Simple…Spicy & Fit…I always wanted to make my own colorful version of chicken and waffles. I was browsing through Pinterest and saw red velvet waffles…and that was the beginning. Why not make a fun, spicy version without all of the fat and frying and make it simple?
I was curious about the history and it is an interesting one. I read on www.texas.spoonuniversity.com and and www.dameschickenandwaffles.com that the history of chicken and waffles goes back to the days of Thomas Jefferson in the 1790s when he started a popular trend of waffles and it began to gain more attention.
In the 1920s-1940s, in NYC Harlem, the music and artistic industry was growing and many diners were staying open late to accommodate the artists’ schedules. One establishment in particular, Wells Supper Club, used to always have fried chicken left over from the day and wanted to find a way to serve this delicious food without wasting it. They paired it with sweet, freshly made waffles and this delectable combination was born and is still used today!
As I am always looking to add color and make it healthier in my take out recipes…how can I make fried chicken and waffles healthier? Years ago, Oprah aired that show where she took her coat off and was skinny and it was one of those memories in television that stuck with us. After that, she hired a chef, Rosie Daley to cook her healthy meals with real food. My mom bought the cookbook and made us the best (what I thought) fried chicken I ever had. She said, “No, it’s baked. I covered it in yogurt, then dipped it in bread crumbs and baked it”. The yogurt made a skin, was crispy and kept the chicken moist and tender inside. I couldn’t believe what I was eating and it always stayed in the back of my mind. As soon as I came up with the idea of sharing colorful chicken and waffles with all of you…I wanted to make it healthier, so this idea was born. The lovely part of this is that you make sure the chicken has no skin, then you dust it with a flour combination, dip and cover it in yogurt, then roll it in flavored panko bread crumbs…then drizzle it with oil and put in the oven. When you bite into it, it is flavored, spicy and you will have to close your eyes, because you will think you’re in heaven! Pair that with a red velvet, crispy, sweet waffle drizzled with a maple syrup slices of spicy jalapeño and you are in business!
Spicy Fit Chicken & Red Velvet Waffles
2 cups all purpose flour (sprouted flour as a substitute)
3 tbsp raw sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (if not in pantry, add 1 1/2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to milk or almond milk and it will create buttermilk)
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp spray oil
1 tbsp red velvet food coloring (cake supplies store provides the best food coloring for baking)
Chicken & Coatings
3 organic skinless chicken breasts (cut in half)
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 cup all purpose flour (sprouted flour as a substitute)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 tbsp olive oil (drizzled olive oil on top before it goes into the oven)
salt and pepper (sprinkle on top before it goes into the oven)
1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 green jalapeño (thinly sliced on top of the final dish)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the waffle iron as to the manufacturers instructions.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, buttermilk, eggs, red velvet food coloring, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. Use the spray oil on the hot waffle iron and pour 1/3 cup of the red waffle mixture in the center and gently smooth it and close the waffle iron. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because the waffle iron will smooth it out once it is closed. When the light turns green, remove the waffle and put it on a cooling rack. Set aside.
In one bowl, place the panko bread crumbs and add salt and pepper to them. In another bowl, add the greek yogurt, and in the third bowl add the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne (mixed). Place the raw chicken in the flour mixture, then coat it in the greek yogurt mixture, then finish it in the panko mixture. Place in a dish or cookie sheet and add some additional salt and pepper on the top of the chicken, then drizzle olive oil on each piece. Place in the hot oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the center of the chicken is 165 degrees.
Place the red velvet waffle on the plate, the chicken on top and adorn it with thin slices of a green jalapeño and drizzle the top with maple syrup! Enjoy!!