Easy Chicken and Waffles

>> Sunday, November 27, 2022

I’m a breakfast guy, and I’ve been known to be a little grumpy in the morning if I don’t get something in my belly before starting my day. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a bowl of cereal or buttered toast with McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning (trust me, I discovered this when I was a kid). On weekends I like to step it up a little and make a hot breakfast. 

Here’s an easy chicken and waffle recipe that I made over Thanksgiving weekend that turned out really well. This is more of a semi-homemade dish because for the chicken I’m using Just Bare Chicken Breast from Costco. These chicken patties and their chicken nuggets are a favorite around our house because they’re lightly breaded and seem much more like homemade chicken than most store-bought breaded chicken. 


Waffles

2 ¼ c All-purpose flour
1 T Baking powder
¼ c Sugar
½ t Kosher salt
1 t Cinnamon
2 eggs, separated
½ c Vegetable oil
2 c Milk
2 t Vanilla extract

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, coming egg yolks, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until most of the lumps have disappeared.  Gently fold in the egg whites with a spatula.
  5. Cook the waffles in your waffle maker to desired doneness.  On mine, a setting of 3.5 on the dial that goes from 1-5 results in a golden brown crust.

Spicy Syrup 

1/2 c Honey or maple syrup
1 t Chile powder
1 t Kosher salt
1 Stick of butter

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. 
  2. Stir until butter is melted and all ingredients are well incorporated. 
  3. Reduce to low heat to keep warm until ready to serve.

Chicken
For the chicken, just prepare per package directions. I usually heat it in our air fryer.

To serve, slice chicken breast and arrange it on top of the waffle. Drizzle the chicken and waffle with the syrup and enjoy.

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Kölsch

>> Sunday, September 04, 2022

Today I'm brewing a Kölsch, a style I can't believe I've never brewed before. The BJCP guidelines describe the style as follows:

A subtle, brilliantly clear, pale beer with a delicate balance of malt, fruit, and hop character, moderate bitterness, and a well-attenuated but soft finish. Freshness makes a huge difference with this beer, as the delicate character can fade quickly with age.  
Köln has a top-fermenting brewing tradition since the Middle Ages, but the beer now known as Kölsch was developed in the late 1800s as an alternative to pale lagers. Bottom fermentation was actually prohibited in Cologne. Kölsch is an appellation protected by the Kölsch Konvention (1986), and is restricted to breweries in and around Köln. The Konvention simply defines the beer as a “light, highly attenuated, hop-accentuated, clear, top-fermenting Vollbier.”
Jamil Z has a good article that he wrote about the style for BYO Magazine years ago. The BJCP guidelines mention subtle fruitiness (I think it used to omit the word “subtle”) and Jamil talks about how some homebrewers tend to run with that and brew an overly fruity and estery beer. This is a hybrid ale/lager beer and as such it should not lean too far either way. One of my complaints after judging a Belgian category years ago at a comp is that homebrewers tend to focus on a key characteristic (e.g. Belgian phenolics) and overdo it; “if a little bit is good, then more must be better”. IME this is rarely the case and I tend to shoot for balance. That will be the goal with this beer, some light fruitiness with a clean and crisp lager-like character, well attenuated and super drinkable. 

You could say it's a little late in the year to be brewing something this crisp and drinkable, but I'm the type that enjoys crisp drinkable beers year round (and Imperial Stouts too). If this turns out well, I'm planning on entering this beer in Beehive Brew-off. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing today:

Target OG 1.051
IBU: 21
7.8# Weyermann Cologne/Kolsch Malt
6.5oz Proximity White Wheat Malt
42g Tettnanger (60 min)
14g Tettnanger (10 min)
Wyeast 2535 Kolsch Yeast
Wyeast Nutrient

Step mash at 142F (30 min), then raise to 154F over 60 min
Mashout at 168F
90 minute boil
Chill to 58F, ferment at 60F

Water Profile
This is a pretty soft and balanced water profile. To 10.5 gallons of RO water, add 3 grams each of:
  • Epsom Salts
  • Calcium Chloride
Brewing Notes
No real issues with this brew session. Beginning mash temp was 141F so I pretty much hit my initial strike temp close to perfect.

While sparging, I went inside for a minute and ended up accidentally collecting a tad over 7.5 gallons rather than my targeted 6.75 gallons. To compensate, I boiled a little harder than normal. This worked out perfectly as I hit my target OG exactly at 1.051. The wort is currently chilling down to my pitch temp of 58F.

