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02/02/2014

~ Superbowl Sunday: Chicken and Waffle Sliders, or Roasted Chicken & Waffle BLT's w/Honey-Mustard ~

IMG_2530Joe and I have never thrown a Superbowl party and we don't accept invitations to Superbowl parties either.  Monday morning comes early, so, us two party poopers, home alone, sitting around in our PJ's enjoying the game (with some cocktails and a special snack or two) is party enough for us.  Last year the weather was so mild here in Happy Valley, I made a small pot of chili and Joe grilled two racks of babyback spareribs.  This year's weather?  No way!

IMG_2618These mini sandwiches are a party in your mouth!

IMG_1676About a week ago, my Facebook friend, Teresa Gottier, was kind enough to give me her recipe for yeast-risen waffles.  They get mixed together in less than five minutes, rise in the refrigerator overnight, and all you have to do the next day is plug in your waffle iron.  They are amazing.  Her kind gesture (and great recipe) was the inspiration for Chicken and Waffle Week here on Kitchen Encounters, and what a week it has been.  Just click on the Related Article links at the end of this blog post to get my recipes for:

~ Teresa's Easy-to-Make Overnight Belgian Waffles ~ (yeast-risen waffles)

~ Pennsylvania-Dutch-Country Chicken & Waffles ~ (topped w/roasted chicken & gravy)

~ Yankee-Style Southern-Fried Chicken & Waffles ~ (topped w/fried chicken & maple syrup)

IMG_2371It didn't take much imagination for me to want to incorporate my Waffle Week theme, and last Waffle Week blog post, into my Superbowl Sunday menu.  Sliders immediately popped into my head, but, the trick would be making slider-sized waffles.  About 5 minutes later, I had overnight-ordered this somewhat bizzarre looking mini-waffle-slider IMG_2376gadget from Amazon.  It only cost $30, so I wasn't exactly spending the family fortune if it didn't work.

Kenner_Easy_Bake_Oven_1960s_0a0789a0b9a265103bce_11And, when I removed it from the box, I had my doubts. Frankly, it is plastic-y and flimsy.  If I could equate it to one childhood remembrance, the Kenner, Easy Bake Oven, circa 1960, is it!

It is important to note that I chose this particular machine because it was designed to make Belgian waffles.  This means:  the grids are deep and bold, resulting in thicker waffles.  

Part One:  Making the Slider-Sized Waffles

IMG_2413Last night, I experimented using Aunt Jemima's pancake & waffle mix.  To my glee, this machine performed really well.  If you want to use a boxed mix, you'll need:

2  cups dry pancake and waffle mix

1  cup whole milk

2  large eggs, at room temperature

4  tablespoons vegetable oil

IMG_16091  teaspoon sea salt

Note:  These proprotions will make a slightly-thicker waffle batter than you are used to, and, very similar to yeast-risen waffles.  It will yield 28 mini-sized waffles, or enough for 14 slider-sized sandwiches.

Today, I am using ~ Teresa's Easy-to-Make Overnight Waffles ~.  I mixed the batter early this morning and it has risen in my refrigerator for 8 hours.  It too is going to yield 28, mini-sized waffles, or, 14, slider-sized sandwiches.

IMG_2397~ Step 1.  Preheat the waffle iron according to manufacturer's specifications (this takes less than 5 minutes).  Using a 2 tablespoon scoop or measure, place a level 2 tablespoons of batter into each grid.

Note:  Work as quickly as you can. These mini-waffles are going to start to cook immediately and fast. Try your best to get each batch on all at once so they cook uniformly.

IMG_2395~ Step 2.  Close the lid on the waffle iron.  Cook waffles for 45-60 seconds per side, or, for a total of 1 1/2-2 minutes.

Note:  This particular machine has a handle that rotates and flips the waffle iron upside down, allowing the waffles to cook evenly on the second side.  It works, but, with the both the thicker, boxed waffle batter, and, the yeast batter, it was not necessary to use that option.

IMG_2407~ Step 3 (Optional).  In a perfect waffle world, all waffles would come out perfectly shaped.  That is a fairy tale.  More often than not, some waffle batter oozes out of the grids, onto the flat plate, or even out of the side of the waffle iron.  Here is the solution for picture perfect waffles:

Remove waffles as you normally would (I use a fork) and allow them to cool for 1-2 minutes.  Use a pair of kitchen shears to trim any ragged edges from around the sides!

