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Gluten-Free Living

Gluten-Free Living: Chicken and waffles two ways

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Gluten-free chicken and waffles, two ways. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

Until a month ago, I’d never heard of chicken and waffles, at least as a pair. Then, on a trip to the grocery store, I saw a bag of chicken and waffle flavored potato chips. The next week, a friend posted a picture of syrup-soaked drumsticks on Instagram. I heard the combination mentioned on a radio call-in show and, later, used as a punchline on late-night TV.

Chicken and waffles are suddenly everywhere, but where did this quirky concoction come from? And can it be gluten free?

There are actually two types of chicken and waffles, according to The History Kitchen. (If you haven’t visited this website, you should. It’s full of fascinating food trivia. See it at thehistorykitchen.com.) The fried chicken variety became popular in Harlem during the 1930s, when the Wells Supper Club served it to musicians who arrived too late for dinner but too early for breakfast.

The other, lesser known version is far older. It originated in Pennsylvania in the 1600s, when Dutch immigrants served slow-cooked chicken alongside waffles made with special irons they brought with them from Holland. Some recipes call for gravy. Others resemble chicken stew.

As it turns out, making either kind of chicken and waffles gluten free is easy. Figuring out how to do it without encouraging hate mail from every cardiologist in the state? That was a bit harder, but worth the effort.

For the fried chicken, I used the leanest breasts I could find and skipped the deep fryer. Instead, the meat is baked in a hot oven with a little coconut oil, which is full of healthy fats, can tolerate high temperatures and creates a crisp, brown crust.

The Dutch version was simpler to lighten up. I used chicken thighs, but dropped them in a crockpot with ample handfuls of chopped carrots and celery. The result was a smooth, moist stew that’s comforting but not greasy.

The waffles are mostly oats, soaked for a few hours in buttermilk and blended with the other ingredients. A bit of flax meal adds body and fiber.

Served with syrup and some cut fruit, either of these dishes makes for a tasty meal that’s sure to inspire conversation.

Stewed chicken and waffles

11∕2 pounds boneless chicken thighs

15-ounce can chicken broth

2 large carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

gluten-free waffles (recipe follows)

Place everything but the waffles in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Serve with waffles.

‘Fried’ chicken and waffles

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 cup gluten free Bisquick

pinch salt

pinch garlic powder

pepper to taste

2 eggs, beaten

11∕2 lbs chicken breasts cut into strips

gluten-free waffles (recipe follows)

syrup and butter for serving

Set the oven to 400 degrees. Place the oil in a 9-by-13-inch pan and allow it to melt inside the oven while it heats. Meanwhile, combine the Bisquick and spices in a large, shallow bowl. Once the oil is melted and hot, remove the pan from the oven. Dredge each chicken strip in the eggs, then coat with the Bisquick mixture. Repeat, then place the strips in the pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until juices run clear and the coating is crisp and golden brown.

Place a couple of waffles on each plate, then top with the chicken strips. Drizzle with syrup and serve with butter, if desired.

Gluten-free oatmeal waffles

2 cups gluten-free oats

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons flax meal

1∕2 cup gluten free Bisquick

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

gluten-free non-stick cooking spray

Place the oats and buttermilk in a blender and allow to soak for a few hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator. While the waffle iron preheats, place the remaining ingredients – except the non-stick spray – in a blender and mix until smooth. Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions, being sure to thoroughly spray the iron each time.

Makes 6 to 8 waffles.

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