Oven Fried Chicken & Waffles

Ah, fried chicken and waffles! Folks have been serving them together for ages, but the combo has enjoyed a lengthy renaissance of sorts in recent years. Mostly likely Southern soul food-inspired, interest in this decidedly decadent dish grew to a near frenzy back in the ’00s. Today it’s standard chow, found on menus just about everywhere.

With a chicken in the fridge, and too many jars of bacon fat, we felt tempted to fry it up with as much bacon fat as possible. Inspired by Ina Garten’s Oven-Fried Chicken and Julia Moskin’s Best Fried Chicken, we incorporated elements of the two recipes to come up with this version. We served the chicken with a batch of  Black Pepper and Parmesan Belgian waffles, a tweeked version of King Arthur’s Classic Buttermilk Waffles, and plenty of hot maple syrup, crunchy salt flakes and Tabasco. Stick-to-your-ribs dinner fare!

Our eyes were bigger than our bellies on this one. A whole frying chicken will easily feed four adults when combined with crispy Belgian waffles. So this one is for a family or party of four or more. Of course, if you’re like us, you’ll make it a little party anyway and serve it with Sazeracs. Next time we whip up a batch we’ll make sure to invite a few friends over.

If you happen to have leftover waffles, freeze them. They last for weeks and toast up quickly. Any leftover chicken can easily be turned into a quick fried chicken sandwich or salad.

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Best Oven Fried Chicken

1 chicken cut in eight pieces
1 cup kefir
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 – 1 cup bacon fat (strained of all pieces)
vegetable oil for frying

Place the cut up chicken in a gallon sized plastic bag, add the kefir and zip shut. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. In a gallon sized plastic bag, or bowl, add the flour, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Whisk together and set aside.

After marinating, remove the chicken from the kefir. Add a piece or two to the bag of flour, or bowl, and coat each piece. Set aside on a plate or tray. Continue with the rest of the chicken pieces.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add a baking tray and rack to the oven.

In a large fry pan on medium heat add the vegetable oil and allow to reach 350 – 360 degree. Slowly add the bacon fat and bring back up to heat. When oil is hot enough, gently, but quickly, add one piece at a time, about three to four piece. The size of the pan will determine the number of pieces that can be cooked at one time.

Fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and place on the rack in the oven to continue to bake, another 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink at the bone.

Black Pepper and Parmesan Waffles

1 3/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
2 teaspoons (or more) freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups kefir
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flours, Parmigiano Reggiano, black pepper, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl beat together the eggs, kefir, and melted butter.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until almost smooth. A few small clumps may be present.

Heat the waffle iron. Once ready gently spray with non-stick spray. Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the batter to the waffle maker, or however much your waffle iron can hold. Cook until golden brown. Place in the oven to keep warm.

Serve the waffles and fried chicken with warm maple syrup or gravy.


2 ounces Bulleit Rye
1/2 tsp sugar
Several dashes of angostura bitters
A dash of Absinthe or enough to coat the bottom and sides of the cocktail glass without dripping out
Lemon twist

Note: This is a labor intensive cocktail that requires a little planning. It’s worth every second it takes to prepare!

Set serving class in freezer to chill. In a rocks glass, add sugar and bitters and stir until sugar begins to dissolve. Add bourbon or rye and muddle them until the sugar is completely dissolved (this takes time).

Remove cocktail glass from freezer and add absinthe, turning glass on its side to coat the bottom and inside of the glass. To the bourbon sugar bitters mixture, add 2 or 3 ice cubes and stir until chilled. Strain into frozen cocktail glasses.

Garnish with a piece of lemon zest (use a veggie peeler). Be sure to twist the lemon peel over the surface of the cocktail so that the oils “spritz” over the surface. Cheers!

Post-Run Smoothie

Not to sound like dirty hippies, but we are dirty hippies. After a long run we like having a cool refreshing smoothie, but we think making something as simple as a fruit smoothie at home makes infinitely more sense than spending the money on the junk in the bottles. Homemade smoothies are the perfect solution to the overripe fruit sitting on our counters (American households toss away a lot of rotten fruit each year). Our over-ripe bananas and other fruit go into our freezer for future smoothie use. We like mixing things up depending on what we have on hand. Today it happened to be mango and banana.

We’ve developed our own “super food” supplement blend that adds both flavor and nutrition to our smoothies and we try to include it no matter what else we add. These are whole or very minimally processed foods (dried, hulled, ground) that you can find in most well stocked grocery stores; hemp seeds, goji berries, bee pollen, chia seeds, and dried white mulberries. Grinding them in the blender first breaks everything down to a fine powder.

We typically only drink smoothies after a hard run. All that physical spending requires a refueling, and nothing hits the mark more effectively than a bunch of whole fresh food blended into a cool, thick, tasty and nutritious mini-meal! Smoothies are quick to build and serve, plus they’re an efficient delivery system for the macro and micro-nutrients our bodies crave after a hard workout.

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Mango Banana Smoothie
2 servings

1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon dried mulberries
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon bee pollan
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut water
1 frozen banana*
1 ripe mango (or other fruit, fresh or frozen)
1 cup kefir or yogurt

Add the chia seeds, goji berries, dried mulberries, hemp seeds, bee pollan, and cinnamon to your blender. Blend until it turns into a powder. Add the coconut water and blend for a few seconds. Add the banana, mango, and kefir to the blender. With the top on, blend until smooth. Add more coconut water if the smoothie is too thick. Pour into two glasses and enjoy.

*To peel the banana, run it under cold water and remove the peel with your fingers or a knife. It’s ok if some of the peel is still attached.