Saturday, July 7, 2012

Something Really Unusual...

It's cooking challenge time again! This month is savoury food instead of something baked, which I am usually not so keen on, but I was actually really excited about this month's challenge! You see, this month's challenge is fried chicken, something that is very popular in America but not really the done thing in my part of the world, so it's something that I have never made and when I first read this month's challenge topic I thought it would be a good chance to find a great recipe to fall back on when people need a treat. I always find it a bit hard to find blog recipes so I went to that old stand-by, the erecipecards website. This is the part where I got really excited about this month's challenge, enough so that I made this nearly a month before the due date. What I found was a way to turn this month's challenge into a sweet, baked treat! It turns out that in America you can have fried chicken with waffles and maple syrup for breakfast and this amazingly creative blogger turned that breakfast into a maple waffle fried chicken cupcake!! I saw it, I thought about it for maybe two minutes, and I knew that I absolutely had to try it. I mean, topping a cupcake with chicken? What sort of crazy person does that? Well, me, for one! And you know what? They were actually really good, in a strange sort of way.

Maple Waffle Cupcakes
(for 24 mini cupcakes)

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup (90 mL) maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (original recipe called for nutmeg, yeugh!)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

This is probably the fastest cupcake to mix up that I have ever encountered. It's all on account of melting the butter instead of creaming it. Because it is so fast to mix up make sure to preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius before you get started! These cupcakes are best in very small form, so that a single bite gives you maple-cake-chicken goodness. So grease or line a 24 hole mini-muffin pan.

In a large glass bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Add the sugar and mix together well with a large spoon. Then add the egg, maple syrup and vanilla and mix well. I dipped my finger in the mixture at this point and that is when I realised why Americans are in love with maple syrup - it is so amazingly yummy!!!

Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and give it a good stir. Add the buttermilk and mix until the batter is smooth. Then spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, so that each hole is about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (check that they are done by inserting a skewer - it should come out clean). After 5 minutes remove them from the tray and let them cool!

Spicy Cream Cheese Icing

110 grams cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons buttermilk
3 drops tabasco sauce
Tiny pinch cinnamon (same as above about the nutmeg...)
2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar (reduce by a half cup if you want runnier icing)

This recipe makes too much icing for the number of cupcakes, but you probably wouldn't want to halve it because then there wouldn't be enough. It is really yummy so I'm sure nobody will mind having leftover frosting.

To prepare the frosting, simple beat all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth, frosting-like consistency. Spread a thick layer on the cooled cupcakes.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

1 cup buttermilk
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 kg chicken tenderloins, cut into 1 inch cubes (or other chicken pieces for just fried chicken as opposed to cupcake toppings)
1 cup frying oil
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cube oxo chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
Salt and black pepper (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of each)

So now for the unusual part of the recipe! My first attempt at fried chicken went quite well. I also fried up bigger pieces of chicken using this recipe and I found that it worked better when I lightly fried the outside of the chicken, then baked it in the oven for half an hour to finish cooking it. For the small chicken pieces I cooked them the whole way through in the frying pan and I found that they were a bit dry and too dark on the outside. But perhaps my oil was too hot.

So first of all, there is an overnight step so even though I have put the chicken at the end of the recipe, you need to begin it first. In a large, shallow dish combine the buttermilk, garlic, paprika and chilli powder. Place the chicken pieces in, make sure they are thoroughly drenched in the marinade, then cover the dish and leave in the fridge overnight.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, combine the flour with all of the seasonings in a large bowl. Pour more buttermilk into a separate bowl. Then heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan until it is at about 180 degrees celsius (it should sizzle when you sprinkle some flour into it). Also preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Take each piece of chicken out of the marinade and coat it liberally in flour. Dip it into the extra buttermilk, then coat again in flour. Place in the hot oil and let it cook until the coating is golden. Carefully turn each piece and cook further until the other side is golden. Then remove the chicken from the oil and place in the oven to bake until it is cooked through (test it by cutting a piece in half).

Let the chicken pieces cool, then place one on top of each cupcake. Don't put the cupcakes together while the chicken is still hot or the frosting will melt!



  1. I've had chicken and waffles in Southern restaurants but this brings it to a whole other level - what a unique recipe!!! - I am CCC #21

  2. How unique and delicious sounding, way to take a challenge to the max.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my CCC entry Copycat "KFC" Original Recipe Fried Chicken

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. Yum! I've seen similar recipes to this, but never tried making it myself.

  4. Yummmmmmm! So many recipes to try but yours was sweet and savory all in one :)

  5. I love that you took this challenge and really ran with it! These cupcakes sound delicious!

    Check out my entry:

  6. WOW! What a fabulous way to serve fried chicken! I didn't think fried chicken could get any better and then you did this!


  7. What a unique spin on chicken & waffles!! I love to see what everyone is coming up with!

    Have a great weekend!


  8. What a great unique recipe! Definitely out of the norm.


  9. This is so unique, what a creative spin on chicken and waffles!! Stopping by from CCC#45.

  10. What a great recipe-it's so unique! Great SRC pick!

    I'm CCC #10 :)

  11. You're a brave and adventurous soul!


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