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Recipe

Ginger-Sesame Waffles with Indonesian Fried Chicken

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes five 6-1/2-inch round Belgian-style waffles

Servings: 4 to 6

Want to wow guests at dinner? Make this. It’s wild and wonderful with flavors and textures that get better with every bite.

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, bruised with the back of a knife, and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 fresh Thai bird chile or jalapeño, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 1 Tbs. ground turmeric
  • 1 3- to 4-lb. chicken, backbone removed, quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1 medium lime, cut in half, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 quart canola oil

For the chile-garlic sauce

  • 6 dried Thai bird chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 oz. basil leaves (about 1/3 cup), preferably Thai basil
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • Kosher salt

For the honey-sesame butter

  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil

For the waffles

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preparation

Marinate the chicken

  • In a small bowl, combine the lemongrass, chile, and turmeric.
  • Put the chicken in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Season all over with 1 Tbs. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, and then drizzle with the fish sauce. Rub the chicken all over with the lemongrass mixture. Squeeze the lime halves over the chicken, then add the halves to the baking dish. Add the coconut milk, and turn the chicken to coat. Marinate for 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Make the sauce

  • Combine the chiles, garlic, and ginger with 1/3 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let cool briefly, then transfer to a food processor. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and process to a coarse paste. Add the vinegar and process again to blend. Add the basil, olive oil, honey, and 1 tsp. salt and pulse until combined.

Make the butter

  • In a small bowl, mix the butter, honey, and sesame oil until well blended.

Parcook the chicken

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Add 1/2 cup of water to the baking dish with the chicken, then cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then let sit until cool enough to handle.

Make the waffle batter

  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, ginger, and sesame seeds. Add the butter and whisk again. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix together gently.

Fry the chicken and bake the waffles

  • Place a wire rack on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Fit a 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot with a deep-fry thermometer, add the oil, and heat over medium high to 350°F. Heat the oven to 200°F. Heat a waffle iron.
  • Remove the chicken from the liquid and pat dry with paper towels. Working in batches, fry the chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain 350°F and turning the chicken occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F in the thickest part of each piece, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the rack over the baking sheet and salt generously.
  • Meanwhile, cook the waffles according to the waffle iron manufacturer’s directions until golden and crisp. Keep warm in the oven.
  • Serve the waffles topped with the butter and a piece of chicken (cut up the chicken pieces and waffles, if necessary, to serve six). Serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.

Make Ahead Tips

The chile-garlic sauce can be made up to 3 weeks ahead and refrigerated, covered.

The honey-sesame butter will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a couple of weeks; let soften before using.

The chicken can be parcooked up to 1 day ahead; keep it in the cooking liquid, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before frying.

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