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Fried Chicken & Waffles

For years I've heard about Roscoe's and heard about this southern staple, but never tried it. It always seemed somewhat silly to me. I know I like fried chicken, I somewhat like waffles, what's not to like. So the other night I tried it at Wild Turkey in Yonkers. I figured everything else is delicious, why not.

I just don't get it. I mean received a plate of some of the best buttermilk battered fried chicken I've ever tasted. Some nice corn on the cob cooked on a grill. And a waffle with syrup? It just didn't go. Was I supposed to eat one before the other? Together? I know I didn't want syrup on my Fried Chicken.

Honestly, are there two things that go together less than these two items? Maybe I needed a different atmosphere, but I just didn't get it. Someone explain the excitement over this pairing. And please don't tell me "when it's good." My food was excellent, it just shouldn't have shared a plate!

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  1. I was wondering the same thing about the chicken and waffle pairing. The Travel Channel answered it for me on one of their "Food Paradise" shows. They said something along the lines of people who showed up at soul food restaurants for a late night bite, and couldn't decide between breakfast and lunch/dinner. So the chef put two specials of the house on one plate. And people seemed to like the sweet & savory mix, so it stuck!

    I haven't been to Wild Turkey, but I've tried it at Cafeteria in Chelsea. I like to eat them separately - I save the waffle for last -- but that's just me!

    1. I used to work in a private club in PA that had Chicken & Waffle night on Wednesdays. It was our busiest night. All the local businessmen, judges, attorneys and bankers scrambled downtown to score all you can eat chicken and waffles. But ours were very different from what you described. Ours was homemade waffles served w/ pulled, roastsed chicken and smothered in gravy with a side of mashed potatoes and a vegetable. No syrup. It was delicious and a very simple comfort food. I've not heard of it w/ fried chicken and syrup. Yuck.

      10 Replies
      1. re: lynnlato

        What you explained makes some sense. That sounds almost like Kentucky Hot Brown, with the sliced turkey with bacon and tomato on french toast, smothered ina delicious white cheese gravy. Wild Turkey has that also, and it is delicious. That makes sense, becasue the french toast just asks as the "biscuit."

        1. re: jhopp217

          hat Kentucky Hot Brown sounds yummy. I could dig that. As we all know, everything is improved with bacon. :)

          1. re: lynnlato

            Yeah, like our poor bar cookie in process that died on that other board. I'm with you--everything's better with bacon (and butter!).

            I still have it in the back of my mind to make corn waffles and chili. Bet that is a very tasty combo.

            1. re: kattyeyes

              Yea, the cookie thing was doomed from the start - but it was fun.

              I like the way u think, Kattyeyes. Corn waffles sound tasty!

              I'm gonna make those bacon cookies - I swear. I'm just working out the details in my mind yet. I'm thinking candied pecans and bacon. Similiar to a nut mix I made of a recipe from the NYT. Any ideas for the batter?

              1. re: lynnlato

                And to make the waffles just a tad different, adding shredded cheddar to the batter with diced jalapeno, even, would complement chili nicely. I will do this someday!

                Glad the bacon cookie game is back on. :) I will pop you a note offline with batter suggestions. I'm still liking the idea of an oatmeal-based foundation--salty/sweet dough to accompany salty/sweet add-ins.

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  Made chili and plain ol' (undoctored) Jiffy corn waffles tonight. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! I highly recommend this combo to any chili 'n cornbread lovers.

            2. re: lynnlato

              hot browns are the best part of thanksgiving, i always make sure to cook too big of a bird so that i can have hot browns for leftovers :)

          2. re: lynnlato

            I have had chicken and waffles, its a great dish. I had it at the old Coffee Cup.
            What can be bad? I love fried chicken, I love waffles, fried chicken is sometimes served with honey, maple syrup has a similar flavor profile and serves as a great bridge between the chicken and the waffle.
            Here is a little trivia Gladys Knight of Gladys Knight & the Pips owns a chain of restaurants called Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffle

            1. re: GodfatherofLunch

              Yes!! That was it! They were on the Travel Channel - in Atlanta on that show Man vs. Food! Gladys looks great!! (and so do her chicken & waffles!)

              1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                Just took a look at the chicken and waffles dish from Gladys Knight and Ron Winan's. Apparently it is four fried chicken wings & one waffle for $9.50. it's called the midnight and from what I gather it is served with a packet of butter, and orange slice and hot sauce. no syrup in the picture! Although I'm sure you can ask for it.

            2. There was a thread on chicken and waffles over in General Chowhounding recently that may be of interest:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589803

              1. I never eat waffles - never. And I don't like sweets. But the last three times we've been to NYC we've gone to Amy Ruth's in Harlem and had chicken and waffles for breakfast. And loved 'em! They also have waffles with fried fish, shrimp, can't remember what else. I think it is probably that sweet/savory combo. I don't know that I'd want it for lunch or dinner. Don't know why. But late night after too many cocktails sounds good. (Granted I'm too *old* for that any more but in my youth it would have been appealing!)

                1. For whatever it is worth, I've lived all over the South for my entire 52 years, and I had never, ever even heard of chicken and waffles until I saw it mentioned on this board. You might be able to get chicken and waffles here now, but I sure don't think is is a southern staple...

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Clarkafella

                    I'm 62 and grew up in Atlanta (which doesn't/didn't qualify as "The South" necessarily) and never heard of C&W either. But I know that there are some here (perhaps in the thread referenced by kattyeyes) that did eat it in the South.

                    1. re: Clarkafella

                      Vacationed for over 20 years here and it was always around. Never did like, still don't. but a lot do. Each to their own taste.

                      1. re: Clarkafella

                        Chicken and Waffles originated in Harlem, USA not the south.

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          That's because chicken and waffles isn't "southern" food, per se. And unless I'm mistaken, it's a dish that has only recently become popular outside of the African American community. You've probably been able to get it in soul food restaurants for ages, but it wasn't "mainstream".

                          1. re: Suzy Q

                            Chicken & Waffles has been a Pennsylvania Dutch staple for a very long time. However, they never served it with fried chicken, but rather chicken sauteed w/ a mirepoix and stewed in stock. The chicken was then pulled and served over the waffles w/ gravy. Often, they added mashed potatoes to the plate - can u say carb overload? But no syrup was involved.