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Eat 'em Up Chicken and Waffles

Eat 'em Up Chicken and Waffles
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  • Post #31 - April 9th, 2010, 1:22 pm
    Post #31 - April 9th, 2010, 1:22 pm Post #31 - April 9th, 2010, 1:22 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I'm guessing even before Wells Restaurant in Harlem!

    Yes, the mentions of chicken and waffles that LAZ quotes above make it clear the dish was well established long before Wells (or Hollywood) opened in Harlem. Also, have a look at Barry Popik's list of early mentions of chicken and waffles. Interestingly, many of the citations are from Pennsylvania newspapers.
  • Post #32 - April 9th, 2010, 1:29 pm
    Post #32 - April 9th, 2010, 1:29 pm Post #32 - April 9th, 2010, 1:29 pm
    Hi,

    I am not surprised to find citations from Pennsylvania. A few years ago, I was at a conference in Michigan where a presenter gave the nod to the Amish for Chicken and Waffles. It really was jaw dropping news to me at the time.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #33 - April 9th, 2010, 2:07 pm
    Post #33 - April 9th, 2010, 2:07 pm Post #33 - April 9th, 2010, 2:07 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    I am not surprised to find citations from Pennsylvania. A few years ago, I was at a conference in Michigan where a presenter gave the nod to the Amish for Chicken and Waffles. It really was jaw dropping news to me at the time.

    Regards,


    I think if we dig deep enough, the roots may actually lie in former colony and proposed state Transylvania:

    Image

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transylvania_%28colony%29

    Mmm, olde waffyls.
  • Post #34 - April 11th, 2010, 10:22 pm
    Post #34 - April 11th, 2010, 10:22 pm Post #34 - April 11th, 2010, 10:22 pm
    One addition for the Hammond / Fuller roundup: Nightwood.

    Image

    Chicken wings and waffles with fresh strawberry compote, pecans, and a vanilla creme anglaise, $14.

    This hit the spot after thinking about the article for a few days (thanks to Ronnie for crosslinking and Rene for refreshing the thread). Chicken wings could not have been more expertly cooked, clearly buttermilk-brined, healthy yellow chicken with a crackly ginger-hinting coating and perfect lacy, light waffles. I did not need the creme; I should have asked for maple syrup to un-fuss the plate a bit, but the execution on the individual elements was a 10, and there really is a harmony to crispy chicken bits and buttery waffle crevices worth exploring.
  • Post #35 - April 11th, 2010, 11:18 pm
    Post #35 - April 11th, 2010, 11:18 pm Post #35 - April 11th, 2010, 11:18 pm
    Rene G wrote:Yes, the mentions of chicken and waffles that LAZ quotes above make it clear the dish was well established long before Wells (or Hollywood) opened in Harlem.


    And if you read the earliest mention, the quote from "Mabel Clifton," published in 1869, the offhanded way the combination is mentioned makes it seem as if the dish must have been very well known by then. It wasn't something that needed to be explained.or described in detail. So my guess is that it goes back even earlier.

    There a little more historical info in this thread.
  • Post #36 - June 8th, 2010, 7:44 pm
    Post #36 - June 8th, 2010, 7:44 pm Post #36 - June 8th, 2010, 7:44 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I have a hazy memory of reading about--or maybe even being in, I can't be sure anymore--a chicken-and-waffle place that goes way back, in Chambersburg, PA. (The south-central part of the state.) My paternal grandmother who died in 1955 had family in Chambersburg, which might account for why I was there a long time ago. A little googling resulted in my finding that there is something called "Pennsylvania Dutch chicken and waffles," and that more than one place in this part of the state has been serving the dish for a long time. I'm guessing even before Wells Restaurant in Harlem!

    Was it Molly Pitcher Waffle Shop, a venerable restaurant in Chambersburg? Do you recall if the chicken was fried or was it boneless pieces in gravy? Here's a picture of Molly Pitcher's chicken and waffles.

