Honey sweetens chicken and waffles

Though I?rarely fall into the Food Network trap, sometimes a glimpse of their oft-zoomed-in-on mouth-watering yet terribly bad for you All-American fare catches your eye … then stains your brain with images of sweet, savory, high-calorie goodness.

I had always wondered what the seemingly odd combination of chicken and waffles would be like. A?hearty, savory dinner staple combined with a light, sweet breakfast staple??A million roadside diners can’t be wrong, so several months ago I?traded in roughly five metric tons of Coca-Cola bottle cap codes in exchange for the best waffle iron I?could get for free.

Coincidentally, my Tribune Cooks turn came not long after Mother’s Day, when I?caught a glimpse of one of my favorite films honoring the hard work of moms everywhere, “Mildred Pierce,”?starring Joan Crawford.

In the film, Joan supports the lavish lifestyle of her ungrateful daughter by slaving away in her own chain of chicken ‘n’ waffle diners.?Even in black and white, the platters of fried chicken and fluffy waffles looked appetizing. And with honey as our theme, it fit perfectly.

Since fried chicken is hard to do healthily, I?tried to find a waffle recipe that had at least some healthy ingredients. Whole oats and pure honey can’t be that bad, right?

I?would have liked to procure some locally produced honey, but haven’t come upon any this yearly in the farmer’s market season. I?know the local community gardeners have some beehives near my house and previously sold jars at the farmer’s market. If you can find some, take advantage.

I also suggest doing a couple practice runs with your waffle iron if you’ve never used one before. There are several burnt, oddly shapen and decidedly inedible waffles at the bottom of my trash can right now.

The result is as American as peanut butter and jelly, and just as messy. When done right, the waffles come out crisp on the edges, fluffy in the middle. The oats add a nuttiness and texture. The honey flavor compliments the chicken, which is juicy and sweet.

The flavors work well together on the same fork; I?wouldn’t have thought meat and waffle would work, but bacon and pancakes get along just fine. Think of the waffle as a really nice side biscuit, and dig in.