Monday, April 21, 2008

You've got what will you do with it?

So you've been to the maple breakfast, eaten your weight in pancakes, and bought a jug or two of that sweet, amber goodness on your way out the door. Now what are you going to do with it? Of course, there are endless tasty things to do with real, local, fresh maple syrup, from sweet to savory applications. But it might be nice to start off enjoying it straight up, the way the Good Lord intended us to eat it...on WAFFLES! I have had waffles on the brain for some time, but I was haunted by the memory of the ethereal ones at Amy Ruth's in Harlem. Nothing could ever live up to those! So I was forlorn. (Sidebar: When will the good people of Amy Ruth's put out their own cookbook? It's high time, I say!) Then, to my great surprise and delight, I stumbled upon their recipe for chicken and waffles in a Today Show archive (apparently chef Carl Redding was on the show a couple of years ago, demonstrating his techniques for Al Roker). Lucky, lucky me! It was definitely worth busting out the Belgian waffler. The waffles were light and crisp, and when slathered in melted butter and warm maple syrup--what more could you need? Fried chicken, that's what!

I know it sounds like an odd combination if you've never tried it, but it's heavenly. Think of it as a cousin to honey-dipped fried chicken--same principle. And who doesn't love that salty-sweet thing? Though I've never had much luck making fried chicken at home, their recipe is a simple as it gets and really quite delicious. I always thought you had to abide by the traditional triple-dunk method (flour then egg then flour again, or another coating of your choice). But this one only coats in flour once, and that's it. And you'd think they'd marinate the chicken ahead of time or some other fancy maneuver, but no. They just season it well, flour, and fry. As basic as can be, and it's remarkably good. (However, I am considering trying a buttermilk soak overnight next time just for shiggles.) In any case, this sweet and savory meal gets a very enthusiastic thumbs-up from me--and it's perfect for everyone's favorite meal, BRINNER! Do give it a try before the weather changes for good and lighter fare prevails. Plus, you've got to use up that maple syrup you just bought, right?

Amy Ruth's Waffles
(Source: Carl Redding, via The Today Show)

6 eggs, room temperature and separated
4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
3 cups milk
16 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted and cooled

Beat egg whites in a small bowl until stiff and set aside. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Combine egg yolk, milk and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Fold in beaten egg whites until just mixed. Do not over-beat batter. Pour 2 cups waffle batter onto waffle iron. Bake 2-1/2 minutes at 250ºF (may vary depending on waffle iron). Plate and garnish with butter and maple syrup, or fruit topping, nuts, whipped cream or powdered sugar.

*Note: I halved this recipe, and it still made a LOT of waffles! But you can always freeze the extras and then crisp them back up in your toaster for breakfast. Presto, homemade Eggos!

Southern Fried Chicken
(Source: Carl Redding via
The Today Show)
6 servings (yeah, right! try 2-4)

3 cups vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3-1/2 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat until hot (350º F). Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge each chicken part in flour. Be sure the oil has reached the ideal temperature of 350ºF. Fry chicken 15 minutes until golden brown (turning occasionally). Remove chicken parts from hot oil and let it drain well on paper towels. Serve hot.

1 comment:

jj said...

Oh yes, there's just nothing like real, fresh maple syrup on home made waffles! Gosh that looked good...been eating frozen waffles far too often as of late!