I'll pretty much guarantee that it was the Frank's Red Hot waffle that caught his eye first. Being a man obsessed with condiments, particularly spicy ones, he automatically has a visceral reaction to words like "grainy mustard," "siracha," and "hot sauce." And the man's pretty fond of waffles.
Smoky Fried Chicken
Frank's Red Hot waffle, dill ranch, dressed kale
Once he got over the intriguing idea of putting hot sauce into a waffle, I'm quite sure he quickly glossed over the part about the dill ranch and kale, but he definitely saw the fried chicken part. And then it was all over.
We both ended up ordering the Smoky Fried Chicken. And it was pretty incredible.
Since, as I've said many times before, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we decided to recreate this delicious sandwich for ourselves at home. So, a few months later (fast forward to this past weekend), we pulled together a cadre of all the necessary ingredients.
Since we're in the midst of the Milwaukee Eat Local Challenge, we opted for Wisconsin grown Cornish Cross chicken breasts from Angel Acres and a nice bunch of locally grown lacinato kale. We also subbed out the Frank's Red Hot for a more local option, Off Road Camp Fire Pepper Sauce.
After pounding our chicken breasts flat and dredging them in kefir, and then in a mixture of cornmeal, flour, and seasonings, we fried them up to a golden brown in a bit of oil. While I was frying the chicken, Peef made up a batch of cornmeal waffles (our favorite pairing with fried chicken).
The best part about making these particular waffles was, of course, the fact that he got to sub in hot sauce for 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. But, a close second was the fact that he got to make the waffles in our brand new West Bend Belgian waffle maker.
Our former waffle maker was a fancy blue FiestaWare model that I bought Peef for Christmas a number of years back. Unfortunately, we had some restoration work done on our house this past year, and the poor waffle iron got knocked off of its shelf, shattering into about 5 different pieces. So, we had been without waffles for quite a while before this handy dandy gadget arrived at our doorstep.
And I do mean handy dandy. This waffle maker turns out perfectly golden waffles with very little skill needed. Just by gripping the handle, it twists 180 degrees so your waffles bake and brown evenly every time. I've also been told this rotating action ensures that the batter is more evenly distributed leading to waffles that are are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
But, I'm no waffle expert. All I know is that our waffles came out beautifully golden, perfectly tender, and -- whoo! -- just a little spicy from that cayenne pepper sauce we added.
We took those lovely waffles and sidled them up right against pieces of fried chicken, which we then topped with finely shredded kale tossed with a deliciously refreshing dill ranch dressing. Another waffle on top, and all of a sudden we had a pretty spectacular waffle sandwich.
Just like they make at Roots. And probably even better.
Dill Ranch Salad Dressing
And now for the fun part! We get to give one of our lucky readers the chance to win a West Bend Waffle Maker of his or her very own!!
For your chance to win, just leave us a comment letting us know about your favorite way to eat waffles.
Rules: All comments must be received by Monday evening, September 19th, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. CST Winners will be announced on Facebook before the end of the day on Tuesday, September 13th. Entrants must provide a working email address in their comment or blogger profile to win. Limited to citizens of the U.S. and Canada.
Alright, ready...set... go!
Full Disclosure: Although we were given West Bend Company products free of charge for the purpose of this review and giveaway, all opinions expressed in this review are our own.
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