It all started as a craving. A simple oh-by-the-way post mention of a stroopwafel was the straw that broke the camel's back, the quarter profile that launched a thousand ships, the SUP Girl that lead to memory loss, a shotgun wedding, and a kid who looks nothing like you. Who knew that beneath the seemingly innocent veneer of casual breakfast food that an ancient struggle lurked? Locked in mortal kombat for eons, the Path of the Light and the Path of the Dark continue to seek to destroy each other completely. It's North vs. South, Less Filling vs. Tastes Great, Team Jacob vs. Team Pale-Androgenous-Guy, Sacramento vs. Indoor Plumbing. And now, dear friends, I bring the sordid secrets of Waffle Wars to your attention.
The first rules of Waffle Wars:
Waffle Wars do not exist.
If it's your first time to the table, you must eat.
The meal is over when someone says they're full.
Waffle Wars do not exist.
So, which side do you pick?
The Light Side:
Pros: Become a glowy hologram thingy when you die.
Cons: You have to wear unfashionable hemp robes and will develop a paranoid fear of asthmatics.
The Dark Side:
Pros: Shoot lightning from your fingertips and choke friends, foes, underlings at a whim.
Cons: All the noxzema in the world won't be enough to help you with your skin condition.
The challenge was simple. Make the most sinful chicken n' waffles evair and compare it to a reasonably healthy version. Could you tell? Would it be enough of a difference to sell one's soul, or at least a crappy hatchback? Which food would reign supreme?
For the evil waffles, we went with a southern-inspired blend of cake flour, brown sugar, butter, and buttermilk. (To give the good side a fighting chance, I omitted chocolate chips.) The good waffles contained a multi-grain blend of oats, wheat flour, and regular flour with splenda, lowfat milk, and olive oil.
Test #1: Plain waffles, fresh from the griddle
Surprisingly enough, this was a draw. Mrs. Kod and the kid couldn't tell the difference and scarfed away happily. I thought that the evil waffles were slightly lighter/crispier while the good waffles were a tad more cake-like, but not enough for me to love one over the other...either way, you can't stop after one bite. Just like since, Scootie and the Wonder Twins!
Test #2: Waffles with toppings
Dark toppings: butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, caramel sauce, powdered sugar, candied nuts, chocolate chips/sauce
Light toppings: greek yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, pixy dust
This was more one-sided than the Imperial AT-AT's against the taun taun-riding hippies. The evil waffles were particularly good stroopwafel-style using homemade caramel sauce to fuse a couple of wedges together. Since the kid quickly hit blood-sugar territory bordering on exorcist-level hyperactivity, Mrs. Kod gamely made the sacrifice to complete the testing. When asked for her thoughts, she simply said, "Give in to the Dark Side!" (love that girl!)
Eat more chikin!
Because chicken and waffles go together like furds and coprophagy, like the World Cup and pregnancies, like LA-sports fans and jumping on bandwagons as a means of overcompensating for character flaws and a lifetime of bad choices.
Both sets of chicken were brined in a mixture of beer/soy sauce with ginger + garlic and then seasoned with pepper, cayenne, and cilantro.
The Dark chicken was coated in corn starch/flour and fried in a cast-iron skillet. The Light chicken was coated in corn starch/egg/panko, and oven-fried.
Test #1: Fresh from the oven/fryer = Finger-lickin' good?
In a surprising upset, both of us favored the light chicken. It was less greasy, but still had a nice crunch with fall off the bone tenderness. We agreed that brining made a huge difference in moistness and overall flavor.
Test #2: Enter the toppings
Gravy for the Dark Chicken vs. Hot sauce for the Light Chicken.
To quote Mrs. Kod, "Blow planet Whatever up. Squish the little yub-yubs. Country-fried gravy...Mmmm-yum!"
To sum up:
The Dark Meal:
Light and crispy cake flour waffle topped with butter, whipped cream, caramel sauce
Classic fried chicken with gravy
The Light Meal:
Multi-grain waffle with greek yogurt and fresh fruit
Oven-fried panko-crusted chicken with hot sauce
The battle lines are drawn. Where do you stand?
*Disclaimer* All recipes have been tested in the Kodiak Test Kitchen. Discrepancies in equipment, materials, skill level, and chest hair may significantly affect the final products. The ability to shoot lightning, choke underlings and/or become a glowy post-mortem hologram fall under the "results not typical" category. Any attempt to replicate these recipes which results in self-immolation, injury, or property destruction will be ridiculed. For complaints or concerns, please contact the Ohio Wonder Twins at 1-800-PSO CYA!. (Press 1 to be ignored. Press 2 for verbal abuse. Press 3 for a detailed written report of your mental, physical, and emotional failings. Press 4 to assess costs to Twist. Press 5 for an electric shock delivered through your phone. Press 6 if you really dig that type of thing. Press 7 if you didn't pay attention so now you're just mashing buttons at random. Press 8 if you already hit number 7. Press 9 to return to the main menu. Press 0 to be hung up on)
And that leads us to our questions of the day: What's your typical weekday breakfast? How about on the weekend? What's your favorite breakfast? Do you cook it yourself, or do you have a favorite breakfast spot?