A new take on chicken and waffles, somewhat healthier than the traditional fried chicken and gravy version. Two things inspired the meal...the last of the buttermilk and some leftover grilled corn. Add in some grated smoked cheddar, some cornmeal and you have a cheesy cornbread waffle!
Deciding what to serve with the waffles was the next decision to make. I wanted to grill the chicken, so marinated it in maple syrup, garlic and grainy mustard. Gravy is not really something I would serve with grilled chicken, so I used the last two tablespoons of butter; whipping it with black pepper and some more maple syrup.
The meal was rounded out with a salad of roasted red and yellow peppers, arugula and basil from my herb garden, olive oil and balsamic vinegar,
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients:
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 egg yolks (reserve the whites)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined.
Whip the reserved egg whites to firm peaks.
Scrape the whipped egg whites to the batter, and gently fold them in.
3/4 cup corn kernels
3/4 cup grated smoked cheddar
Cook the batter in a hot waffle iron.
Keep the waffles warm in a low oven, until you have cooked all the batter.
While the waffles are cooking, make the peppered maple butter.
2 tablespoons soft butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Serve the hot waffles with a dollop of the whipped butter on top. As the heat from the waffles melts the butter, all of the peppery maple flavour soaks into the waffle. I served the waffles with grilled maple mustard chicken, and a roasted red pepper and arugula salad.
- This recipe made 5 waffles in our waffle iron; they are quite large and I have frozen the remaining ones to use another time. They reheat really well if you put them back into the hot waffle iron, or into a 300F oven.
- The waffles can be served with chili, pulled pork, as a breakfast sandwhich topped with avocado, bacon and poached egg.
- I grilled corn for dinner the night before, and cut the kernels off the uneaten cob for another use...this! If you don't have fresh corn on the cob, or grilled corn on the cob, use frozen corn.
- Mix up the cheese by trying pepper Jack, white cheddar, gouda or Swiss cheese.
- Add chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley or thyme to the batter.
- To spice the waffles up add minced fresh jalapeno, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or chili flakes.
- The butter was the sauce. As it melted on top of the hot waffles it soaked into them, and each bite was full of maple syrup and black pepper. Drizzle maple syrup over the waffles if you prefer.
- Any extra butter can be frozen, or kept refrigerated for a few days.
- For the pepper salad I thinly sliced a red and yellow roasted pepper, and tossed them with baby arugula leaves, and chopped fresh basil. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper were added to taste. There was about 1/4 cup of the salad left and I used it on sandwhiches for lunch. We enjoyed it and I might make more with this purpose in mind.
- The chicken thighs were marinated in maple syrup, grainy mustard, fresh garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The marinade was used to baste them as they grilled, leaving them moist and juicy, sticky and sweet.