|Pillowy goodness, all Sunday long. (image source)|
I don’t know what it is about Sunday.
When I wake up on Sunday, I have no plans past coffee. The paper shows up on the doorstep, I ignore my computer, let the dogs out, and drink coffee on the back porch with them as they greet the world.
This is the Sabbath to me. A true day of rest that begins with simple pleasures. The Teenager and I used to turn all screens off on Sundays, but with school in full effect (and football season underway), that’s not always possible. So we aim for a minimum of social media and focus on the real world.
In general, all of the striving and stress and work of the week is done for me, and I look forward to a long day of nothing.
Pancakes and muffins are for Saturdays, but Sunday means waffles.
Crispy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside. I eat the first one off the iron with my hands before the lid is even closed on the second one. Drenched in maple syrup, spread with Nutella, or oozing with homemade apple butter. Sometimes, truthfully, delightfully plain. It is brunch-y goodness.
But here’s my recent discovery: play your cards right, and you can eat waffles all day long. One recipe, minor modifications, and you have brunch and football snacks all in one.
Regular sweet waffles in the morning with whatever toppings make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Then in the afternoon? What about the afternoon?
Chicken and waffles, friend.
Someone has actually looked into the history of chicken and waffles, but all you really need to know is this: it is pretty much the best thing you can put in your face on a Sunday afternoon. I like mine with a fried chicken breast (easier to eat, and ease is the rule. Purists insist on the bone. I do not.), a copious drizzle of honey-sriracha sauce, and pickled banana peppers or onions or maybe an apple slaw with vinegar and jalapeno.
None of these things take long to make. Five minutes, max, made while the waffles are cooking.
Easy like Sunday morning. And afternoon. As it should be.
As ever, this recipe is gluten-free, but you can certainly use gluten-packed regular all-purpose flour if you’d like.
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T sugar (use 2 T if you are skipping the savory recipe)
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
4 T oil (you can use butter, melted and cooled, but oil is easier)
1 tsp vanilla (sweet version only)
In a medium bowl, mix the first four ingredients (the dry). In a small bowl, combine the last four ingredients (including vanilla if you are only having sweet waffles) and mix until totally combined. Add the wet to dry ingredients and stir until they are no longer lumpy. I use a whisk and beat out any remaining frustrations from the week. #Smile #Breathe
At this point, if you are planning on waffles for brunch and chicken and waffles for football snacks, move half of the waffle batter to a separate container and add 2 T chopped chives or scallions (chives give a less intense zing) and a generous grind or three of black pepper.
Optional: up to one cup of grated cheese of your choosing. Cheese for me is gilding the lily, so I wouldn’t use it for chicken and waffles. Maybe with a burger and a fried egg.
Cook the waffles according to the directions on your waffle maker (they all vary, so me giving directions for mine is pointless. You know your own tools, so go with your instincts on this one). Cook the sweet waffles first, then the savory. In my waffle maker, this makes six to eight waffles, depending on how diligent I am with getting equal amounts ladled for each waffle.
When it’s time for chicken and waffles, here are a few tips:
- Set up a breading station. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Dip into cornstarch, then a beaten egg, then a mixture of gluten-free all-purpose flour (or almond meal is delicious here) that is seasoned with salt and pepper. Let sit in the ‘fridge while the oil heats.
- Keep frying oil at 350 degrees. This ensures a crisp coating AND cooked chicken.
- A medium-sized chicken breast takes between ten and 15 minutes to cook. I am not above cutting one open to check. I find taking an internal temperature to be a messy and dangerous proposition, so I do a visual check.
Serve these with a sauce that is equal parts honey and sriracha, or try a sauce of yogurt, Dijon mustard, and a touch of honey. Or drizzle the whole thing with maple syrup. #YourChoice
What’s your Sunday go-to for brunch and football?