Fried Chicken and Belgian Waffle Sliders with Arugula, Tomato, and Avocado and Maple Dijon Sauce

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Happy Sunday!

So I have this tradition I’ve had for quite some time since I’ve lived on my own…I make waffles on Sunday. Some people find solace in attendance of church services, others take long drives–me? I make waffles. It gives me a sense of inner peace, and it’s something I look forward to by the week’s final end. My fiancé bought me an awesome Waring professional Belgian waffle maker for my birthday last year, and I have used it religiously with utter delight. I am a lover of brunch with champagne, and I think that to be a proper brunch host, I just needed to have a solid waffle maker. Thanks, Zach!

I made my Belgian cuties as usual today for my love and me…except it’s just two of us, and I slipped by making extra batter. It was probably the best mistake I made today. The worst mistake I made was going to Michael’s (the crafts store) thinking that I could only buy one thing…ugh. My credit card is officially whacked for the month. 🙂

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I could eat these for the rest of the week, but that might get old. I decided to make them as sandwiches…genius! I recalled a Pinterest post and thought that today would be the day to give it a go. I didn’t follow the recipe for the waffle batter like they specified as I used my waffle recipe from this morning. The recipe in the Pinterest post is excellent for a savory waffle, so when you go make this yourself, feel free to use that one, but just know that you don’t necessarily need a savory waffle for this awesome sandwich. I believe the chicken, avocado, tomato, and arugula add enough savoriness, but to each their own!

If you are a southerner, or if you have a southern palate, you know how amazing fried chicken and waffles is. It’s a wonderful balance of sweet and savory, and it’s an excellent brunch item as it encompasses the best BUTTERMILK items. Ladies and gents–I do require you use buttermilk for your chicken, and preferably also for your waffles. Buttermilk does absolute wonders, and it is my secret weapon for today. Tip: If you don’t feel like running out and buying buttermilk, you can always add a little vinegar to regular milk and bam! The chemistry experiment will suffice as your vice.

This recipe is relatively simple, but if you have time on your side, go for the overnight yeast waffles versus my fast waffles (especially for breakfast). They are both good, but the yeast waffles are superb.

Same thing for the chicken–it’s best to let the chicken marinate in buttermilk overnight, and dredged so that the outside dries out and the inside remains moist (you know, the crispiest fried chicken ever.) Time is your friend, but if you’re short on time, you can always take short cuts. Heck, you can even buy fried chicken to not make a mess. I just won’t allow you to make Eggo waffles in lieu of a homemade batter. If you do want simple box mix, I like to use Aunt Jemina in a pinch. But please, let go of that EGGO. 🙂

This post is going to look really long, but that’s because I included three options for waffles. First, pick your waffle you want to make. I offer the savory version that has cheddar and scallions from Candid Appetite, my easy waffle, and my overnight waffle (which is great when time is on your side.) They’e all good–it just depends on your need.

After you make your waffles, then work on your chicken.

Lastly, ASSSSSSEEEEMMMMMBBBLLLEE!

STEP ONE: Waffle Batter Ingredients and Instructions (Pick One!)

Savory Version from Candid Appetite:

Ingredients

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (55 grams) light-brown sugar

1 teaspoon (8 grams) baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder

½ teaspoon (4 grams) salt

2 teaspoons (14 grams) freshly cracked black pepper

3 large eggs, room temperature

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and black pepper. Make a well in the center of the bowl and set aside.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together. Pour into the center of the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, stir the waffle batter until just combined. It should be sightly lumpy. If the batter appears to be too thick, add a splash of buttermilk and stir until pouring consistency is reached. Fold in the cooked chopped bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions.
  4. Lightly grease the waffle iron with cooking spray or melted butter. Pour in about ½ cup batter in each waffle cavity, more or less depending on size of waffle iron. Cook until the waffles are golden brown and crispy.

Easy Weekend Waffle from Lei Mangia :

2 cups  flour

4 teaspoons  baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon  salt

1⁄4 cup  sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

2 eggs (you could separate yolks from whites, whip up whites until fluffy and add to batter if you have time, but again it’s the easy waffle!)

1⁄2 cup of Canola oil

2 cups milk (but buttermilk, preferably!)

