The Award-Winner!Every year the World Cares Center puts on the Iron Skillet Cook-Off, where top chefs compete head-to-head against FDNY Firefighters to make the best dish. The World Cares Center is a non-profit organization founded after September 11, 2001 that helps train people to be ready and able to respond to disasters so that they can assist other people. Since it is in the firefighters' second nature to help the community, they don't often like to be praised for doing what they feel is their job, so the Iron Skillet Cook-Off is the World Cares Center's way to thank the firefighters while still letting them indulge in some friendly competition, and help the community at the same time.
The way the competition works is that the firefighters choose the dish they want to compete with, and then the pro chefs are only given the name of the firefighter's dish and have to create their own recipe from the name. The dishes were outstanding and it was hard to tell what was made by a pro chef, and what was made by a firefighter. And the winner is…
Fried Buttermilk Chicken and Sweet Potato Waffles
By Firefighter Khalid Baylor
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN
1 (3 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups buttermilk
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup self- rising flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of zested ginger
2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1. Toss the chicken, buttermilk, chopped cilantro, zested ginger and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate, 1 hour.
- 2. Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep- fry thermometer registers 360.
- 3. Mix the flour, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl. Remove the dark meat from the buttermilk, shake off the excess and roll in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour, place in the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes (adjust the heat as needed). Drain on paper towels.
- 4. Reheat the oil to 360 degrees F. Repeat with the chicken breast and wings, frying for about 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
PEACH SCHNAPPS SYRUP
1 can peaches in syrup drained
½ cup peach schnapps
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup of your favorite shelf syrup
- 1. Heat pan
- 2. Sautee peaches until brown
- 3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter
- 4. Add peach schnapps away from flame
- 5. Combine syrup and nutmeg
SWEET POTATO WAFFLE
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 sweet potato pureed
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs whipped
2 cups whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 orange zest
- 1. Pre-heat your waffle iron to its hottest setting. Placing a cookie-sheet under it can help catch any batter drippage during cooking.
- 2. Pre-heat oven to 200°F.
- 3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- 4. Beat eggs to whipped consistency. Whisk in sweet potato pureed, sugar, milk and oil.
- 5. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Don't overmix!
- 6. Spray both surfaces of your waffle iron with cooking spray.
- 7. Ladle 4 to 6 oz (½ to ¾ cup) batter on the iron and close it. It's not unusual for a bit of batter to seep out of the edges of the iron. If there's excessive leakage, use less batter for the next waffle.
- 8. Cook until the waffle irons indicator light shows that cooking is complete, or until no more steam comes out. The finished waffle should be golden brown and crispy.
- 9. Lift the waffle out of the iron with a pair of tongs and either serve right away or transfer it to the oven to keep warm.
WHITE CHOCOLATE COMPOUND BUTTER
1 lb butter salted (room temp)
½ cup chopped white chocolate
1 tablespoon zested lemon
1 teaspoon zested ginger
- 1. Combine all ingredients and mix.