Chicken and Waffles

Nov 17, 2018


MY KEY WEST KITCHEN” Norman & Justin Van Aken

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 rib celery, cut into large dice

1 clove garlic, roughy chopped

1 quality chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces

Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

Maple syrup, for drizzling


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon dry mustard powder

2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1 Tablespoon pimentón or sweet paprika

1 Tablespoon roasted ground cumin

1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


2 cups cornmeal

3/4 cup whole rye flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups low-fat buttermilk

2 large eggs

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Puree the bone ingredients in a blender.  Place the chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag and add them brine; refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, stirring once or twice.  Drain the chicken in a colander over the sink.

Whisk the seasoned flour ingredients together in a shallow bowl, then dredge the chicken pieces through it twice, shaking off excess flour in between.  Place on a rack in the fridge for 1 hour to “cure” the flour so it adheres to the chicken after frying.

Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy frying pan to come a third of the way up the sides and heat over high heat until the oil reaches 350 degreesF on a deep-frying thermometer.  Starting with dark meat, lay the pieces in the pan skin side down.  After 2 to 3 minutes, add the white meat.  (I like to keep the thighs in the middle of the pan where the heat is most direct since they take the most time to cook.).  Continue cooking the chicken for about 10 minutes on each side or, more importantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when the chicken is pierced at its thickest part.  Transfer to a wire rack and keep warm by tenting with aluminum foil.

Make the waffles:  Place the cornmeal, rye flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large plastic container with a lid and shake well to combine.  In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and butter, then whisk in the flour mixture.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Make the waffles, according to your waffle maker’s instructions.

Place a waffle on a plate, drizzle with maple syrup, add a piece of chicken, drizzle again and serve.