The City Magazine Since 1975

Fried Chicken & Waffles with Spicy Sorghum

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2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sorghum
4 Tbs. kosher salt, divided
2 tsp. white pepper, divided
1 Tbs. hot sauce, preferably Frank’s
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage, divided
8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Lard, preferably Armour brand
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh sage
5 cloves fresh garlic, crushed flat
Sea salt
5 waffles (recipe follows)
11/2 cups spicy sorghum (recipe follows)

For the spicy sorghum:
(Makes about 11/2 cups)
1 cup sorghum
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbs. hot sauce, preferably Frank’s
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbs. unsalted butter

For the Waffles:
1½ cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sorghum
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. kosher salt
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn meal
11/2 teaspoons instant yeast


Combine the buttermilk, sorghum, two tablespoons of kosher salt, one teaspoon of white pepper, hot sauce, one teaspoon of thyme, and one teaspoon of sage in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal the top of the bag and shake to incorporate ingredients evenly. Add the chicken thighs to the bag. Seal and shake again. Place the bag of chicken in a pan and refrigerate overnight.

Combine the flour; remaining  kosher salt, pepper, thyme, and sage; and cayenne pepper in another in another large zip-top bag. Seal bag and shake to incorporate the ingredients evenly.

Fill a large cast-iron skillet with two to three inches of  lard. Heat it on medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 325°F.

While the lard is heating, remove the thighs from the buttermilk and add them to the bag of seasoned flour. Seal bag and shake vigorously to evenly coat the chicken. Let the bag of chicken sit for five minutes. Shake the bag one more time. Remove the thighs from the bag, shake off excess flour, and add them to the hot lard one at a time.

Fry the thighs for eight to 10 minutes on the first side. Adjust the heat if needed to keep it at 325°F. Flip the thighs and add the sprigs of thyme and sage and the garlic. Fry for another five to six minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. The thighs should be golden brown, and the juices should run clear when pierced with a knife.

Remove the thighs from the skillet and place them on a metal rack set over a baking sheet. Season with sea salt and rest for five minutes before serving. Place a waffle on each plate. Place two chicken thighs on each waffle, drizzle with spicy sorghum, and serve.

For the spicy sorghum:
Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and reserve at room temperature.

For the Waffles:
Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature for one hour. This will jump start the yeast. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat an oven to 200°F and preheat a waffle iron. Spray the waffle iron with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Pour the recommended amount of batter onto the center of the iron. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time, until the waffle is golden brown. The waffles can be held in the 200°F oven until all are cooked.