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Can I just pause for a second and tell you that I can’t even pretend food is just for sustenance. Food is so much more to me and as much as I hate what the term has become, I totally identify as “a foodie”. Food is a journey, a destination, and an experience. I love the salty with the sweet, the hot with the cool and creamy, the indulgent and the simplistic. I love to try new things, and new pairings and expand my umami so to speak. I’ve often talked to so many people about my intense love for Fried Chicken and Waffles and gotten looks of disgust and complete and utter confusion, but to me, any breakfast food, any time, sounds like a party.
I first had Fried Chicken and Waffles when I lived in the South. For some reason I always knew I would love it, I just had never been given the opportunity to try it. It was love at first bite and I spent a good portion of my adult life trying to recreate that experience.
If you have never had the pairing of Fried Chicken and Waffles you might be missing out on the single most amazing food pairing you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Trust me guys, have I steered you wrong yet?
Here’s my single biggest problem with making Fried Chicken and Waffles at home. I cannot for the life of me, make fried chicken. I mean, once in a blue moon I get it right – crispy flavorful skin on the outside, juicy chicken inside, breading that is perfectly golden brown that sticks when you bite into it and doesn’t fall off into a soggy greasy mess on your plate. Some of us got it, and some of us don’t. I’ve never mastered the intricacy of it.
Plus? Deep frying food in the summer sounds like the ultimate worst thing I could ever imagine. My kitchen has ONE WINDOW FOLKS! ONE WINDOW! And it’s in the corner, so the heat gets trapped and temperatures can get into the 90’s in my tiny little kitchen. Sound’s like heaven right? I swear, when we move and buy a house, the perfect kitchen is TOP on my list as a must have.
So, frying chicken is a no go in the summer, that’s an obvious thing. But I dunno about you, I think fried chicken just sort of is the perfect summer meal. It’s great for picnics and parties, and holidays. Everyone loves fried chicken! Don’t even sit there and pretend you don’t love it. I’ve resulted in grabbing fried chicken from the Walmart Deli while I’m already there shopping, taking it home and popping it in the oven to keep it warm til it’s time to eat it. If there is someone who knows what they’re doing and is perfectly equipped to do it for me, that is a service I will be taking advantage of, you know what I mean?
So chicken is handled, let’s get down to waffles!
Waffles, on their own, can be pretty boring. You gotta doctor them up with all sorts of delicious things, butter, syrup, bacon… that’s right. Bacon Waffles. That’s how we roll around here. I sprinkle crumbled bacon into my batter before I close the lid on my waffle iron! Genius! You’re welcome!
Then I got to thinking… If I can sprinkle bacon, why couldn’t I do cheese? Or onions? Or jalapenos? I mean come on! Savory waffles go with fried chicken like peanut butter and jelly, Sonny and Cher, Starbucks and Free Wifi!
Then the idea of a Savory Waffle Bar popped into my head. What a fun way to fancy up some fried chicken at a party! I am all about Food Bars. Pasta Bar, Salad Bar, Baked Potato Bar, Dessert Bar. I love ’em! And it’s an affordable way to feed an army and make it fun.
All you need to turn your 4th of July party into a fun and easy time everyone will remember is some Walmart Deli Fried Chicken, the simple waffle batter recipe below and a variety of mix-ins! I went with full savory mix-ins, but you could totally do sweet stuff like fruits and chocolate chips too!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups warm milk
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; beat until blended.
- Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Sprinkle your mix-ins on the top of the batter and close the lid. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Serve immediately.
Stumped on ideas for mix-ins? Try these!
- Bacon Crumbles
- Shredded Cheese
- Andouille Sausage
- Hot Dogs
- Black Olives
- Tomato Slices
The list is literally endless – feel free to use my ideas, or pick your own favorites!
Pile your plate high with waffles, chicken and a hefty helping of syrup and happiness!
Don’t forget to jazz up your waffle bar with adorable Red, White and Blue decor for 4th of July! Have a safe and happy 4th everyone!!