Friday, January 9, 2015

Yeah, weird, but ever so delicious. Chef Roy's Healthy Food Recipes, once again! Chicken and Waffles Cajun Style

Chicken and waffles? Well, to me, it sounds pretty gross, but that's only because the execution of the concept is normally done with such utter disregard for the health of those consuming the stuff. White flour, syrup that is all High Fructose Corn Syrup and then CAFO chicken fried in overheated used soy oil, or worse, canola oil. Not a single thing there that's in any way healthy or good for you. It can be done better, and it can be done with a different twist on the whole thing as well. That's me, doing things different. So here goes.

I was at the farmers market (I'm at a market three days a week selling my stuff) and I bought a pasture raised organic chicken.  Seventeen bucks, I thought wow, three times the cost of a supermarket CAFO chicken and twice what one cost when I lived in Austin, but hey, I want to start including some higher quality bone broth and some organic meat into my diet on occasion. I'm gettin' older. So, I started by boning the bird. Removed the carcass and boned the thighs. I put the breasts and thighs in the fridge and roasted the bones, legs and wings along with the neck. My son ate the legs and wings and I took all the bones and put in a big stockpot with water and a bunch of stuff from my trash bag in the freezer. You know, onion skins, ends and tops from celery, carrot peelings, tops from some fennel. I save all that stuff for stock, either vegetable or like now, to improve the flavor of the chicken stock. A bunch of herbs from my herb garden and let it simmer overnight. I drained it, strained it and put it into jars and into the fridge.

Now, for the waffles, I wanted something with flavor, protein and a wow factor. So I cooked some soaked garbanzo beans for 20 minutes in pressure cooker. I took one cup of those beans and put into a sauce pan and cooked an additional 20 minutes on the stove to make them very soft. These I put into the blender and blender until smooth. Then I added a cup of whole wheat flour, two eggs, a quarter cup of coconut oil, and some plain yogurt and whizzed until smooth and the consistency of thick pancake batter. Let it sit a few hours, or all day or overnight. This lets the wheat ferment and breaks down the phytates and lectins that make wheat (and ALL plant materials) somewhat toxic. (( My articles on these techniques)) An hour before you want to eat, take about two quarts of the chicken stock and put into a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce by two thirds to concentrate the flavors. I then like to take the chicken pieces and dip into a beaten egg and coat with good whole wheat breadcrumbs. Now, into a skillet, melt some coconut oil and add some EVOO and a bit of butter as well. Fry the chicken parts until well browned on each side. Set aside, use a digital thermometer to check temperature, it should be 165. Now, in the same pan, remove all but about three tablespoons of any remaining oil then add a half cup of fine diced onion, one of diced peppers and celery. The Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking. Cook until well wilted and beginning to soften, then add some garlic. The amount is up to individual taste. Add about three tablespoons of unbleached flour and cook to make a roux. Add a half cup of good Cajun seasoning, then add the warm stock and bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

Now, back to the waffles, take the blender jar with your batter and check the consistency, add some water or milk to thin if needed, and now add a tablespoon baking powder and two of Cajun seasoning.  Heat up the waffle iron and cook your waffles like any normal plain waffle. Keep them warm. To serve, put a couple waffles on a plate, put a chicken piece on them and smother with the Cajun gravy. Yeah, you could use real maple syrup, but wow, try this first, savory vs. sweet, savory beats sweet every time.

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