At Pepperdine, sometimes we would drive to West Hollywood and get Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Fried, crispy buttermilk chicken on crunchy sweet waffles topped with maple syrup or gravy. It was this cacophony of flavors, scents, sounds, and a bite of Southern comfort food in Los Angeles. We went there after midnight once, and the line was still long. It’s not something you go eat every day, but it’s something worth remembering.
Ever since Josh went gluten free, breakfast – or dinner – hasn’t been the same. It’s harder to go out for breakfast. I had read a review in a magazine about the best chicken and waffles being served at the Kingfish Cafe. Well, we’d love to go, but gluten is a big ingredient in both fried chicken and crisp waffles. So we haven’t.
But tonight, I decided to make it myself. Sort of.
I had blue cornmeal, so I decided to make blue cornmeal waffles. Then I decided to make double breaded baked chicken. I had watched a Paula Deen episode on her fried chicken once, and her trick was that every single layer or dip was highly seasoned. The egg wash, flour, second egg wash, and batter were spicy. I figured I could do something similar to that. I also got my baked chicken ideas from Eating Well magazine. The Waffle recipe is loosely based on King Arthur Flour’s recipe website.
The chicken wasn’t quite as crispy as if we had fried it, and I think I’d mix in some sort of crunchy cereal or crackrs next time. It was hot, flavorful, and really really filling. The chicken was moist and spicy, the waffles were dense, crunchy from the cornmeal, and slightly sweet. They definitely soaked up the syrup, and even when eaten all together, the dish wasn’t really sweet, per se.
First, I marinated chicken drumsticks and thighs in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce. When I was ready to bread the chicken, I removed them and scrambled in one egg to the remaining marinade. This became my egg wash. Then I combined rice flour and Pamela’s all purpose bread flour. I divided this into two shallow bowls. To one bowl I added salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder. To the second I added Tom Douglas’ Salmon Rub. Stirring the flour mixtures, I piled the flour to one side, creating a flat section and a high piled section. Now I was ready.
Employing the single glove and three bowls method, I dipped my marinated chicken drumsticks into the flour-salt-paprika blend first. Lay the chicken on the low-flour side. Avalanche the flour over the chicken and pat down with the back of a fork. With your gloved hand, lift out the drumstick by the bone and stand it on its top. The excess flour should drop off. Then dip the drumstick into the buttermilk mixture, turning it so the buttermilk coats all sides. Then place the dripping drumstick on the flat side of the Salmon Rub-flour mixture. Cascade the pile of flour over the top. Then pick it up with your gloved hand, stand it on its end, and then place it onto a lightly oiled stoneware baking pan. Repeat until all of the chicken is seasoned. This took about 10 minutes to do 8 pieces. I was trying to be sure to pack on the powdered seasonings.
Once all of the chicken was on the baking sheet, I sprayed each piece with cooking spray and then put it into a 450 degree oven. After 10 minutes, I rotated the chicken pieces. You may need to use a spatula to loosen the chicken so that the breaded part comes off with the chicken. Then continue baking about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
For the waffles, combine the flour and the liquids separately. Then fold them together. It will look thick at first, but let it rest for 10 minutes anyway. It will probably thicken up. You might want to taste the batter or make yourself a mini pancake and adjust seasonings. The waffles also turned out more grey-ish than blue, so if colors are a problem in your cooking, I’d recommend switching to a regular yellow corn meal. And note that corn flour is something completely different and isn’t an automatic substitute.
I started my chicken first and by the time I was ready with the waffle batter, the chicken was ready to flip. Then I had about a 15 minute window to relax. I decided to cook a vegetable, but that’s just because I was feeling guilty about pseudo fried chicken. You don’t have to feel so guilty. Just relax and then enjoy the chicken and waffles.
Anyway, here are the recipes.
Double Breaded, Baked Chicken
8 pieces chicken
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 1/2 cups Pamela’s gluten free bread mix, without the yeast
1/2 cup rice flour
2 tbsp Rub With Love Salmon Rub seasoning
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp chili powder
Peanut or Canola Oil to coat the baking sheet
Makes 12 waffles
1 1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking Mix (already has leavening)
1 cup blue cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter and oil mixture (just mix the two to get 5 tbsp)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract