Don’t “waffle” over what to eat for brunch! Tahini Waffles with Za’atar Fried Chicken and Harissa Maple Syrup make Middle Eastern Chicken and Waffles!!!
Y’all I am so excited about this recipe. Because I freaking love chicken & waffles. And somehow these are even better than the original! And I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t drink a little of that harissa maple syrup. And I’m no liar.
I don’t watch too much TV. Usually it’s
The Bachelorette the local news or Family Feud. But I’m also obsessed with foodie shows. If I’m not making food, I want to watch food. Is that weird? Didn’t think so.
You may not know this about me, but I went to undergrad in Atlanta, and that was my first taste of the south (though Texas isn’t totally the south. It’s TEXAS. Stands alone.) I loved living in Atlanta. So there is a new show called Southern Uncovered with The Lee Bros I will definitely be checking out. In each episode, award-winning Southern food and travel experts Matt Lee and Ted Lee explore a different city in the south seeking to expose the unique and unexpected sides of Southern cuisine and culture. They’ll be in Charleston, Atlanta (whoop!), Dallas, New Orleans, Asheville & Louisville.
This series not only uncovers the best in Southern food and flavor, but also looks at how a city’s culinary scene influences its music, art, fashion and more as they introduce us to the people, places and amazing plates that define the South, beyond the stereotypes. Southern food is way more than over cooked and over salted fried stuff, y’all.
Southern Uncovered will have its world premiere Sunday, June 14 at 8 pm ET on Ovation TV. But you can get a sneak peak here! Let me know what you think if you watch!
Anyhoo, county fairs, Nascar, and a little joint known as Waffle House. No wonder I loved Hotlanta! Ahh WaHo. We went there just as much for the people watching as the smothering and scattered hashbrowns. You’d never know who you would see there. Local athletes, actual pimps, it was glorious. But while Waffle House killed it on the waffles and late night accessibility, I was shocked to learn you couldn’t get fried chicken on the aforementioned waffle. Shocked!
Luckily, chicken and waffles seems to be trendy now, so you can get the traditional kind anytime you like (though possibly not at 4am, sandwich between and exotic dancer and a taxi driver). But, when it came time to make my own, of course I wanted a twist. Duh.
I started with my favorite spice, za’atar <—- links to recipe. You can also just buy the spice blend (I found some at Central Market in Austin.) It gave the perfect tart yet earthy flavor to the fried chicken. Check. Balanced with nutty tahini waffles. And to die for spicy and sweet harissa maple syrup. All garnished with sesame seeds, and invisible unicorn tears. (Just seeing if you are still reading.)
Hello fried chicken. You can just eat these babies on their own too!
Top your waffles with the chicken and drizzle with harissa maple syrup. You’ll start saying y’all in no time.
Middle Eastern Chicken & Waffles
- For Za'atar Fried Chicken:
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or tenderloins
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons za'atar
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
- For Tahini Waffles:
- 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons oil I used grapeseed, vegetable or (melted coconut works well too!)
- Cooking spray or oil
- For Harissa Maple Syrup:
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon harissa
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- In night before cooking, place chicken (I used tenderloins) in a bowl and cover with 1 cup almond milk. Soak overnight to tenderize chicken, stirring occasionally.
- The next day, make your tahini waffles! Preheat a waffle iron to high heat. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the tahini, egg, milk and oil. Add this to the flour mixture and combine.
- Spray the waffle iron surface with cooking spray or brush with more oil. Pour half of the batter into the waffle iron and cook until the waffle is golden brown, approximately 7-8 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter and keep waffles warm hot until foil.
- Mix maple syrup and harissa together and set aside.
- Now, it's chicken time! Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat until the oil reaches 325 degrees F.
- While the oil is heating, mix flour with za'atar in one pan and whisk together and pour remaining almond milk in another. Set aside a cooling rack over paper towels. Using tongs, place the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then in the almond milk, then back in the flour. Fry chicken in oil in batches (don't overcrowd or the oil temperature will lower) until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes per side.
- Drain chicken on cooling racks over paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt. Serve over waffles with lots of harissa maple syrup and sesame seed garnishes!
This post is sponsored by Southern Uncovered. Thanks for reading and supporting, y’all! Jew rock.