This is the comfort food of all comfort foods, and has long been served in Tremé home kitchens. The combination of salty chicken, sweet waffles, and syrup makes your taste buds do a dance. For the most authentic NOLA flavor, serve your chicken and waffles with Steen's 100-percent Pure Cane Syrup.
- 1 Cup salt
- 1 gallon water
- One 3 1/2-pound fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons Creole or Cajun spice*
- 3 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 Cup buttermilk
- Cooking spray
- Pure cane syrup, for serving
Combine the salt and water in a large bowl to make a brine, and soak the chicken in the brine for about 30 minutes. Pour peanut oil into a deep, large cast-iron skillet or pot to a depth of about 3 inches. Heat the oil to 360 degrees over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high to maintain the temperature. Rinse the chicken pieces in cold water and leave them wet.
Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. In a large paper bag, combine 2 cups of the flour and the Creole or Cajun spice. Add the chicken pieces, fold the bag over to seal, and shake well. Remove the chicken from the bag and place on the wire rack. Let sit for about 12 minutes.
When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken and fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove and drain on the wire rack.
Preheat the waffle iron. In a large bowl, sift together the remaining flour and the baking powder, sugar, and salt. Beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and buttermilk and beat to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Spray the waffle iron with a cooking spray and pour the batter into the hot iron. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.
To serve, top the waffles with a slice of butter, and serve with the chicken and cane syrup. Heat the syrup before you pour it over the waffles and also drizzle a bit on the chicken.