Countryside Chicken and Waffles are made with a Maryland seasoning on a sautéed chicken thigh, chili honey and tucked between homemade waffles.
Nothing inspires a picnic more than the countryside, and no countryside picnic would be complete without a Chicken and Waffle sandwich!
Countryside Chicken and Waffles
Nothing inspires wholesome living quite like a drive through the countryside.
Fields of food growing, wildlife everywhere and the inspiration to slow down, stop and spread a picnic.
Where I live, tucked back in a wooded area, is a trail that leads to an old red barn.
A country-girl bestie of mine, also a food blogger, was coming to visit.
I knew we just had to pack a lunch and go visit that barn.
Well… truth be told, it was her idea to take a hike in the woods, and being the good hostess I am…
It’s all in the video!
Waffles For A Sandwich?
When I was growing up, back in the 50’s and 60’s, suddenly everything that was once homemade, became freezer food at the grocery store, which could be microwaved.
While I understand their convenience, waffles were not going to be one of them in my kitchen, not for this lovely picnic.
Of course, milk or buttermilk, melted butter and a pinch of cinnamon are what go into this easy batter mix, and the waffles cook in about a minute, each.
Certainly, this waffle recipe is the quick, easy recipe that can be whipped up and cooked in less than 60-minutes.
Especially, since I decided to make these waffles on national television including the fried chicken, fruit kabobs and a Watermelon Cocktail, all in under 90-minutes!
Nothing Faster Than An Electric Waffle Maker
Waffle makers are so easy to use, very affordable and make lots of waffles quickly. Sure beats the old fashioned way they were made, we just need a yummy batter.
The waffles can be made in advance, so you can focus on the chicken preparations.
And yes, you can even make huge batches of them on a meal-prep day and freeze them.
At least these frozen waffles will be homemade!
Chicken: To Fry Or Not To Fry
Nope, chicken doesn’t need to be fried to have a crisp, flavorful golden finish.
All we need is a hot cast iron pan, a dusting of spiced flour, and we have a healthier, delicious chicken for our sandwich.
While I feel pretty certain that chicken and waffles is a southern thing, I wanted to make ‘my’ chicken and waffles, ‘mine’!
Best Spices For Maryland Chicken and Waffles
There is a secret spice, we Marylanders use, in so many recipes, even though it was probably originally created for the seafood of Maryland.
Here in Maryland, Old Bay seasoning (and no, I am not an affiliate with them, just love the stuff), is the secret ingredient in my chicken and waffles!
A sprinkling of this seasoning in the dusting flour for the chicken, is going to make the chicken burst with flavor.
Some of the ingredients in this spice blend are; celery salt, crushed red pepper flakes and paprika, but the rest are kept a secret!
Crispy Chicken Without Frying
Giving the chicken a quick sauté in a little oil, removing them from the oiled pan and finishing them in the oven will both make them crisp and moist, but also not greasy.
While I am not a fan of frying chicken (or most anything else), I do want the chicken crisp, so this is the way I get my chicken crisp.
Ok, so here’s the scoop on this ‘crazy fun’ video; I am a Rookie Filmmaker, a wanna be producer for visual storytelling!
I created the story for this video, chose the menu, set the stage, operated all cameras, while being in the stories; except for the actual hike in the woods, I had a TV cameraman friend shoot that part.
Editing though, is where the real work, the real story comes together for visual storytelling and filmmaking, and I simply love it.
Chicken and Waffles Make A Great Picnic Sandwich
I don’t know who thought to make chicken and waffles a ‘thing’ but darn if it doesn’t make for a great sandwich, especially when made as a ‘to-go’ picnic meal.
Along with our chicken and waffle picnic, we packed homemade cookies, fruit kabobs and a yummy persian iced tea, not southern sweet tea.
This picnic is perfect, not only for a barn and hayride picnic but also great for tailgating, boating, beach or simply a blanket under a tree in your own backyard.
However, these chicken and waffle sandwiches are equally fabulous to just enjoy right there at your kitchen table!
