Brunch is IN. Someone told us that is was cool to mix our breakfast with our lunch and to accompany it with champagne. We fell for it! We fell hard. But, who wouldn’t? It is the perfect blend of many of our adulting pleasures: food, day-drinking, and friends. It’s like going out to the club but only with waffles, air conditioning, and the option to sit. It is turning up with a meal and with enough time left in the day to take an afternoon nap. Let’s recap: breakfast, lunch, day-drinking, friends, waffles, air conditioning, optional seating, turn up, NAP. COUNT ME IN!
Along with the popularity of our new favorite meal of the day, came the admiration of many of its signature dishes like steak & eggs, shrimp & grits, and chicken & waffles. Honest Moment… And you can’t tell anyone you heard this from me… I AM SO TIRED OF CHICKEN & WAFFLES. They are becoming soooo played out. Whew, I feel so happy to get that off my chest. Don’t get me wrong. I love waffles and I definitely have a special place in my heart for chicken but umm, let’s mix it up a little. Let’s give chicken and waffles a facelift with these 4 steps.
1. Think outside the box with your waffle.
· Add cheese – Rather you cook cheese inside of your waffle or crumble cheese on top, cheese can definitely enhance the flavor of your waffle.
· Add fresh fruit – Much like with cheese, fruit is the perfect addition to a waffle that can be cooked inside or on top.
· Add fresh herbs - Thinking of going savory? Add fresh herbs to your waffle for a boost of flavor.
2. Play around with your protein.
· Fried chicken is not the only option – Consider braising, baking, or grilling your chicken.
· Everyone loves good crust – Bread your chicken with more than just flour. Consider pecans, almonds, Parmesan, panko breadcrumbs, coconut, or other crispy ingredients to bread your chicken with. It offers a flavor alternative and may even make your dish a tad healthier.
· Who needs chicken anyway? – Proteins other than chicken also shine with waffles. Beef, Pork, Shrimp, Lamb and may other meat options would also work wonderfully atop a waffle.
3. Make your own syrup or sauce.
· DIY Syrup– The syrup or glaze is what weds the protein and waffle together. Depart from your store bought syrup and make your own at home.
· It’s all gravy – I am from the South and am a firm believer that gravy makes anything better. Add gravy to your protein and waffle instead of syrup to make this sweet & salty brunch favorite even more savory.
4. Who needs a waffle anyway?
· Other carbs work –Chicken & French toast, Fried Shrimp & Pancakes, Buttermilk Biscuits & Braised Beef also work. Waffles are replaceable.
Try at least one of these 4 steps and you are guaranteed to WOW that next time you showcase your best chicken and waffles dish!