Break out your skillet: July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day. Celebrated chef Bobby Flay shares a recipe for fried chicken and waffles that comes straight from Harlem.
"It was invented by the singers and musicians who performed during the neighborhood's famous Jazz Age," He tells Yahoo! Shine. "Their gigs would last until the early hours of the morning. Hungry after a long night, they found fried chicken fit the bill, but at the same time, the sun would be rising and a breakfast of waffles sounded pretty good, too."
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Flay says he put his own spin on the classic soul food dish by adding wild rice to the waffles for a nutty flavor and serving it up with sweet honey and mild pink peppercorns. He acknowledges that today's home cooks can be intimidated by deep frying but says you'll be fine if you prep carefully. "Be organized when dredging, have a thermometer to monitor temperature of oil, have a rack ready to cool chicken properly when it comes out of the oil, and season the chicken while it still has some hot oil on the outside so that the salt adheres."
Bobby Flay's Fried Chicken and Wild Rice Waffles With Pink Peppercorn Butter & Maple-Horseradish Syrup
Process: Prepare the waffle batter and sauces, set aside. Cook the chicken. While chicken rests and drains on a rack, cook the waffles.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
1 quart plus 2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt to taste
2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder or 2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 chickens (3 to 4 pounds each), each cut up into 8 pieces
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
1. Whisk together 1 quart of the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt, and the chile de arbol or hot sauce in a large bowl or large baking dish. Add the chicken, turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Place the remaining 2 cups of buttermilk in a bowl.
2. Stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika, and cayenne in a large bowl. Divide the flour mixture between 2 large shallow bowls and season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Drain the chicken in a colander and pat it dry. Dredge the a few pieces at a time in the flour mixture and pat off excess, then dip in the second bowl of buttermilk and allow excess to drain off. Dredge in the second bowl of flour and pat off the excess. Put the chicken pieces on a baking rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.
4. Pour about 3 inches of oil into a large, deep cast-iron skillet; the oil should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pan. Put the pot over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, add the chicken pieces to the hot oil, 3 or 4 pieces at a time, and fry, turning occasionally, until evenly golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a metal rack to drain; repeat to cook the remaining pieces. Salt to taste. Be sure to stay in kitchen throughout the process, as unattended hot oil is dangerous.
Pink Peppercorn Butter
2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
3 tablespoons clover honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until combined. Leftover butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. Leftover syrup mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Wild Rice Waffles
½ cup cooked wild rice
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups buttermilk
4 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup melted unsalted butter, plus more for the waffle maker
1. Place ½ cup wild rice in saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer, covered, for 30-50 minutes until grains are tender and puffed and some kernels have split open. Remove from heat and drain in a colander.
2. Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and oil in a separate large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until the mixture just comes together. Add the wild rice and melted butter and fold until just combined. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes.
4. While the mixture is resting, heat the waffle maker. Brush the waffle grates with some of the melted butter and cook the waffles until they are golden and just cooked through.
Spread a waffle with some of the pink peppercorn butter, top with a few pieces of the chicken, and drizzle with the maple-horseradish syrup.
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