Sizzling fried chicken, hot and fluffy waffles, and sweet syrupy goodness-chicken and waffles may be one of America’s weirder comfort foods, but somehow it works! Here’s why this strange combination is so loved.
One dish, many traditions
The question of where chicken and waffles first began is a widely debated topic across the States. Most assume it comes from the American south like so many other popular soul foods. However, others claim the dish has different origins. Some claim its roots in 1930s Harlem, where a supper club restaurant began offering this dinner-breakfast fusion to late-night jazz musicians. Others say the dish originated long before this in 1600s Pennsylvania, where Dutch country cooks combined waffles with pulled chicken.
With so many different traditions claiming a stake in this comfort food, it’s no surprise that the chicken and waffle dish has plenty of variations. The most popular is undoubtedly the Harlem version, made with crispy fried chicken and plenty of maple syrup. Then there’s the Pennsylvania Dutch style. Alongside using pulled chicken instead of fried, this dish also switches syrup out for gravy-either smooth, creamy white or thick, toasty brown. Some versions even deviate from the original traditions entirely. From the Mexican style (made with jalapeno waffles and fresh salsa over syrup) to the Indian style (which tops everything with curry), there’s a type of chicken and waffles to soothe every soul.
What makes it perfect?
To get the perfect chicken and waffle combination, each component has to be cooked to its best. In the case of the most popular version, the chicken should be well seasoned with a crunchy bite. The most common seasonings include salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne, all of which are mixed into the flour before coating. As for the waffles, the texture should be airy and fluffy, while the taste should be light and buttery. As for the syrup, maple always makes for better chicken and waffles than sugar syrup.
How to chow down
There are almost as many ways of eating chicken and waffles as there are ways of making it. Many fans of this dish proclaim that the best way to eat it is all at once. Start with a bed of waffles, add the chicken on top, then cover everything in a layer of syrup and try to get a little of each in every bite. Some also add hot sauce under the syrup for an extra kick. Of course, while sweetness, saltiness, and buttery goodness make a great combination, you can also eat the chicken separately to the waffles and syrup if you prefer.
Where to get it delivered
In need of the comfort only chicken and waffles can bring? Then order them from one of the many restaurants serving this dish in Singapore, like the waffle house Revelry or chicken-focused Cluck Cluck.