Bacon Fried Chicken & Donuts
So…….. I’m from the South. Where we like to fry things.
Which means eating fried chicken atop a fluffy Belgian waffle for breakfast isn’t all that weird to me. And, for the record, I’m happy with fried chicken just about any time of the day, especially when it comes drowned in maple syrup.
I feel like most people have heard of fried chicken and waffles by now. Lays kind of let the cat out of the bag when they released a potato chip flavored like fried chicken and waffles last year (they were only mehhhhh, if you’re wondering). But have you ever heard of fried chicken and donuts??
My husband and I were exposed to the flavor combo for the first time last year during our trip to D.C. There are two fabulous donut eateries that boast fried chicken and donuts on their menu (GBD and Astro Donut— GBD was, by far, my favorite). Neither one of these spots actually serve the fried chicken and donuts together as far as I could tell (although I think they do at Gourdough’s). The point is that the donuts are fried in the same oil that the chicken is. Which gives them are really unique and delicious bold flavor.
I decided I wanted to go double on the flavor layers in my homemade version of Fried Chicken and Donuts. In this recipe, I reserved the bacon grease to fry the chicken first and then the donuts. The donuts (the easy Pillsbury version, of course) are dunked in a maple glaze and topped with Hormel Maple Bacon (by the way: omg— best bacon ever!) and a strip of fried chicken. Each golden delicious bite melts in your mouth and will have you coming back for more!
Note: I threw in shortcuts where I could (like using refrigerated biscuit dough), but ultimately this is just a recipe that takes a little time. But don’t let that put you off! It’s completely worth the time (which is mostly down time anyway, waiting for things to fry at a lower temperature so they don’t burn). I did this all in one afternoon. But you could easily break it down into two parts– make the bacon and reserve the fat at night. Then reheat it and fry up the donuts and chicken in the morning for a fresh, warm breakfast treat!
And since I anticipate someone will ask…. you can use already breaded and fried, frozen chicken tenders to save on time and mess. But I have yet to find a chicken tender with a flavor that will work here. It’s just not the same as creating a breading yourself (which is a little sweeter than you’ll find in the frozen variety) and eating it fresh.
Products I used in the making…
Bacon Fried Chicken & Donuts
- 16 ounces Hormel Maple Bacon
- 8 Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (not baked)
- 1-2 cups vegetable or canola oil
For the Fried Chicken:
- 8 ounces chicken breast tenders (NOT the breaded and fried frozen kind)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- pinch of garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
For the maple glaze:
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 7 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tbsp maple extract
- Prepare a cooling station for the chicken by lining a wire rack with paper towels and setting it somewhere easily accessible from the stove top.
Cook the bacon and heat the oil:
- Fry the bacon to desired crispness and reserve the grease in a 1 or 2 quart sauce pan (remove the bacon to the paper towel lined cooling rack). Add to it about 1-2 cups vegetable or canola oil, so that the oil is approximately 2 inches deep in the pan.*
- Heat bacon grease and oil on medium heat (if you're stove is on the HOT side, err towards medium-low). Oil will be ready when it pops (just a little) when you flick water droplets into it.**
Prepare the chicken breading:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, flour, cornstarch, and dry seasonings in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, beat together the eggs. In another medium bowl, pour the milk. Set these bowls close to your sauce pan for easy breading and access to the hot oil.
Fry the chicken:
- Take each chicken strip and use a fork to dip it first in the milk, then in the breading, then in the egg, and finally once again in the breading. Place the breaded strip directly into the oil. Watch carefully as it fries, gently flipping it with the tongs after a few minutes.*** Once the chicken strip is golden brown, remove it from the oil to the paper towel lined cooling rack. Repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
Fry the biscuit dough:
- Using a small round cutter (I used the base of a large frosting tip), cut holes in the biscuit dough to resemble a donut. You can fry these bits as donut holes later.
- Place the dough into the hot oil.*** Let it brown on one side for 1-2 minutes (you can peek to see if it's browning by using the tongs), then flip it to fry on the other side for a minute or two. Remove donut to the paper towel-lined cooling rack. Repeat with all of the dough.
Glaze the donuts:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and maple extract.
- Dunk each donut in the glaze and place on a wire rack (with wax paper placed underneath) to let the excess glaze drain off.
- Top each glazed donut with bacon and a strip of fried chicken.
- Serve warm!
*In a smaller sauce pan (like the 1 quart) you'll have a stronger bacon flavor, since you'll need less additional oil to reach a 2-inch depth. However, it will take longer to fry the chicken, since you'll have less space in the pan to fry more than one strip at a time.
**If it sounds like firecrackers are going off when you flick water into the oil, take it off the heat for a bit so it can cool down. It should only pop a little bit.
***I suggest letting the oil cool for a few minutes in between frying the chicken and the donuts. Overly hot oil can ruin the donuts by burning them on the outside while leaving them doughy inside. ANYTIME the oil begins to smoke or brown the food too quickly (like within moments), it is too hot and needs to be removed from the heat for a bit.
Don’t miss a bite!
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