Friday, March 4, 2011

PA Dutch Chicken & Waffles

I decided I needed to do a piece on chicken and waffles. Folks from other areas THINK they know what that is, but they'd be wrong. It is NOT fried chicken with waffles and syrup. That may be good, but it isn't PA Dutch Chicken and Waffles. And that is superior on the comfort food scale in every way. This is centric to our coal region and PA Dutch country area here in PA. It's great for left over chicken or turkey. And it is the stuff that Church and Fire Company Suppers are made of as well around here. It equates to "good eatin' "!

First of all, get rid of the notion that waffles must have syrup on them. My poor mom who is from western NY, still has this notion. But in her defense, she grew up in a family with their own sugar shack, and so she thinks every darn thing must be drowned in maple syrup! While I give that area a lot of credit (Friday Fish Fry and maple syrup are the best), they are wrong on this. They also say "pop" instead of soda. 'Course, they do that in western PA too, but we know why that makes west different than east, LOL! Me, I am dyed in the wool PA. Born and raised. So I love this dish, and have helped make it for church suppers for years. I am actually going to give the whole menu, because this is a full meal experience in my book. I LOVE chicken and waffles!

The whole meal menu is chicken and waffles with mashed potatoes, corn, applesauce and pepper cabbage. I am including a recipe for the pepper cabbage as well since that is another PA Dutch staple here that I love. It is NOT coleslaw.

This is for a family size, do a whole chicken/turkey for more than a couple of people. While the instructions give you the pot method, this great to do in the crock pot as well, gives great flavor to the chicken. We use the big roasters for the church suppers.



Cooking oil
1/2 of a whole chicken (about 4 pounds when whole)

Salt and pepper to taste (I don't use much salt, but do like mine to have more pepper)

1 stalk celery

1 medium carrot

1 small onion, peeled

1 bay leaf

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth, plus water to cover chicken

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cold water

1 batch of your favorite waffles
Heat olive oil in a stew pan over high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add to pan and brown on both sides. Add celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf and broth. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 60 minutes. Remove chicken from pot; cool, remove fat and bones and pull apart into small pieces. Skim excess fat from the broth. Discard the vegetables (or eat as cook's treat). Mix the flour with the water until smooth. Bring the broth to a slow boil. Add the flour-water paste gradually, stirring rapidly after each addition. Continue until gravy is the desired thickness. Taste for seasoning. Add the chicken and keep warm over very low heat.




1 pound green cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup grated carrot


1/2 cup cold water

5 tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Combine the cabbage, green pepper, celery and carrot in bowl. Toss well.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss together. Cover bowl tightly and marinate in refrigerator for several hours before serving. Toss and taste for seasoning. (Will keep in refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

Meanwhile, make the waffles according to recipe and waffle iron. Also the mashed potatoes and corn. If necessary, place in a 200° F oven to keep warm. Serve the waffles and mashed potatoes topped with chicken and gravy with the corn, applesauce and pepper cabbage as sides.

A great site to visit about PA Dutch Food and recipes is

She gives the background on PA Dutch so am not going to duplicate the effort here. Many of the recipes she has are the same as mine handed down, so good stuff. I'll still share mine though because some of them have been tweaked with other influences like polish or Italian influences.