How did chicken and waffles land on mainstream breakfast menus?

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Why does pork go so well with breakfast, and poultry not so much? Turkey bacon aside (and in my book, it should be way aside), the only poultry you're likely to find at breakfast is in chicken and waffles.

Long associated with the South, this dish actually traces its roots not to jazz-era Harlem, as is often thought, but to the 1700s, when German settlers (aka the Pennsylvania Dutch) brought it to infant America. See also: - - Second Home Kitchen and Bar: Best Chicken and Waffles 2012 - Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two brings low-country cuisine to the Mile High City - Slide show: A closer look at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

What puzzles soul-food scholar Adrian Miller is how the dish, "which nested so long in African-American culture, went back into the American mainstream," he says.

Regardless of how it got here, chicken and waffles seems around to stay -- though not necessarily in its traditional form, with bone-in fried chicken, a soft waffle, and plenty of maple syrup and hot sauce on the side. This combination of savory and sweet provides chefs with "the perfect playground to blur culinary lines, blend flavors and contrast textures," Miller notes.

And play they do. Euclid Hall crafts an upscale rendition, with chicken mousseline, confit nuggets, black pepper béchamel and maple gastrique. Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two, which I review this week, opts for a homier feel, piling shredded, maple-whiskey-soaked chicken atop a soft waffle.

What restaurant do you think serves the town's best chicken and waffles? Post your suggestions in the comments section below.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.