Writing a food blog is hard work. Each week I develop a new recipe, cook it, shoot it and post it. The most difficult part is photographing the food. I’m an amateur photographer with only a sixty minute course at the local camera store as my only prior instruction. I’m still learning how to photograph food and the lack of natural light during the winter months has made the process even more difficult. I’ve read some great posts about using artificial light to shoot food and hopefully it shows in this weeks pictures. You can find the great tips I learned at pinchofyum.com and julieseatsandtreats.com.
Coming up with recipe ideas generally isn’t difficult. My inspiration comes from many places like cookbooks, the internet and sometimes dishes I’ve had while eating out. This week I’ve taken the classic dish of chicken and waffles and put my own twist on it.
I had my first savory waffle a few months ago at The Noble Pig, a local Austin restaurant noted for their creative artisan sandwiches. They also serve breakfast and offer an awesome potato and leek waffle with braised oxtail and a fried egg. It’s really good! Call me crazy, but I’ve never really been a total fan of conventional chicken and waffles. While both these items are delicious and tasty on their own, I find that there’s just something lacking that ties them both together, until now with my savory scallion and ginger waffle.
My Chinese chicken and waffle is topped with Peking style sauce. Authentic Peking-style pork chops are lightly fried and then coated with a salty, sweet and sour sauce. It reminds me of a Chinese-style barbecue sauce and works perfectly with the fried chicken and savory scallion and ginger waffle. I even snuck in some maple syrup into the sauce. I’m really happy with the way this week’s recipe turned out and I really want you to try it out and send me your thoughts.
A quick note about waffles. The cardinal sin of waffle making is to take the waffle out of the hot waffle iron and put it directly onto a plate. The residual steam invariably escapes and the portion of the waffle touching the plate becomes soggy. Putting the waffles in a warm oven at 190-200 degrees for three to five minutes will cause them to dry out slightly and keep them crisp when served.
CHINESE CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
- 1 pound chicken cutlets cut into eight equal-sized strips
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cups buttermilk
- oil for frying
- 4 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or Chinese black vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- A few dashes hot sauce
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup finely chopped scallions (about one bunch)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 large garlic clove grated
- Combine the chicken, soy sauce and rice wine in a bowl and marinate for thirty minutes and then drain off any excess liquid.
- Add the buttermilk to a medium sized bowl.
- Combine the salt, pepper and flour in a shallow dish.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the buttermilk and back into the flour again. Place the chicken on a plate to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile add oil to a medium sized pan to a depth of 1/2 inch and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (about 375 degrees), add the chicken and cook until browned evenly on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is hot and slightly thickened about 2 minutes.
- Preheat the waffle iron.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients with the scallions, ginger and garlic. Blend wet mixture using a hand mixer until incorporated.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix using the hand mixer until combined.
- Cook the waffles per waffle iron instructions until brown.
- Makes two 7 inch diameter waffles.
- Serve by dividing the waffles in half. Top each half with two pieces of chicken. Drizzle with Peking sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro.