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!

Waffle Weekend!

It’s Sunday morning, and there’s no better reason to sleep in. With little to do this morning, and with breakfast being a quick and easy fix, why wake up and spend the time cooking? Yesterday, I made a batch of waffles while Steve fried up some bacon. We had plenty left over and we even reserved the pan the bacon was fried in so we could sauté some pears and apples in the leftover fond. Our breakfast yesterday was a simple waffle and bacon with maple syrup. This morning though, we upped the ante for brunch with a sauté of apple and pear, a couple of waffles, crumbled bacon, with a drizzle of maple syrup and yogurt topped with blood orange segments on the side. It was such a feast we definitely needed to take a long walk in the park to work off some of the calories.

Saturday’s Simple Breakfast: Waffles and Bacon

I used Bittman’s quick buttermilk waffle recipe from How to Cook Everything, substituting ½ of the flour with whole wheat flour to make it a little healthy. Frying the bacon is a pretty easy thing to do. The only thing to remember is patience. You’ll want to render the bacon slowly so it doesn’t burn. A quick tip we picked up from America’s Test Kitchen is to roll each slice individually and then freeze the rolled slices for a latter use. This way you can purchase a large quantity of bacon and always have it on hand. If you own a microwave oven just pop a few slices in and defrost. If you’re like us, and don’t own one, just place the frozen bacon rolls in the pan on very low heat. As they defrost, unroll using two forks. It’s a bit time consuming but it’s well worth the effort.

Blood Orange Yogurt

After the bacon is cooked, pour the grease in a small ceramic container for later use. Never pour hot grease in a plastic container. (It’s great to fry potatoes in, or sauté onions, or substitute the grease for anything that you would normally fry in butter.) Add a little butter to the pan and sauté a couple apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, or chopped pineapple (whatever fresh fruit is in season that goes well with bacon). Allow the fruit to brown slightly and soften.

Enjoy your breakfast with the Sunday paper and a cup of coffee. It’s Sunday after all and there’s no better day to relax and indulge.


Jason & Steve

Rich Buttermilk Waffles (from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)

2 cups all-purpose flour (or up to half whole-wheat, graham, rye, buckwheat, etc.)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¾ cups buttermilk or 1 ½ cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with ¼ milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Canola or other neutral oil for brushing on waffle iron

Preheat the waffle iron and brush lightly with oil.

Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix together the buttermilk and egg yolks. Sir in the cooled butter and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites, in two parts, into the waffle batter.

Depending on the size of the waffles, use an ice cream scoop or ladle to add enough batter to fill the waffle maker, but not too much so that it oozes out the sides. Cook for 3-5 minutes and keep the waffles warm in the oven.

The waffles can also be cooked, cooled, and frozen for a quick and easy breakfast any day of the week.