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KICK-ASS BATTERLESS FRIED CHICKEN
and Purple Waffles
At Maharlika, a relatively recent addition to the New York City dining scene, modern Filipino
cuisine is being introduced to an appreciative and rapidly growing audience. When we heard they
had an unusual chicken and waffles item on their weekend brunch menu, we raced over to try it.
Marinated and fried in heavily spiced egg whites, the otherwise undressed chicken emerges with
gorgeously gnarled, crispy skin—think of it as Korean fried chicken’s hipper cousin. The waffle,
made with ube (purple yam) extract, is a mind-blower, its blueberry-hued interior worthy of a Dr.
Seuss story. If you can’t find the extract, simply leave it out—the waffle will still be crisp-edged and
mildly sweet. The tangy, anchovy-laced butter is inspired by a classic fermented Filipino
condiment, and the rich syrup by a strain of coconut indigenous to the Philippines. Both create a
pleasing cacophony of flavor, but if you’re short on time, well-salted butter and good-quality maple
syrup are worthy swap-ins.
FOR THE CHICKEN
8 large egg whites
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 8 of your favorite chicken pieces)
Peanut oil, for frying
FOR THE BAGOONG BUTTER
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup minced red anchovies (available at Filipino markets) or one 3.5-ounce jar oil-packed
anchovies, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
FOR THE MACAPUNO SYRUP
¾ cup palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded young coconut meat or 1 cup unsweetened dried flaked coconut, rehydrated for 30
minutes in boiling water and drained
FOR THE UBE JAM
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup dehydrated ube (purple yam) powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE WAFFLES
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ube extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cooking spray, for the waffles
Peanut oil, for frying
MARINATE THE CHICKEN: In a blender or a large bowl, combine the egg whites, smoked
paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until well incorporated and foamy. In a bowl
or Ziploc bag, combine the chicken and the egg white mixture, seal or cover tightly, and refrigerate
for 8 hours or overnight.
MAKE THE BAGOONG BUTTER: In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the butter,
anchovies, and cilantro using the paddle attachment. Transfer the butter to a pastry bag fitted with a
fluted tip. Pipe inch-wide florets onto a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate. Once chilled, transfer to
an airtight container and refrigerate.
MAKE THE MACAPUNO SYRUP: In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the sugar, then
cook until caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the butter and whisk in until melted, then whisk in the
coconut milk. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut meat. Cover and keep warm over low
MAKE THE UBE JAM: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, then add the
coconut milk, sugar, ube powder, and vanilla. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and
simmer, stirring constantly, until the syrup has thickened, about 5 minutes.
MAKE THE WAFFLES: In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, oil, eggs, ube extract, and
about 1½ cups water until well combined. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking
powder, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisk until just incorporated, and then fold the
ube jam into the batter. Heat the waffle iron on the highest setting. Using ½ cup of batter at a time,
cook waffles until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
FRY THE CHICKEN: Fill a large (at least 6-quart) pot halfway with oil and heat to 350°F.
Remove the chicken from the egg white mixture and fry until crispy and the chicken reaches an
internal temperature of 160°F, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let rest for 5 to 7
minutes before serving. Serve the chicken on top of the waffles, along with the macapuno syrup
and the bagoong butter.
In the Philippines, purple ube yams are ubiquitous in ice cream, halo-halo (shaved ice dessert), and
pastries. The waffle’s ube extract provides both vibrant color and a subtle nuttiness, which is
enhanced by the jam’s ube powder. If you can’t find ube extract, chef Miguel Trinidad suggests
equal parts vanilla and pistachio extract.
Maharlika’s Kick-Ass Batterless Fried Chicken and Purple Waffles