Saturday, March 24, 2012

Date Night : Red Velvet Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Waffles with Cream Cheese-Pink Peppercorn Gravy and Spicy Cinnamon-Maple Syrup

I feel like it's been forever since I had a date night with my Mountain Man. We've just been so busy with school, work, and St. Patrick's Day last weekend... it's just kinda slipped our minds. So, we finally brought it back and decided to make chicken & waffles, again. I know our obsession is down right dirty. But we love it, so there. And we really outdid ourselves with this crazy combination. I had heard of Red Velvet Fried Chicken from some restaurant in San Francisco that made it famous. Well, I knew that I had to make it the second I could... it's just too crazy to pass up! So, I marinated chicken tenderloins in my red velvet cake batter for 24 hours, and then I made a second batch of my red velvet batter and baked a cake. After it was done baking, I crumbled the cake into a breadcrumb-like texture, and then toasted them in the oven until they were nice & crunchy (but not burt). I deep fried these suckers until they were a deep red color and crispy on the outside. Also, I made a homemade gravy with some cream cheese, as a play off the cream cheese frosting typically served with the cake, and added some pink peppercorns for some bite. The waffles needed something sweet, so I made a spicy cinnamon-maple syrup. The chicken was served on top of delicious buttermilk waffles and topped with all the homemade fixin's. This is definitely one odd dinner, but somehow it all works. The chicken alone is sweet, but with the gravy, waffles, and syrup, it is all balanced out. So don't be afraid, just jump right in!! Enjoy :)
Red Velvet Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Waffles with Cream Cheese-Pink Peppercorn Gravy
and Spicy Cinnamon-Maple Syrup

Look at that gorgeous red hue that the chicken got from the marinade
For the Red Velvet Cake Batter:
2lbs of Chicken Tenderloins
2 ½C AP Flour
1C Sugar
1t Baking Soda & Salt
2t Cocoa Powder
1 ½C Vegetable Oil
1C Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs
1oz Red Food Coloring
1t White Distilled Vinegar & Vanilla

For the Toasted Red Velvet Cake Crumbs:
2 ½C AP Flour
¾C Sugar
1t Baking Soda & Salt
2t Cocoa Powder
1 ½C Vegetable Oil
1C Buttermilk, Room Temperature
2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature 
1oz Red Food Coloring
1t White Distilled Vinegar & Vanilla

For the Red Velvet Fried Chicken:
Red Velvet Cake Batter-Marinated Chicken Tenderloins
Toasted Red Velvet Cake Crumbs
Canola Oil, For Frying
Salt & Pepper, For Sprinkling

For the Buttermilk Waffles:
¾C AP Flour
¼C Cornstarch
½t Baking Powder & salt
¼t Baking Soda
1 ½t Sugar
1C Buttermilk
1/3C Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
¾t Vanilla

For the Cream Cheese-Pink Peppercorn Gravy:
4T Butter
3T AP Flour
2-3C Milk
4oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1-2T Pink Peppercorns, Whole & Crushed (depends on how much pepper you like)
Cayenne, Ground Mustard, & Garlic Powder, To Taste

For the Spicy Cinnamon-Maple Syrup:
1C Pure Maple Syrup
1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
1T Hot Sauce

For the Red Velvet Fried Chicken & Cream Cheese Waffles:
Prepared Red Velvet Fried Chicken, Cooked
Prepared Buttermilk Waffles
Prepared Cream Cheese-Pink Peppercorn Gravy
Prepared Spicy Cinnamon-Maple Syrup

1. For the Red Velvet Cake Batter: Place the chicken tenderloins into a large plastic bag, and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring, white distilled vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly mix until combined & a smooth batter is formed. Pour the batter over the chicken in the plastic bag, and let the chicken marinate in the batter overnight or preferably 24 hours.
2. For the Toasted Red Velvet Cake Crumbs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9 pan with Pam and set it aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Once the cake has cooled, crumble the cake by hand onto a baking sheet until coarse crumbs are formed. Toast the cake crumbs until lightly golden brown & slightly crisp (making sure to toss them throughout the baking process). Now that they have cooked, let the toasted cake crumbs cool completely before coating the chicken in them.
3. Heat the quart of canola oil in a deep fryer to 350-375 degrees. While the oil heats, set up a battering station with red velvet marinated chicken and toasted red velvet cake crumbs (for coating). When ready to fry, place the chicken into the crumbs to coat the chicken in them (pressing the crumbs into the chicken, so there’s an even coating). Once you’ve coated the chicken, quickly add them to the hot oil and fry the chicken until they are deep reddish brown and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes (making sure to flip halfway through). Once the wings are fried, remove them to a wire rack to drain, and then season with salt and pepper. Keep the chicken warm in the oven while you make the waffles.
4. For the Buttermilk Waffles: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Whisk together to blend.  In another mixing bowl, beat together the buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated and few lumps remain.  Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat a waffle iron.  Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden. Serve immediately with the fried chicken or keep warm in the oven.
5. For the Cream Cheese-Pink Peppercorn Gravy: Melt the butter in a skillet. Combine the butter with the flour, continuously whisking, cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes until a roux is formed. Add the milk slowly to the skillet and mix the roux using a whisk. Turn the heat down to low and continue stirring until he mixture is thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add in salt and the pink peppercorns (I used some crushed peppercorn and whole peppercorns) to taste (and any other seasonings you would like to add). If the gravy is too thick for your taste, you can thin it by adding more milk, a tablespoon at a time. Keep warm until ready to garnish.
6. For the Spicy Cinnamon-Maple Syrup: Heat the syrup and cinnamon sticks over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add in the hot sauce, and let it steep for 1 hour. Remove the sticks and pour into a small pitcher.
7. To Assemble the Chicken & Waffles: Place the buttermilk waffles in the center of your plate and spread with softened butter. Top the waffle with the red velvet fried chicken. Drizzle a heavy helping of peppercorn gravy and drizzle with the outsides of the plate with the spicy cinnamon-maple syrup on top and enjoy!!


  1. Sounds yummy, and I would like to try it.... Soon!

  2. You definitely should, especially if you're like me and love sweet & savory recipes. I mean it's like dessert for dinner! Let know if you try it :)