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Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles

BY Karl Tessendorf

It’s one of life’s truly great comforts with its sweet, salty, crunchy and pillowy combination of flavours.

  • Makes : 6 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 10 mins |
  • Cook Time : 30 mins
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The Chicken

1 C (250 ml) buttermilk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sea salt
1 kg free range thighs and drumsticks

2 C (500 ml) flour
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
canola oil, for frying

The Spice Mix

1 Tbsp (15 ml) paprika
1 Tbsp (15 ml) smoked paprika
2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sea salt
2 tsp (10 ml) dried thyme
2 tsp (10 ml) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin powder
1 tsp (5 ml) chilli powder
1 tsp (5 ml) mustard powder

The Waffles
If you want to cheat this part then just use a pre-bought waffle mix, or use this easy recipe.

1 ¾  C (430 ml) flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2,5 ml)  salt
1 ¾ C (430 ml) milk
2 eggs
½ C (125 ml) melted butter

To Serve

crispy fried bacon bits
golden syrup

 

Chicken Preparation (to be done the night before if possible, or at least a few hours before)

Mix the spices together and then halve into two portions. Mix the buttermilk with the salt and one half of the spice mixture. Reserve the remaining spice mix to add to the flour for dusting. Pour the spiced buttermilk over the chicken pieces and place in a sealed container in the fridge overnight. Give it a shake up every now and then to ensure an even coating.

The next day, remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature well before the time of cooking. This is very important as cold chicken means that the batter will fall off during the fry.

Place the flour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining spice mix.

Once the chicken is at room temperature, shake the excess buttermilk off. Dredge each piece of chicken in the spice mix and give it a really good coating. You can even press the flour on to the skin to create a coating. Dust off any excess flour and carefully lay the chicken on a roasting rack to set. Give the chicken at least 10 minutes to rest with the coating.

In the meantime, you can mix the waffle mixture up so it’s ready to go when you need to make the waffles.

The Waffles

Add the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and lightly whisk together to combine and distribute the baking powder evenly. In a separate bowl add the milk, eggs and melted butter and whisk lightly. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Allow to stand for about 30 minutes before using.

The Chicken continued

Add canola oil to a Dutch oven (or deep fryer) until it is one-third full and bring it up to 160 °C. The ideal frying temperature for fried chicken is 150 °C but the oil temperature will drop when the chicken hits the oil so start at 160 °C. Adjust the heat as you go if necessary to keep it around 150 °C.

Carefully add about 4 pieces of chicken, one at a time. If your pot/fryer is bigger then add a few more pieces of chicken until you feel comfortable but don’t overcrowd the pot. Give the chicken a good minute to cook before moving it.

This gives the coating time to secure itself to the chicken. After a minute, carefully begin to move the chicken around, flipping it every so often to ensure an even cook. It should take around 10 minutes at 150 °C to cook the chicken. Remove from the oil and place on a roasting rack to drain the oil. Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken – it should be above 71 °C. Season while still hot.

Repeat the process until all the chicken is cooked. While the chicken cooks you can make your waffles. When the waffles are ready and the chicken is cooked you can serve with crispy bacon bits and syrup.