Shared Plates: December 2017 Contest Winner
A self-professed sweet potato addict, it’s no surprise Erica Nkansah managed to work the spuds into her winning breakfast dish.
The pecan-crusted buttermilk chicken and sweet potato pie waffles were inspired by a visit to her father-in-law and his wife in North Carolina, she explains. During the vacation, a journey to the “almost world famous” Dame’s Chicken & Waffles cued her love for the dish.
“I love their food, it’s so good,” Nkansah writes. “So, with that in mind, I wanted to create my own recipe inspired by them.”
Pecan Crusted Buttermilk Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie Waffles
2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
¾ cup crushed pecans (almost powdery, with some small pieces)
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder mix
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Canola oil for frying
1¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Whole Grain mix
½ cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 whole egg
¼ cup melted coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
½ cup canned coconut milk (add more if needed)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar
For maple pecan butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 pinch salt
Start by tenderizing the chicken. Use a fork if you don’t have a tenderizer. Add buttermilk and refrigerate overnight, or about 12 hrs. *”Trust me, you want to let it sit in buttermilk so you can yield moist, juicy chicken.”
Peel and cut one small sweet potato into smaller pieces. Add to boiling water.
While sweet potatoes are boiling, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay Seasoning, Chinese five-spice, salt, paprika, and 1/4 cup of crushed pecans in a Ziploc bag. Shake and set aside.
Cut each chicken breast into three pieces. Shake off excess buttermilk and drop each piece into the flour mixture to coat. Remove and place chicken pieces on a cooling rack. Let sit 5-10 min.
In a small bowl, mix one egg and 2 teaspoons of water. Place 1/2 cup of crushed pecans on a plate. Dip chicken pieces into egg wash and return back to the flour mixture for a second coat. Roll re-coated chicken in pecans. Return to cooling rack.
Heat oil in a small saucepan on medium heat, while you warm up the waffle maker. When oil is ready, fry three chicken pieces at a time for about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remainder. Place fried chicken on clean cooling rack.
Once sweet potatoes are ready, mash in a mixing bowl. Add milk, waffle mix, egg, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well. *”If it’s too wet, add more waffle mix. You want it to be thick, or else waffles will be too moist.”
Place 1/4 cup of batter in the middle of the oiled waffle maker and cook until browned. Repeat with remainder of batter.
Combine softened butter, 1 teaspoon of crushed pecans, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt, using a fork mix until well combined. Set aside.
To serve, stack waffles on plate, top with chicken and butter. Drizzle with maple syrup. Add powdered sugar and pecan pieces.