Chicken and Waffles Smothered in Country Gravy: A Southern Delight
Blog post description.
From the heart of the South emerges a dish that seamlessly melds the sweetness of breakfast with the savory allure of dinner: Chicken and Waffles. While many trace its origins to ancient times, it was the Pennsylvania Dutch who introduced the combination of fried chicken and waffles topped with gravy to America. Yet, it was the African American community in Harlem during the Jazz Age that transformed this dish into an iconic soul food sensation, replacing the gravy with syrup.
Today's culinary landscape sees a delightful evolution of this classic. In the innovative spirit of Southern cuisine, we've integrated a sumptuous twist: Country Gravy. This creamy, peppery elixir elevates the dish from simply delightful to downright divine. As you embark on this gastronomic journey, reminiscent of comforting Sunday brunches and cherished family gatherings, we're here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a fervent devotee of comfort food, our Chicken and Waffle smothered in Country Gravy recipe promises an unforgettable experience for both the palate and the soul. Dive in and savor the rich tapestry of flavors that make this dish a Southern masterpiece.
Preparing the Fried Chicken
Marinate the Chicken:
In a large bowl, mix buttermilk with your chosen seasonings (salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc.).
Place chicken pieces in the mixture, ensuring they're fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Tip: Marinating overnight ensures the chicken is tender and fully infused with flavors.
Dredging and Frying:
In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose flour with some of the same seasonings used for the marinade.
Heat your vegetable oil or lard in a deep skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. The oil should be about 1.5 to 2 inches deep in the pan. Tip: Use a thermometer to ensure the oil temperature is around 350°F (175°C) for the crispiest crust.
Remove chicken from the buttermilk marinade, allowing the excess to drip off.
Dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour, ensuring it's thoroughly coated.
Carefully place chicken pieces in the hot oil. Fry until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes per side, depending on the size of the piece.
Once cooked, set them aside on a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. This helps retain the chicken's crispiness better than paper towels.
Preparing the Waffles
Prepare the Batter:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and then mix in the milk or buttermilk, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Tip: Be cautious not to overmix the batter, as this can lead to dense waffles.
Cooking the Waffles:
Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Lightly grease the waffle iron if needed. Tip: A light brush of melted butter or a spray of cooking spray can prevent sticking and add an extra golden crunch.
Pour the batter onto the center of the hot waffle iron.
Close the lid and cook until the waffles are golden brown and crisp.
Preparing the Country Gravy
Preparing the Roux:
In a skillet, use the pan drippings from the fried chicken or melt butter over medium heat.
Whisk in the all-purpose flour, stirring continuously until the mixture turns a light golden brown. Tip: Cooking the roux until it's golden ensures a richer flavor in the gravy.
Making the Gravy:
Slowly pour in the milk while continuously whisking to combine smoothly. Tip: Adding milk gradually prevents lumps and ensures a smooth, creamy gravy.
Continue to cook and whisk the mixture until it thickens into a creamy gravy.
Season with salt and pepper. For a deeper flavor profile, consider a dash of cayenne or white pepper.
Assembling the Dish
Place a freshly cooked waffle on a plate. Set your fried chicken piece(s) atop the waffle. Generously ladle or pour the warm country gravy over the ensemble. Tip: For a flavor contrast and an added layer of depth, a light drizzle of maple syrup or a splash of hot sauce can elevate the dish.
For the Fried Chicken
Chicken pieces: Preferably a mix of thighs, drumsticks, and breasts - about 2 to 3 pounds
2 cups of Buttermilk for marinating
2 cups of All-purpose flour for dredging
1 teaspoon (or to taste) of Salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic powder
4 to 5 cups of Frying Oil
For the Waffles
2 cups of All-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
2 large Eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of Milk or buttermilk
Unsalted butter: Melted, 6 tablespoons
2 tablespoons of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract (optional but recommended)
For the Country Gravy
About 3 to 4 tablespoons of pan drippings. If using butter, unsalted is preferable
3 tablespoons of All-purpose flour
2 cups of Milk
Salt and black pepper to taste. You can start with 1/2 teaspoon of each and adjust according to your preference.