    It's beginning to dawn on me (admittedly based on not-very-extensive evidence) that there are two relatively independent traditions of chicken and waffles in the US: let's call them Amish and Southern. The Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch often topped waffles with a stew of boneless chicken pieces in gravy or cream sauce whereas in the South, fried chicken (on the bone) and waffles often came accompanied by syrup or honey. Clearly there is overlap: fried chicken and waffles were sometimes served in Pennsylvania and Ohio just as creamed chicken and waffles occasionally appeared in Southern states. Still, I think it makes sense to speak of two somewhat distinct styles. It was the Southern approach that influenced the Harlem restaurants in the early 20th century. Not much Amish migration to Harlem I guess.
  • Post #37 - June 9th, 2010, 4:15 am
    Post #37 - June 9th, 2010, 4:15 am Post #37 - June 9th, 2010, 4:15 am
    Rene G wrote:It's beginning to dawn on me (admittedly based on not-very-extensive evidence) that there are two relatively independent traditions of chicken and waffles in the US: let's call them Amish and Southern. The Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch often topped waffles with a stew of boneless chicken pieces in gravy or cream sauce whereas in the South, fried chicken (on the bone) and waffles often came accompanied by syrup or honey. Clearly there is overlap: fried chicken and waffles were sometimes served in Pennsylvania and Ohio just as creamed chicken and waffles occasionally appeared in Southern states. Still, I think it makes sense to speak of two somewhat distinct styles. It was the Southern approach that influenced the Harlem restaurants in the early 20th century. Not much Amish migration to Harlem I guess.

    I am really wondering about what evidence there is that chicken and waffles originated in the South.

    I have cited many late 19th- and early 20th-century references to chicken and waffles connected to Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley -- all as discrete chicken pieces (not stew) served with waffles. Popik's citations are all from the north as well. Can you cite any Southern references that antedate those?

    All of those I can find are later, such as this reference to "Southern" chicken and waffles being served in Chicago in Edna Ferber's 1917 "Fanny Herself":
    She wandered down South Clark street, flaring with purple-white arc-lights, and looked in at its windows that displayed a pawnbroker's glittering wares, or, just next door, a flat-topped stove over which a white-capped magician whose face smacked of the galley, performed deft tricks with a pancake turner. "Southern chicken dinner," a lying sign read, "with waffles and real maple syrup, 35 cents each."
    (emphasis added)
  • Post #38 - June 9th, 2010, 6:51 am
    Post #38 - June 9th, 2010, 6:51 am Post #38 - June 9th, 2010, 6:51 am
    Rene G wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:I have a hazy memory of reading about--or maybe even being in, I can't be sure anymore--a chicken-and-waffle place that goes way back, in Chambersburg, PA. (The south-central part of the state.) My paternal grandmother who died in 1955 had family in Chambersburg, which might account for why I was there a long time ago. A little googling resulted in my finding that there is something called "Pennsylvania Dutch chicken and waffles," and that more than one place in this part of the state has been serving the dish for a long time. I'm guessing even before Wells Restaurant in Harlem!

    Was it Molly Pitcher Waffle Shop, a venerable restaurant in Chambersburg? Do you recall if the chicken was fried or was it boneless pieces in gravy? Here's a picture of Molly Pitcher's chicken and waffles.

    That was the place, Rene! Your invoking the name brings back a more specific visual memory--I picture a lunch counter as well as tables/booths, and on a menuboard hanging on the wall behind the lunch counter was listed chicken and waffles as an item. If my memory is not getting too ambitious on me now, the menuboard was one of those black things that you stick little white letters on.

    But we didn't order it, nor did I see it served to anyone else, so I can't tell you if the chicken was fried or pieces-in-sauce. We wanted something lighter, plus I remember thinking, "Whoa, that's weird, whoever would want chicken combined with waffles? Waffles are for breakfast, and chicken isn't. What goes on in this neck of the woods?!?" This was followed by the thought, "Hmm, come to think of it, that does sound like it would be really great. But still not what I need to eat." Today I would think differently, of course.
  • Post #39 - June 10th, 2010, 7:40 pm
    Post #39 - June 10th, 2010, 7:40 pm Post #39 - June 10th, 2010, 7:40 pm
    LAZ wrote:
    Rene G wrote:It's beginning to dawn on me (admittedly based on not-very-extensive evidence) that there are two relatively independent traditions of chicken and waffles in the US: let's call them Amish and Southern. The Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch often topped waffles with a stew of boneless chicken pieces in gravy or cream sauce whereas in the South, fried chicken (on the bone) and waffles often came accompanied by syrup or honey. Clearly there is overlap: fried chicken and waffles were sometimes served in Pennsylvania and Ohio just as creamed chicken and waffles occasionally appeared in Southern states. Still, I think it makes sense to speak of two somewhat distinct styles. It was the Southern approach that influenced the Harlem restaurants in the early 20th century. Not much Amish migration to Harlem I guess.

