Maple Bourbon Chicken & Sweet Potato Waffles
Submitted by: Chris Hall
Description: Living in a tiny northern Virginia apartment, I don’t have a basement, an attic, a workshop, or a shed. My “back yard” barely fits a couple of trash cans and a grill. So when I want to play with sharp objects and make a huge mess, I go to the kitchen. I made this dish for our New Year’s Eve dinner and was very happy with the result. If you like southern comfort food, breakfast for dinner, and bourbon, give it a shot. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Waffles:
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs (separated, if you want to make extra fluffy waffles)
1 ¼ cups pureed sweet potatoes (canned is fine, or just peel and chop 2-3 large sweet potatoes into small chunks, cover in a large saucepan with water, and boil 15-20 minutes until tender when jabbed with a fork; strain out water, allow to cool briefly, and then puree in a food processer).
Maple Bourbon Chicken:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
Salt and ground pepper
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 ounces bourbon
4 sprigs thyme
I recommend making the waffles first and then placing them in a warm (~225F) oven or setting them aside and popping them in the toaster to reheat/re-crisp before serving. Keeps things simple.
- Preheat your waffle iron. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, orange zest and brown sugar
- In a different large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, coconut milk, pureed sweet potatoes and egg yolks (or if you didn’t want to bother with separating them, the whole eggs)
- Stir in the dry ingredients just until smooth.
- (Optional) If you separated the eggs, vigorously whisk together the egg whites and white sugar until they are fully blended. Add this egg whites/sugar mixture to the waffle mix last, stirring until blended.
- Griddle the waffles, about a ¼ cup of mix per waffle square, and cook until browned and crispy (I wait until the iron has almost stopped steaming to pull them). Once the waffles are done…
- Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil.
- Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
- Once the skillet is good and hot, add the chicken breast-side down and sear until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes
- In a small dish whisk together stock, syrup, and 2 ounces of bourbon.
- Add the bourbon mixture to the skillet along with the thyme sprigs and continue cooking, turning the chicken occasionally until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has reduced to a thick syrupy consistency, 8 to 10 minutes (I like to check the meat periodically with a meat thermometer to make sure its internal temperature does not get much above 165F).
- If the stock reduces before the chicken is done, you can splash some more stock into the skillet and continue cooking.
To serve, remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Place each chicken breast on a crispy waffle, spoon the sauce over the whole thing and enjoy. Compliment with mashed or roasted potatoes, collard greens, or a reduced lemon kale salad with parmesan and fried prosciutto (pictured).
Notes: Makes four complete servings, with plenty of waffles left over. You can freeze them, or, do like I did and eat them all week with avocado and fried eggs.