million ways to make the “perfect” fried chicken, I decided to keep it simple. I pretty much used this recipe from AllRecipes but didn’t use their method.  My method was to make sure the oil wasn’t too hot and I kept turning it for even golden-goodness all around.

Frying the chicken is the most time consuming part, so start early (depending on the size of your skillet and how much chicken you make it’ll determine how long it will take).

First drown your chicken in buttermilk and let it sit there for a few minutes.  Then put about 3 cups of flour in a bag with 1 tbsp each of paprika, salt and pepper (more salt if you’d like, mine wasn’t salty).

Transfer a piece of buttermilk soaked chicken into the flour bag, toss around.  Place chicken on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all the pieces of chicken are covered in the flour/buttermilk mixture.  Note: the amount of chicken you make will determine how much flour you need.  If you need to make more, just remember the ratios above (1 cup flour = 1 tsp spice, feel free to increase the spice).

Let the chicken sit and the coating get paste-like as you heat the oil.  Fill a large (I used 12″) cast iron skillet about half way full of oil.  Turn on heat to medium and let the oil get hot.

fryingchicken


I didn’t use a thermometer.  I used the flour trick.  What’s the flour trick? Sprinkle some flour into the oil.  If it starts to bubble your ready to fry.  Keep the flame at about medium.  Once the oil is hot, add a few pieces of chicken to the skillet.  You don’t want to crowd the pan but you should be able to fit about 4-5 pieces in there.  Fry chicken, turning every 3 minutes about 14 minutes for drumsticks and 18 minutes for large thighs.

fryingchicken2


Cut through one to make sure it’s cooked through so you know your estimated cooking time from now on.  Place chicken on a paper towel lined baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven to keep warm and crisp.

Repeat until you’re done making your chicken.

Next make your waffles. If you’re using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, now is the time to mix in the 2 eggs and baking soda.  Or mix together your waffle recipe of choice!  Cook your waffles in your waffle iron.

makingwaffles

I borrowed my sister’s waffle iron so that I had two going at the same time.  It made the process faster.  If you’re making waffles for a crowd, keep them warm and crisp in the 200 Degree oven by putting them on a baking sheet IN A SINGLE LAYER (I didn’t do that and totally got soggy waffles.  Sad face.).

Now that your chicken and waffles are made.  You’re ready to eat.  Pile a platter high of chicken

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and another of waffles, and don’t forget the syrup!

chickenandwaffles2And your table will be ready for a crowd to dig in!

bwchickenandwaffles(Obviously they all had to wait while you took pictures of the table setting)


Now sit around, pass the waffles

chickenandwaffles6and the chicken

chickenandwaffles7And eat them how you like best, don’t be scared to use your fingers or smother everything in maple syrup.

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If you have left overs, don’t worry.  Reheat it all in the oven in a single layer and it’ll taste delicious the next day too!

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Thanks to David, Talia, Rachel, Marco, Allison, Joe and Jesse (especially Jesse for being my co-chef) for having chicken and waffles with me!  You guys are the best!  Thanks for testing out my food and being all around pleasant company!

Ok so have I convinced you?  When are you throwing a chicken and waffles party?

I would totally do it again!

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Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic and The Weekend

After a long week, sometimes you need a drink.  This week was pretty rough.  On Thursday, I pulled a muscle in my lower back while working out.  Someone suggested I have a drink to relax the muscles.  Worth a try.

gin

I’m not a big drinker, but I love a good gin and tonic.  And you know me, I love to spice things up.  So I decided to give give it a few little tweeks and this is what I came up with:

strawberrybasilginandtonic1

Strawberry Basil Gin and Tonic

2 oz gin
2 strawberries, sliced1-2 basil leaves, chopped
4-6 oz tonic water
twist of lime

Muddle together the strawberries and basil.  Add the gin and mix together.  Pour over ice.  Squeeze in some lime juice, top with tonic water and serve.

strawberrybasilginandtonic2

Serving it in a mason jar is totally ok.  This is about relaxing.  Mason jars are laid back.  They’re also for hipsters or people who are too cheap to buy real glasses.  Glasses are also allowed.  They’re fancier.

Either way, get your sip on.

So that was Friday.

Saturday, I met up with Allie from Sweet Potato Bites.  We realized we live like 2 miles away from each other and thought we should probably meet up for a doughnut.

allie

Because that’s what foodies do.  So we headed to Sidecar Doughnuts and I had a tasty yeast doughnut with chocolate and salt.

