Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gluten-Free Cheddar Jalapeno Waffles with Spicy Fried Chicken & Bourbon Maple Syrup

Meat & Potatoes in downtown Pittsburgh has the most AMAZING Fried Chicken and Cheddar Jalapeno Waffles with Bourbon Maple Syrup! Or so I’ve heard. 

Although the hubby orders them almost every time we hit up M&P for Saturday or Sunday brunch, I’ve never even tasted them. Not that I haven’t wanted to, mind you…the old gluten enemy prevents me from tasting even a tempting smidgen. Damn gluten.

This morning I got my sweet (okay, more savory than sweet) revenge! I made all of it from scratch and gluten-free. Take THAT gluten!  You will not defeat me…(cue the evil laugh here)! I’d go into all the glorious detail of small sighs and moans that escaped my lips whilst in the throes of fried chicken and waffle ecstasy, but I’ve probably said more than enough already. Suffice it to say, the hubster declared my version even better than M&P…smart man.

(That old Gluten Devil not an issue for you? Just substitute regular all purpose flour for the gluten-free flour and proceed. Easy!)

Gluten-Free Cheddar Jalapeno Waffles with 
Spicy Fried Chicken & Bourbon Maple Syrup

Serves 4

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into 3 "fingers" each - more if the breasts are really big
  • 1/2 cup panko, gluten-free to make this GF, regular if gluten isn't an issue
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, divided

  • 1 cup maple syrup, the REAL stuff! If you're going to do it, do it RIGHT! Otherwise you're wasting good bourbon.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon - more to your liking

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, Jule's gluten free all purpose flour or another GOOD gf blend - regular if gluten isn't an issue
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 jalapeno chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced very finely
  • 2 eggs, separated (You know this means the yolks from the whites in different cups, don't you? Otherwise, do not go further in the recipe. ; - )
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Chicken: In a plastic bag, mix panko, cornmeal, spices and salt well. Add the chicken fingers and shake, coating each finger well.
On a baking sheet with a raised edge all around, drizzle 1/2 the oil and spread it evenly over the sheet. Put it into the oven for a minute to heat NOT let it smoke. Place each chicken finger on the hot oil in the sheet, leaving room between each, drizzle the rest of the oil evenly over the chicken fingers. Bake for 15 minutes, turn each one over and bake another 10 minutes or so until crispy. Remove to plate and keep warm while you make the waffles.
Syrup: Mix syrup and bourbon. Done.
Waffles: In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, flour through sugar.  Put the egg whites into your small mixer bowl and beat until the whites are stiff, but not dry. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat by hand the egg yolks and milk and then quickly beat in the melted butter. Add these to the dry ingredients and mix well by hand with a fork. When everything is well incorporated, add the beaten egg whites and fold them into the mixture with a rubber spatula until they are thoroughly mixed in. Add the cheese and jalapeno and mix just unti distributed throughout the batter.
Now you're ready to make the waffles! Only you know your waffle iron. Only you know how much batter to use. My waffle iron holds 2 cups exactly. Yours may hold more or less. Only add what YOUR waffle iron holds so it doesn't ooze out the sides and make a mess. My waffle iron doesn't need oil either. If your waffle iron needs it, use it. I LOVE my waffle iron!!!!!
Bake the waffles according to your waffle iron directions, keeping each batch warm as you finish up the batter.
Assembly: Put a waffle on the plate, pile on a couple of chicken fingers, drizzle with syrup. Enjoy!

NOTE: No, this dish is not for the novice cook.  Even if you aren't new to cooking, enlist help. This is a lot of morning work that is WORTH it, but it's always more fun to have fun with a friend while you're cooking. A brunch time Bloody Mary helps, too.

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