Ever taken a bite of a delicious and odd combination and wondered, “Hey. This is good. Where did this idea come from”? Well, the answer to that question is here! For Chicken and Waffles, at least. I can’t speak for all food combinations out there. Read on if you’ve ever had a burning desire to find out the origins of this delicious, but whacky, dish.
Let’s Start with Fry Fry Chicky-Chick
1. Fried chicken first graced the planet with its godly presence in the form of fricassee. Fricassee is a method of cooking that involves fried piece of meat braised in a sauce.
2. The first First Lady of the United States of America, Martha Washington, had two recipes for fried chicken. Okay, technically they were recipes for fricassee chicken but let’s not split hairs.
3. During the civil war, soldiers were sent fried chicken in care packages because the frying process made it harder for meat to spoil.
Waffles, Waffles, Waffles
4. Waffles originated in the Middle Ages when bakeries began producing communion wafers for Church services. Obviously, they quickly left the church arena and became a popular street food.
5. Thomas Jefferson started a mini-waffle craze in the 1790s when he brought a French waffle iron across the pond.
6. America first met the Belgian waffle at the 1964 World’s Fair. Cue the applause and drooling.
Putting ‘Em Together
7. Chicken and waffles first appeared in Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 17th century. During this time, cooks made waffles topped with pulled chicken and gravy.
8. In 1938, a different version of the combination appeared in Harlem, NY at the Wells Supper Club. Known as “Wells” to the regulars, this was a favorite of late night musicians who arrived too late for dinner and too early for breakfast—so chicken and waffles was the perfect compromise.
9. The combination became increasingly popular, spreading to Los Angeles when Harlem native Herb Hudson opened a restaurant dedicated to the pairing. The restaurant, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, is a staple for music industry professionals and performers in the LA area.
Wherever it came from, chicken and waffles is here to stay. Interested in reading more about it? More information can be found here.