Ultimate Chicken and Waffles
Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.
1/4 c quinoa
small butternut squash
2 slices bacon
For the chicken:
2 Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or tenders
2 c Plain, nonfat yogurt
3 c All-purpose flour
1 T Sweet paprika
1 tsp Cayenne
Salt and Pepper to taste
Canola oil for frying
For the waffles:
1 3/4 c Whole Wheat spelt flour (you can use all-purpose or whole wheat, no worries)
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c milk
1/4 c cooked quinoa
1/2 c cooked butternut squash, mashed
For the syrup:
1/2 c pure Maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground chipotle (grind dried chile in coffee grinder till a fine powder)
There’s three main parts to this gig: cooking the ingredients, frying the chicken, and making the waffles. When it’s time to make the waffles, you want the ingredients ready to roll, so it’s a good idea to have them done ahead of time. In fact, it would probably be great to make them a day ahead. I tend to keep a cup or so of cooked quinoa in the fridge, so I just scooped some out for the waffles. If you’re working from the very beginning, here’s step one:
1) Cook about 1/4 c quinoa according to package directions, then set aside
Meanwhile, get your butternut squash cooking. 2) Peel and remove seeds from a small butternut squash.
3) Cut into 1″ cubes, and place in a saucepan
4) Dice two slices of bacon, add to squash
5) Add water to saucepan to almost cover squash/bacon
6) Cook on medium until squash is fork-tender – about 30 minutes – adding extra water if necessary
7) Set aside when done
Whisk together the yogurt, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place chicken in yogurt, stir to cover, and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
In a large baking dish, combine flour, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Pour about 3 inches of oil into a deep cast iron skillet. The oil should not come more than half way up the sides of the pot. Put the pot over medium-high heat and heat the oil.
To batter the chicken, remove tenders from yogurt, and dredge in flour mixture.
Working in batches, add the chicken tenders to the hot oil, 5 or so at a time and fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until evenly golden brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil with tongs and transfer to a rack to drain, then repeat to cook the remaining pieces.
Keep the chicken warm while making the waffles by placing it in the oven on the lowest temperature setting.
For the Waffles:
Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together in large bowl flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, butter, and milk. *If your melted butter is hot, be sure to temper it in the milk before adding it to the eggs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently whisk together to combine. Fold in quinoa and butternut. *Just the cooked butternut, not the bacon. Spoon 1/2 cup batter onto the hot iron, spread slightly, close lid, and bake until iron indicates “ready,” or until waffle is golden brown.
Mix syrup, cinnamon, and chipotle, and warm in a saucepan over low heat until slightly thickened.
The idea is to get all the amazing flavors in one bite, so it works well to slice a chicken tender, and place it over a plated waffle. Cover it with a second waffle if you like, then drizzle the waffles and chicken with a generous amount of syrup.