Countryside Chicken and Waffles For Television
Additionally, to all the occasions I’ve ever made these chicken and waffles, can you believe I had the chance to make them on television!
Certainly the most exciting opportunity to showcase a family favorite summertime picnic food, don’t you think?
As it happened to be, Episode 4 of The Great American Recipe on PBS, is where I made my countryside chicken and waffles, and the judges loved them.
In fact, my chicken and waffles were loved so much, that my recipe is now in the PBS Cookbook!
What To Serve With Countryside Chicken and Waffles
As a result of chicken and waffle sandwiches becoming part of a ‘to-go’ lunch, what better dessert to pack, than homemade cookies!
- Edible Flower Cookies – so pretty, so seasonal and the shortbread cookie dough is always a favorite.
- Lavender Butter Cookies – yes, more flowers, also made with lavender sugar.
- Coffee Chocolate Artsy Cookies – made into checkerboard patterns, layered with coffee cookie dough and chocolate cookie dough.
- Guilt-free Almond Cookies – with almonds and oats instead of wheat flour, easily mixed, chilled, sliced and baked.
Additionally, since chicken and waffles are often made for summertime outings, what better drink to take along that a Watermelon Mint Cocktail!
My watermelon cocktail is what I served the judges on the cooking competition, along with my chicken and waffles, and I made it both with, and without booze.
Afterall, who doesn’t love watermelon in the summertime, and the drink I made is great for kids, without the booze, and for adults who like a little booze in the drink.
- Baking powder
- Whole milk or buttermilk
- Smoked paprika or chili powder
- Boneless chicken thighs
- Vegetable oil
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Waffle Iron – my favorite is below and I’ve had it for years!
- Cast iron pan or other heavy sauté pan – the best conductor of heat for cooking meats.
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Parchment paper
- Kitchen twine
- 3 Mixing bowls
- Wire whisk
- Hand mixer
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Baking sheet
Classic Belgian Yeast Waffles
As I said earlier, the waffle recipe I have used in making my chicken and waffle sandwiches, is a quick and easy recipe.
However, it is not the only waffle recipe I will use, depending on the time I have to make waffles.
My Classic Belgian Yeast Waffle recipe is less cake/pancake like, in texture, and more bread-like.
This classic recipe can be made a day before, kept in the fridge to liven up the batter with a bit of yeast.
Cooked on the waffle maker, same as any waffle recipe.
Countryside Chicken and Waffles
- Waffle machine
- Large skillet
- Parchment paper
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 6 tbsp Butter melted, cooled
- 2 Eggs separated
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- Chicken Recipe
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder more heat if preferred
- 4 Boneless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup Vegetable oil as needed
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- Making the Waffles – Recipe makes between 8 and 10 full size waffles. Heat the waffle iron.
- Whip the egg whites and set them aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, sugar, egg yolks and slowly pour in the melted butter.
- Whisk in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Fold in the egg whites.
- Make the waffles (according to manufacturer instructions on your machine). Lay each on parchment paper. The waffles are ready when you are to make the sandwiches.Can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container.
- Making the Chicken – Preheat the oven to 350. Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet pan.
- Heat a cast iron pan, or large sauté pan, with just enough oil to cover the bottom.
- Cut the thighs thinner, horizontally, soak them in buttermilk and crushed garlic.
- Mix the flour with cornstarch and salt.
- Dip the chicken into the flour mixture and brown quickly on both sides in the hot oiled pan. Transfer to the baking sheet pan. Finish cooking in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Whisk the honey and chili powder together. *See Notes. Drizzle across the tops of the chicken when they are removed from the oven.
- Assemble – Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper in half.
- Place a slice of honey drizzled chicken between 2 waffles. Bundle them in the parchment paper and tie with twine. They are now ready to serve, or for picnic time!
- Honey and chili powder are an easy mix at home but there are several products now with honey and chili already mixed, or maple syrup and chili already mixed.
- Slices of tomato or some greens can also be layered in with the chicken and waffles.