Part Two:  Building the Waffle-Slider Sandwiches

IMG_2600Deciding what to put on my waffle sliders was based solely upon our eating habits over the past week:

Lots of Chicken and Waffles! 

To recap:  #1. The best waffles on the planet topped with butter and maple syrup for breakfast; #2.  Said waffles topped with roasted chicken and gravy for dinner, and; #3. Waffles with fried-chicken and more maple syrup for a second dinner, then; #4.  Waffles topped with ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.  

While all of these could easily be adapted to make great waffle sliders, repeating these heavy renditions was not what I wanted. In fact, my writing this happy little post today is more about purchasing and using the waffle-slider machine than a slider recipe per se!  That being said:

IMG_1852I had a leftover roasted chicken in my refrigerator, so, I decided to make good use of it. (For those of you who haven't been following along, on Tuesday I roasted two chickens, which left me with one entire chicken to use in salads or sandwiches.)  I'm using it to make a lighter, healthier waffle slider!

Waffle slider BLT's sounded great to both Joe and I.  The only thing we couldn't agree on was what what type of mayonnaise-concoction or creamy salad dressing to top them with.  We were torn between:  blue-cheese, ranch, or honey-mustard.  We taste tested all three, and, whole-heartedly agreed that the honey-mustard dressing was the perfect sweet-and-savory compliment to both the chicken and the the waffles.  Here's everything you'll need:

24  slider-sized waffles (mine are slightly-less than 2" round)

8  tablespoons honey-mustard salad dressing (2 teaspoons per sandwich) 

6  slices thick-sliced bacon, crisply fried, each slice cut into 4 bite-sized pieces

12  tablespoons very-thin chiffonade of romaine lettuce

12  1/4"-thick slices Campari tomatoes

24, small, 1/4"-thick slices roasted chicken

additional honey-mustard dressing, for drizzling on sandwiches

Monterey Jack Cheedar w/hot pepper cheese cubes for accompaniment/snacks

IMG_2437 IMG_2429~ Step 1. Arrange 1/2 of the waffles on a serving plate and slather the tops with 1 teaspoon of honey-mustard.  Top each with 2 bite-sized pieces of bacon and 1 tablespoon of the romaine chiffonade (a fancy French term that means "little ribbons").

IMG_2454 IMG_2418                                      ~ Step 2. Place a tomato slice on top of each, followed by two thin slices of chicken.  Last, slather remaining waffles with another teaspoon of honey-mustard dressing, put the tops on the sandwiches, and, secure each with a sandwich pick.

Consume (eat) via one of two gender-friendly methods:  

#1.  For the gentlemen:  Serve on plates.  Remove the sandwich pick while simultaneously pressing down on the sandwich until it is mouth-friendly.  This works quite well for them!

#2.  For the ladies:  Serve on plates with a knife and fork.  Follow the same rules as the men, then, cut your slider into four ladylike pieces.  Each bite is like eating a mini-chef salad!

IMG_2587Superbowl Sunday:  Chicken and Waffle Sliders:  Recipe yields 24 mini-waffles and 12 slider sandwiches.

Special Equipment List:  mini-waffle-slider waffle iron; 2  tablespoon measuring scoop; fork;  cutting board; chef's knife; 12, 3 1/2" long sandwich picks

PICT1419Cook's Note: For another one of our favorite, hearty, knife-and-fork slider sandwich recipes, ~ Bring on the Reuben Sliders... and some beer too! ~ can be found in Categories 1, 2, 11 & 17.  Keep this one in mind for your St. Patrick's day party in March (it's almost time to start stocking up on corned beef)!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen, Copyright 2014)  

Comments

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Teresa! They were absolutely scrumptious -- because Belgian waffles have such deep grooves, when you press down on the sliders they absorb juices and become very user-friendly. All around great presentation and good eats (due to your waffle recipe of course)!

Mel, this post just floats my boat! It really is a "happy little post today." They are kind of like mini waffle club sandwiches, minus the middle slice. :)

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