Chicken & Waffles for the Soul, Mrs. Heinrich for the Heart

Chicken and waffles are a match made in heaven, bringing together contrasts in texture and flavor to satisfy even the most intense of cravings.

Elizabeth Stover, Columnist

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Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken tenders
  • ½ to ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ½ tbsp honey, plus extra for drizzling
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder or salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp onion salt or powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ cup oil (use sparingly)
  • **Optional: cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in bowl and cover with buttermilk. Stir gently, cover, and refrigerate. (Tip: Soaking the chicken in the buttermilk several hours or overnight will help the breading adhere better when frying.)
  2. To prep the honey butter, whisk together softened butter and honey in a small bowl. (Add cayenne pepper to taste, if you’d like your sauce to have a little kick)
  3. In a small, shallow dish, stir together the flour, garlic powder/salt, paprika, salt, onion powder/salt, and black pepper. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge in flour mixture. Shake off excess and carefully drop breaded chicken into the hot oil. Make sure to have enough oil in the pan to ensure the chicken does not stick.)
  5. Fry for about 5-7 minutes on each side. (Don’t turn the chicken immediately. Let it develop a brown crust on the bottom first.)
  6. Drain onto paper towels and season with salt. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  7. Spread a teaspoon (or more, if you like) of honey butter onto each waffle and top with a piece of fried chicken. Preferably, put the chicken on the waffle first and then top with the honey butter sauce. Add more honey if desired. Serve warm.

Waffles (note: waffle maker is needed):

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 ½  tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together using a whisk.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  3. Gently combine, but don’t overmix.
  4. Cook as your waffle maker directs.

This recipe is from Tamara Heinrich, the Culinary Arts teacher. It is one of my favorite recipes from that class, and is very easy to make. The chicken is full of flavor and pairs perfectly with the sweet waffles. When preparing, I usually put syrup on the waffles and put the chicken separate, but I know many people who enjoy them together as well!

All of the recipes that are made in Culinary Arts are all attainable to make and always delicious. Throughout the year, each class will make about 90 recipes, all of which Heinrich has selected. These consist of a variety of different breakfasts, main courses, desserts, and snacks. Heinrich uses recipes that she makes at home that she and her family all enjoy. Her personal favorites are crepes for breakfast, gnocchi for the main course, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The students, on the other hand, really enjoy the sweet-and-sour chicken and rice, tortellini salad, and pizookies. Even though everyone has their favorites, all of the recipes are unique and delicious, and teach the students a lot in the kitchen.

Although there are so many recipes made in the class, there are a few that Heinrich wishes she could add, but can’t due to the limited time in class. She would love to add crockpot and slow-cooked meals, as well as homemade bread, but classes aren’t long enough. Next year, she said she plans on changing about 25 percent of the recipes to mix it up.

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