Sooo good.  Allie was awesome!  I’m excited to have made friends with a cool blogger.  After our 2 hour chat session, I headed to a thrift shop where I bought exciting things for my upcoming Chicken and Waffle party.

You heard that right.  Chicken and Waffles party.  It’s going to be epic.  I’ll tell you more about it when it rolls around.

Sunday, was also awesome.  Well that’s today.  Jesse and I are celebrating our 1.5 versary, because we’re cool like that.    So we had brunch at Public Kitchen in The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

roosevelthotel

I bought a Travel Zoo deal for brunch for two.  While it was nice scenery, and the bathrooms were awesome…

rooseveltbathroom

Brunch was meh.  It ended up costing $55 for a glorified continental breakfast.  It probably doesn’t help that I don’t really like buffets.  I’d much rather just get a plate of food.  Jesse and I both don’t eat enough to feel like buffets are worth it.  Nothing was omg-amazing-must-have.  But oh well.  It was still a nice time.

After brunch, we headed back to OC.  Jesse needed to work and I did arts and crafts…

artsandcrafts

Now we’re enjoying cucumber-basil water and trying to figure out what to have for dinner (or am, while Jesse works).

Overall, it’s been a great weekend.  Can’t complain, not even about the fact that my back hurts.  Maybe I need another drink? What do you think?

What was the highlight of your weekend?

The EBA: Egg Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

I love breakfast.  It’s seriously the best meal out there.  If I could have brunch out every day, I’d be totally happy.  But sometimes you need to save money and calories.  Tomorrow, I’m having Sunday Brunch out with friends.   So making something special at home that hits the spot was the right way to go.

This says it all.

According to Facebook, you all love runny yolks as much as I do. So tomorrow morning… or really right now… save yourself a few bucks and make this delightful breakfast creation.

EBA: Egg Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

1 slice of bacon
1 egg
1/4 avocado, sliced
2 pieces of bread

Fry the bacon in a small skillet over medium flame until desired level of crispiness.  In the meantime, toast your bread and slice your avocado.  Remove bacon from pan and place on a paper towel, once cooled, break in half so you have two pieces.

Wipe off some of the bacon grease from the skillet.  Turn flame on med/low and crack egg into pan.  Once the white part has set enough for you to flip it, flip the egg and cook an additional minute (or more if you’re blasphemous and don’t like runny yolks).  Transfer egg onto 1 slice of bread.  On the other side, lay slices of avocado then bacon.

eggbaconavocadosandwich1

Put together and enjoy!

eggbaconavocadosandwich2

I swear the runny yolk is what makes this so amazing.  Or maybe it’s the bacon.  Or the avocado…

You’d think that based on the number of desserts I made I would be all about sweet breakfast items, but no.  I generally prefer savory breakfast foods.

What about you?  Do you prefer savory or sweet breakfast?  What’s your favorite breakfast/brunch menu item?

Weekend of Brunch: Part One

This weekend was delicious.  I really can’t describe it any other way.  I went up to San Francisco and stayed with this fella…

my friend, Daniele.

He’s pretty.

You might remember him from World Cup Waffles where we woke up early made waffles and watched the World Cup.   Now he’s just being amazing in San Francisco.  So I visited, because few people in the world understand my love of food like this man does.  So the first stop on this weekend of fun was brunch, at the place called Plow.

It was quite possibly the most wonderfully amazing place ever.  We shared some millet corn bread muffins.

Austin was obviously intrigued.  It’s my new mission in life to recreate them.

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I’m a brunch enthusiast.  Eating out usually isn’t that exciting for me.  But brunch.  I have a special place in my heart for brunch. This brunch…

That was November in my mouth.  Daniele said it.  I agreed.

Basically everything was delicious.

After brunch, we decided moving around would probably be a good idea.  That meant moseying to a park and looking at dogs.  Because, well… that’s what we do.

I can pretty confidently say that this summed up the weekend: food, booze, public spaces, staring at dogs and babies, admiring gentlemen… in the least creepy way possible.  But wait there’s more!

Later, back at the ranch Daniele’s house, we might have made an apple crisp.  And I might have poured bourbon in it.  It might have been amazing.

Ok you should probably go try putting bourbon in your apple crisp.  It’ll revolutionize your life.

Well friends, stay tuned for part two.  Part two might be more exciting since right now I’m running on about 3 hours of sleep.

Goodnight!

Just Eggs

I’ve been a bad blogger.  No excuses just one confession: I’m tired of cooking.