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Separate the eggs.
  4. In small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.** (or to make it simple,  don’t separate the eggs–the whites will make your waffle fluffier, though.)
  5. Mix together the egg yolks, milk and oil and stir slightly.
  6. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Fold in beaten egg whites.
  8. Put 2/3-1 cup of waffle mixture in the center of the waffle iron. Do not close your iron until all the mixture is properly distributed! Cook for about 5 minutes (depending on your waffle maker’s setting.)

Perfect Overnight Belgian Waffles (Based off of Barefoot Contessa and modified by Lei Mangia):

½ cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees) 
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast, at room temperature 
2 teaspoons sugar 
2 cups lukewarm whole milk (90 to 100 degrees) 
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
plus extra for the waffle iron** (Or use cooking spray like Pam)
2 tablespoons honey  (I usually leave the honey out–it’s up to you!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 extra-large eggs 
¼ teaspoon baking soda 

Instructions: The night before, combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a very large bowl (the batter will expand enormously).

  1. Allow it to stand for about 5 minutes, until the yeast dissolves and the mixture has started to foam, which tells you the yeast is alive. Stir in the milk, butter, honey*, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight at a cool room temperature.
  3. The next morning, preheat a Belgian waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions and brush the top and bottom with melted butter (or use cooking spray, which is easier).
  4. Beat the eggs together with the baking soda and whisk them into the batter until combined.
  5. Pour just enough of the batter onto the hot waffle iron to cover the grids (1/3 to ½ cup each, depending on your waffle maker), close, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat, until the waffles are golden brown. Remember: It’s always best to go on a lighter setting and leave it in longer versus overcooking!

STEP TWO: Make Your Finger Lickin’ Chicken!

1 pound chicken breast cutlets, cut in half

1½ cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon of hot sauce, optional (but recommended, and I love Cholula!)

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

canola oil for frying (fill a cast iron skillet!)

Instructions;
  1. Place the chicken in a large bowl. Cover with buttermilk and add the hot sauce, if using. Toss together until evenly mixed and all the chicken is submerged in the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t have the time, this step is not crucial but it will help make the chicken tender and juicy. You can leave it up to overnight, which if you’re doing this ahead, I totally recommend!
  2. In a shallow dish combine the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper.
  3. To coat the chicken, grab a piece from the buttermilk bowl, slightly drain off, and throw into the flour.
  4. Pat the flour into the chicken, on both sides. Return to the buttermilk bowl (with the rest of the chicken) and coat both sides.
  5. Place the chicken back into the flour, once more, and coat both sides. We’re double dipping the chicken. Lay the coated chicken on a rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat in this manner until all the chicken is coated.
  6. Allow the coated chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes, this will allow the fry to dry a bit and stick to the chicken.
  7. In the meantime, heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy duty pan, such as a cast iron skillet.
  8. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken in batches. Cook for about 5 minutes on the first side, turn over once golden brown and crispy, continue to cook for another 4 minutes on the other side.
  9. Drain the chicken and place on a separate rack set over a baking sheet. You can keep the cooked chicken warm in a 200°F oven until all the chicken is fried and you’re ready to serve.

Or, you can buy fried chicken and save yourself the fuss. 🙂

STEP THREE: Assembling Your Sandwich

Ingredients

1 cup of arugula

1 thinly sliced tomato (preferably off the vine)

1/2 slice of ripened avocado

1/4 cup of pure Maple syrup

3-4 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard

Prepared Waffle and Chicken

The Finale…

  1. Take your waffle and divide it into sections (mine has four sections per waffle which makes two sandwiches per waffle.)
  2. Slice avocado and tomato. Rinse arugula.
  3. Mix maple syrup and Dijon mustard together to create sauce.
  4. Put thin avocado slices on the bottom piece of the waffle.
  5. Place chicken on top of the avocado. Drizzle sauce.
  6. Put sliced tomato on top of avocado layer. Put a half a handful of arugula on top of the tomato. Slightly dress the arugula with more sauce.
  7. Place another waffle piece on top. You may use a toothpick to keep it together, if you like.
  8. Eat! You may need a knife and fork, but that’s only half the fun. 🙂

 

 

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