Session Readings
Beginning mash pH 5.33
Ending mash pH 5.37
1st running gravity 16.6 (1.066)
Pre-boil gravity 9.2 (1.036)
Pre-boil pH 5.46
Post-boil gravity 13.1 (1.051)
Post-boil pH 5.42

Update 9/4/2022 10:30PM
Wort was aerated and yeast pitched.

Update 9/5/2022
I was seeing signs of fermentation this morning with a bubble through the blow-off about every second.

Update 9/25/2022
I kegged this beer today. Gelatin was added to the keg for fining and I’ve started dropping the  temps.

Update 11/18/2022
I entered this beer in Beehive Brew-off and while it didn't medal, it scored fairly well with a composite score of 39; not bad for my first attempt at the style. About the only thing I didn't like about the beer was I couldn't get it to clear. I may try a different yeast next time and see if that helps. One other thing, I might try dialing the grain bill back slightly for a little bit lower gravity. My starting OG of 1.051 is a point higher than the high side of style guidelines, and I think this detracts a little from the drinkability of the finished beer (higher alcohol can increase perceived sweetness).

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Imperial Stout 2022

>> Sunday, August 07, 2022

For this post I'm rebrewing the Weldwerks Achromatic Stout recipe that I brewed back in May of 2021. For the original brew session, I used Mecca Grade Lamonta for the base, and I split it in half and fermented on two different yeasts. I also did two different treatments (TX Bourbon and Cacao). This time I only have about 17 pounds of Lamonta available, so the rest of the base malt will be Crisp Maris Otter. Also, I'm using A01 only for this fermentation. Lastly, the beer will age in a Garrison Bros Single Batch Bourbon barrel that was then used at The Bruery for a special single barrel Black Tuesday release. I'm super excited to put a beer in this barrel. This is a 15 gallon barrel, so it'll be brewed in two sessions. Here is the recipe for the first 10 gallons:

10 gallon batch
OG: 1.105
FG: 1.030
IBUs: 45
ABV 10-ish%

27.25# Mecca Grade Lamonta
1.75# Simpsons DRC
1.375# Simpsons Light Crystal
1.375# Flaked Oats
1.75# Simpsons Chocolate Malt (*cold steeped)
1.75# Weyermanns Chocolate Rye Malt (*cold steeped)
1.75# Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt (*cold steeped)
0.375# Simpsons Roasted Barley (*cold steeped)
Imperial A01 House
84g Magnum (FWH)
Yeast Nutrient

Cold steep roasted grains (1lbs/2qts RO water) overnight. Add cold steeped extraction with 10 minutes left in the boil.

Mash at 153F, 90 minutes. Collect ~12.33 gallons pre-boil volume (assuming boil-off rate of ~1.16 gallons/hour), 120 minute boil.  Aerate well; 2 minutes at 0.5l/m. Start fermentation at 60F, ramping up to 65F over 5 days.

Water
Carbon-filtered tap water treated with Campden (extra precaution against chlorine and chloramine). 

Brewing Notes
For round 1 I added the cold steeped dark malts right near the end of the boil. This ended up diluting the gravity much more than I was expecting. Round 1 was brewed 7/17/2022. For round 2, I added the dark grains at the end of the mash so I was much closer to my target gravity.

Session 1 Readings
Beginning mash pH 5.32
Ending mash pH 5.35
1st running gravity 25.7 (1.106)
Pre-boil gravity 19 (1.076)
Pre-boil pH 5.26
Post-boil gravity 21 (1.085)
Post-boil pH 5.12

Round 2 Notes
For round 2 (8/6/2022) I added the dark grains at the end of the mash before sparging.  This didn’t dilute the wort as much, so OG was much closer to target (24.2/1.099). I also only had about 14# of Maris Otter left so this got about 2# each of Avangard German Pale Malt and Great Western California Select Malt. Rahr North Star Pilsner filled the remainder of the base malt bill. Round 1was transferred to a 10 gallon holding keg until round 2 is done fermenting and the barrel is ready for filling. I also had three of my friends over to help brew round 2, so I wasn’t as good about taking readings throughout the brew day. Mash pH was right at 5.24 before adding darker malts and starting the sparge.

Update 8/19/2022
This beer went in the barrel tonight. 

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