    I am really wondering about what evidence there is that chicken and waffles originated in the South.

    I have cited many late 19th- and early 20th-century references to chicken and waffles connected to Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley -- all as discrete chicken pieces (not stew) served with waffles. Popik's citations are all from the north as well. Can you cite any Southern references that antedate those?

    I didn't claim that chicken and waffles first appeared together in the South. I hope I didn't give that impression because I don't believe that to be the case (I really haven't looked into it in enough detail to come to any firm conclusion). I fail to see how postulating two traditions of chicken and waffles implies that a particular one antedates the other.

    I suppose at one time, before I'd given the topic any thought, I bought into the idea that the dish began at Wells in Harlem. Several years ago I realized the story is much more complex when I heard of the talk at the Longone Symposium (mentioned above) exploring the Amish roots of chicken and waffles. The citations you provide support and extend this notion.

    LAZ wrote:All of those I can find are later, such as this reference to "Southern" chicken and waffles being served in Chicago in Edna Ferber's 1917 "Fanny Herself":
    She wandered down South Clark street, flaring with purple-white arc-lights, and looked in at its windows that displayed a pawnbroker's glittering wares, or, just next door, a flat-topped stove over which a white-capped magician whose face smacked of the galley, performed deft tricks with a pancake turner. "Southern chicken dinner," a lying sign read, "with waffles and real maple syrup, 35 cents each."
    (emphasis added)

    I find that Edna Ferber quote very interesting. It shows that, by the second decade of the 20th century, fried chicken and waffles was viewed by some as a Southern dish.
  • Post #40 - June 10th, 2010, 11:00 pm
    Post #40 - June 10th, 2010, 11:00 pm Post #40 - June 10th, 2010, 11:00 pm
    Rene G wrote:I didn't claim that chicken and waffles first appeared together in the South. I hope I didn't give that impression because I don't believe that to be the case (I really haven't looked into it in enough detail to come to any firm conclusion). I fail to see how postulating two traditions of chicken and waffles implies that a particular one antedates the other.

    This is the statement that implied that you see pairing of fried chicken with waffles as an intrisically Southern dish:
    Rene G wrote:It was the Southern approach that influenced the Harlem restaurants in the early 20th century. Not much Amish migration to Harlem I guess.

    I'm just not at all convinced that that is true. I'm not saying that fried chicken and waffles is Amish, either, mind you, just that it seems to have been present in states that have historically had Amish populations. None of the references I've come across mention the Amish, and you'd think one of them might have.

    I think people tend to see fried chicken and waffles as Southern because they see fried chicken as Southern. But the only evidence of fried-chicken-and-waffle tradition seems to be in L.A. and Harlem and much earlier in Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley, so I'm not clear how the combination is "Southern" at all.

    Rene G wrote:
    LAZ wrote:All of those I can find are later, such as this reference to "Southern" chicken and waffles being served in Chicago in Edna Ferber's 1917 "Fanny Herself":
    She wandered down South Clark street, flaring with purple-white arc-lights, and looked in at its windows that displayed a pawnbroker's glittering wares, or, just next door, a flat-topped stove over which a white-capped magician whose face smacked of the galley, performed deft tricks with a pancake turner. "Southern chicken dinner," a lying sign read, "with waffles and real maple syrup, 35 cents each."
    (emphasis added)

    I find that Edna Ferber quote very interesting. It shows that, by the second decade of the 20th century, fried chicken and waffles was viewed by some as a Southern dish.

