Well, not really. In fact, not at all. BUT, I did learn something rather interesting recently from some friends and in articles and blog posts I’ve stumbled upon.
There are strange culinary combinations a-plenty in the world of cooking, and some are admittedly more outlandish than others. Let’s take two long-standing some-would-call comfort foods for example: cheese and steak. Lathering cheese on steak? That’s sounds overly adventurous. Oh wait. Do that and slop it on a bun: Philly cheesesteak. Going approximately 2300 kilometres Southwest from Philadelphia will take us to Austin, Texas, where they too have combined two tried and true food items into a local buzz-generating delicacy*: waffles and fried chicken.
In Austin*, this isn’t something that’s too striking, it could almost even be called a somewhat pervasive fad. And this fad is seemingly becoming more and more widespread as more and more people are catching on and enjoying this rather peculiar pairing. This pseudo-delicacy can be fried chicken with butter (or syrup) dressed waffles, or fried chicken on waffle with some sort of lather (butter, syrup, gravy, whatever) over both.
The origins of the chicken waffle are indefinite, but its rise to popularity and penetration into the mainstream can be arguably attributed to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in L.A. during the 70s. How and why this food fad diffused to other parts of the U.S. and why the Austin rendition is receiving quite a bit of buzz is perhaps a post for another time.
On the same note of buzz in Austin, it seems a little street-side vendor is becoming rather famous for its chicken waffles: Lucky J’s. Its success is such that it is no longer just a modest vendor car, but it will become a full-fledged dining establishment with indoor seating.
Its important to remember that what were initially inconceivable marriages of completely clashing food items have become quite normal (and tasty) today: jam and peanut butter, fruit and cheese, syrup and breakfast sausages, mustard and honey, chocolate and poultry, to name a few. So, its not too inconceivable at all that chicken and waffles is something that will be assimilated into the realm of “acceptable, normal food”.
Personally, I’m skeptical of this odd creation, but (taking my own advice) that’s not to say I won’t go try it. I haven’t yet been lucky enough to visit Austin*, and when I do, it’s a promise to myself that I’m going to get my taste buds on some chicken and waffles.
*waffles and chicken are by no means exclusive to Austin as you can find it in quite a few other places in the U.S., actually