I think the holidays did me in.  I can’t even look at sugar.

So for the next few weeks, my plates will look somewhat like this:

Maybe boring, but I’m okay with that.  Because in 11 or 12 days I’m headed to

Florida for my cousin’s wedding.

Then a few days after that, I’m off to

Rome for the semester!

Stay Tuned

Pumpkins and Leftovers

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s throwing food away.  After Thanksgiving, I was determined to not throw a single thing away.  Not even the meat.  I bought a twenty pound turkey, you better believe I was using every last bit of it.

While I usually don’t eat meat, I would rather eat it than throw it away.   So I make turkey noodle soup, using a sad looking turkey carcass (I’ll spare you the photo), some whole wheat pasta that’s been in the cupboard since August 2009 and a rather boring assortment of vegetables. The result:

Not too exciting… Turkey noodle soup.  But don’t you worry.  I brown-ified it and made it a million times better.

The magic additions?  Lime, sour cream and Goya Adobo seasoning.  Tastes like home.

In addition to a turkey, I also had half a large can of pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge.  No way that’s going in the trash.  2 solutions: Pumpkin Pizza and Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin Pizza was inspired by a Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe that someone brought for Thanksgiving.  I made a few changes.

Pumpkin Pizza

inspired by Winter Squash, Onion and Pine Nut Pizza

1 recipe pizza dough (I used Eating Well’s whole wheat pizza dough recipe)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 onion, sliced
about 1/2 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
1-2 tbsp pepitas

In a skillet, heat butter or oil (or both), add onions and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until caramelized and sweet.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Make the pizza dough, shape into whatever pizza dough shape you would like.

In a bowl, mix together pumpkin, sage, nutmeg and salt.  Spread onto pizza dough.  Next layer on caramelized onions and pepitas.  Top with cheese and bake for about 15 minutes or until dough is golden.

Pretty delicious.  Definitely would make it again.

As for the pumpkin biscuits… who doesn’t love a biscuit.

Pumpkin Biscuits

inspired by Eggs on Sunday

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin, sage, nutmeg, salt mixture (same as pizza above)
1 tbsp yogurt (or more as needed)

Preheat oven to 450F.  Combine dry ingredients.  Cut butter into the flour mixture, then add the pumpkin mixture.  Using your hands combine to form a ball.  If you need extra moisture, add some yogurt (I used about a tbsp).  Once the dough is sticky but well combined, roll it out.  Using a cup or biscuit cutter, cut into 5 pieces.  Bake for about 9 minutes.

Goes great with turkey noodle soup!

Now that I used up all my canned pumpkin, I just need to find something to do with these sugar pumpkins…

What should I do with these??

Bourbon Bread Pudding

I probably don’t have to tell you this but this Bourbon Bread Pudding was delicious.

I could probably sing it’s praises for days, but sadly it’s already gone.

Bourbon Bread Pudding

inspired by Epicurious

5 cups wheatberry bread, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
few shakes nutmeg
6 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 tbsp bourbon
2 tsp vanilla

The night or a few hours before, put the bread chunks into a large souffle dish or other baking dish.  In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Pour half the milky liquid over the bread.  Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to soak.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Pour the remaining milk mixture over the bread.  Bake for about an hour or until the top is crispy and if you put a knife in it, it comes out clean.

While it’s baking you can make a creamy bourbon sauce.

Bourbon Cream Sauce

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
3 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp bourbon

Heat cream in a small saucepan.  In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water.  Once cream is just starting to boil, add cornstarch, stir and bring to a light boil.  Turn on heat and add sugar and bourbon and continue to stir.  Let it sit until it reaches room temperature.

Once your bread pudding is cooked.  You can either turn in onto a plate, like I did, or keep it in the dish you baked it in.  Pour half the bourbon sauce over the bread pudding then leave the rest to serve on individual portions.

I think the key to this is the wheat berries.

They add an amazingly chewy texture!

I wish I could rate the wheat berry bread recipe on Bob’s Red Mill’s website because to be perfectly honest the bread on its own is bland and NOT tasty.  However, when turned into this deliciously sweet creation, it is nothing short of amazing!

If you use another bread, I suggest adding 1/2 cup of cooked wheat berries into the mix just to get the nice chewy texture.

This weekend is the last weekend before classes start.  Summer is coming to an end.  I know this sounds nuts, but thank goodness!  I’m ready to be busy!

That being said, I’m going to finish an application!  Have a great weekend!

P.S. Tortilla tutorial coming!