    I'm not so sure about that, given the separation in the quote between "Southern" and "waffles." Unquestionably, "Southern chicken" was a synonym for "fried chicken" by that time, but if "Southern chicken dinner" meant chicken and waffles, why mention the waffles separately? And Ferber, for whatever reason, must have considered something about the dish to be inauthentic, hence "lying."
  • Post #41 - July 2nd, 2010, 9:35 pm
    Post #41 - July 2nd, 2010, 9:35 pm Post #41 - July 2nd, 2010, 9:35 pm
    Hi,

    Another log on the waffle discussion. I was watching this evening, "A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy." While reviewing the Green Room, Jacqueline Kennedy said, "This used to be the dining room, and this is where Jefferson gave his famous dinners and introduced such exotic foods as macaroni, waffles and ice cream to the United States."

    Jefferson has been attributed to introducing the tomato as an edible food. This has long been debunked, which ice cream waffles and macaroni may be as well.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #42 - July 4th, 2010, 7:25 pm
    Post #42 - July 4th, 2010, 7:25 pm Post #42 - July 4th, 2010, 7:25 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Jefferson has been attributed to introducing the tomato as an edible food. This has long been debunked, which ice cream waffles and macaroni may be as well.

    Jefferson might not have been first, but he certainly popularized these foods. Monticello records show that tomatoes were grown there from 1809 to 1824. From his stint as American minister to France in the 1780s, Jefferson brought back waffle irons and an ice cream recipe. He also sampled macaroni in both France and Italy, concluded the former was tastier and ordered a pasta machine.
  • Post #43 - July 24th, 2010, 9:28 pm
    Post #43 - July 24th, 2010, 9:28 pm Post #43 - July 24th, 2010, 9:28 pm
    A bit of chicken and waffles pop culture: The musical "Hairspray" (currently playing in a rousing production in Cicero) mentions the combination. I wondered whether that meant that Baltimore, where it's set, actually had chicken and waffle joints in the 1960s.

    A little research, though, shows the first one, at least in contemporary times, opened in 2002. The original film by John Waters does not contain the reference, so presumably it was added by playwright Mark O'Donnell, who is originally from Ohio.
  • Post #44 - March 7th, 2011, 9:40 am
    Post #44 - March 7th, 2011, 9:40 am Post #44 - March 7th, 2011, 9:40 am
    A friend from Denver believes chicken and waffles has jumped the shark when offered at IHOP:
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #45 - March 8th, 2011, 8:24 pm
    Post #45 - March 8th, 2011, 8:24 pm Post #45 - March 8th, 2011, 8:24 pm
    How can you say chicken and waffles has jumped the shark. It's like saying a burger has jumped the shark. It has been around a long time and is delicious when done well. Speaking of which Longman and Eagle does a really nice version served with a sweet potato and pork belly maple hash.
  • Post #46 - March 9th, 2011, 5:49 am
    Post #46 - March 9th, 2011, 5:49 am Post #46 - March 9th, 2011, 5:49 am
    Chefcon wrote:How can you say chicken and waffles has jumped the shark. It's like saying a burger has jumped the shark. It has been around a long time and is delicious when done well. Speaking of which Longman and Eagle does a really nice version served with a sweet potato and pork belly maple hash.


    This statement pretty much confirms the shark jump in my book. Which part of the chicken or waffle contains the sweet potato and pork belly hash? :roll:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #47 - March 10th, 2011, 4:12 pm
    Post #47 - March 10th, 2011, 4:12 pm Post #47 - March 10th, 2011, 4:12 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Chefcon wrote:How can you say chicken and waffles has jumped the shark. It's like saying a burger has jumped the shark. It has been around a long time and is delicious when done well. Speaking of which Longman and Eagle does a really nice version served with a sweet potato and pork belly maple hash.


    This statement pretty much confirms the shark jump in my book. Which part of the chicken or waffle contains the sweet potato and pork belly hash? :roll:



    I assume from your statement that you refrain from eating anything that becomes popular then based on your desire to not partake in anything that may or may not have jumped the shark.
  • Post #48 - March 10th, 2011, 10:43 pm
    Post #48 - March 10th, 2011, 10:43 pm Post #48 - March 10th, 2011, 10:43 pm
    I'm glad to see a grand old-fashioned dish returning to popularity. Although IHoP's version with "chicken tenders" may be going too far.

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