It seems to me that I’m going through a breakfast phase. Eggs at most meals, bacon at dinner. This is good for the winter. It’s cold, it’s comforting to have maple syrup on the table. It reminds you that the sap will be rising again soon, tapped by our friends the farmers. Rising sap means spring can’t be too far off. Tell that to the ice storm that’s supposed to be coming through tonight, but I digress from my pretty story.
Saturday morning, Cherub wanted waffles. Being the loving, indulgent mother I am – don’t snicker derisively, you – I set to doing it right
after a large cup of coffee away. Curses that we were out of butter. No matter, it seems. Mr. James Beard himself says waffles are just delicious with bacon fat. Well, certainly! Now before you go shaking your head and saying, “How can a loving mother feed her child bacon fat!?!” It’s really very easy. You just don’t do it every day.
So a good batch of waffles were sitting in the fridge, leftover, insisting that something to be done with them. Chicken and waffles is the obvious choice. But I wasn’t about to serve fried chicken with those bacon-y waffles, although that would have been divine. I opted for a lighter version, a pan seared chicken breast.
I do go for the bone in, skin on version, as it makes for a tastier, moister breast. It’s easily de-boned before serving, takes all of about 15 seconds, really. You have fifteen seconds, don’t you? And if you want really, good, fresh chicken, stop by North Market Poultry and Game. They have the very best here in Columbus, bar none.
The best way to cook a chicken breast (or two) is to season it generously with salt and pepper and sear it in a 10-inch pan that’s got some good (and hot) olive oil in it. Let it brown very well, skin side down first, then flip it over and brown the other side as well. Add in about a cup and a half of chicken stock, a sprig of thyme and a clove of crushed garlic, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to cook fairly slowly, turning and basting the chicken until it’s done. Twenty to thirty minutes or so should do the trick. Also by this time, your stock should be just about reduced to nothing. Snug up the curved sides of the breast to the sides of the pan to get a good last bit of browning on them then pull them out to rest a few moments while you toast the leftover waffles and heat up the syrup.
To serve, remove the bones from the chicken (and the skin if you must) and slice. Place on top of the waffle. Add a slice of bacon or two if you want some extra protein. Drizzle generously with maple syrup and cross your fingers spring comes sooner rather than later.
Playlist included Radioactive by Kings of Leon.