Chicken & Waffles Recipe from Chef Will

This is the first entree that I served when I took over the Silo Suites, nearly four years ago! We serve a rather untraditional take on chicken and waffles. Starting with our yeasted cornmeal waffle, which is very light and airy but still has good integrity and crunch when you cut into it. It also soaks up butter, and our sauce very well. We split our maple syrup with sherry wine and sherry vinegar to give it some more acidity and depth. Last, we have our fried chicken which is a cross between a Japanese kara-age style and a southern style buttermilk brined, fried chicken. We top it with parmesan cheese for a little extra umami! If you’ve stayed in our B&B for more than a couple nights, chances are you’ve gotten to try this!

Cornmeal Waffles [Ingredients] 

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted for toasting the waffles

Cornmeal Waffles [method] 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, yeast, and sugar.
  • Heat milk, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 100ºF and the butter is fully melted. (If the mixture gets too hot, cool it down to 100ºF before proceeding.)
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and rest overnight in a warm place.
  • Preheat a waffle iron. Whisk eggs and baking soda in a small bowl, then mix into the batter. Cook waffles in a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Brush with melted butter. (Waffles can also be made a few hours in advance and reheated. When ready to serve, reheat the waffles in a convection oven at 350ºF for 2 to 4 minutes until warm and crispy.)

Maple-Sherry Glaze [Ingredients] 

  • 1/4 cup sherry (preferably oloroso)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar

Maple-Sherry Glaze [method]  

Add sherry to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add syrup, sugar, and vinegar. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until reduced by one-third. Makes about 2/3 cup. (Glaze can be made several days ahead and refrigerated; gently reheat before serving.)

Fried Chicken [Ingredients] 

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra to season
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup Wondra or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Bunch of sage, leaves only

Fried Chicken [method] 

  • Arrange chicken in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Pour buttermilk over and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Drain. (Chicken can be refrigerated overnight at this point.)
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, Wondra (or all-purpose) flour, potato starch, cornstarch, garlic powder, ground ginger, and smoked paprika.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep saucepan set over medium heat to a temperature of 365ºF. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack on another baking sheet. Set them both near the stove.
  • While the oil is heating, dredge chicken into the flour mixture, one piece at a time, and set on the wire rack. Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before frying to help the coating adhere. Working in batches, lower 3 to 4 chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining chicken.  (Tip: Let the oil return to 365ºF between batches and don’t let it fall below 340ºF while frying.)
  • Add sage leaves to the hot oil and fry for 10 seconds, until they stop popping. Drain on paper towels.

Assembly [Ingredients] 

  • Bunch of chives, minced
  • 2 oz Parmesan, grated

Assembly [method] 

  • Place the fried chicken in a bowl and drizzle generously with sherry glaze. Toss to coat, then add chives and toss again.
  • Place a buttered waffle on each plate, spoon chicken on top and drizzle a little extra glaze around the plate and on top of the waffle. Sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with a few fried sage leaves.