Before we get to the Chicken & Pecan Waffle Sandwich Bites, let me tell you about our neighborhood cat drama this weekend. If you aren’t into cats, or heroic cat rescue stories, then just scroll on down to the recipe. I promise not to be offended.
We aren’t entirely sure who the cat actually belongs to, but we believe it was the roommate of one of our neighbors who had to relocate so that the owner’s mother could move in due to the flood but allowed the cat to remain as there was another cat in the home. We’re not entirely sure the situation.
What we are certain of though, is that this primarily outdoor cat found itself stranded some 25+ feet in the air in one of our neighborhood trees.
Sunday morning Brian and I were loading the car for the Fall pop-up market at Alexander’s. I was going to be signing cookbooks and we were running behind. Per usual.
I hear a crying cat to the right of our home in the wooded area that connects our neighborhood to the park. I ask Brian, “do you hear that, it sounds like a cat may be hurt” and I head over for the bushes knowing good and well that 1. I have zero time remaining for cat rescues and 2. I’m not exactly dressed for the occasion, and 3. I have no idea what I would do with said cat if I did find him hurt.
Because I know so little about cats (dog family, here) I’m crouching down in the woods looking for a kitten/cat on the ground. I move around some branches and get a little closer and while I hear him continuing to cry for help, I don’t see anything. Brian whips the car around and tells me to get in, that we are running late. We will look for the cat when we return.
I thought about that darn cat the entire 4 hours at my book signing!
When we return, there’s another family looking up in the same area where I was crouching down. Duh. Cats climb. They had spotted the cat near the tippy top of the tree.
That evening a series of rescue events transpired amongst our neighbors. The fire department was called. Their ladder wouldn’t reach and they left. Our own ladders were pulled and they weren’t nearly tall enough. One neighbor googled that you could raise a pet carrier into the air via rope, and function somewhat like an elevator and perhaps the cat would hop in. That didn’t work. Food was raised. He wasn’t interested. As a last resort, we attempted to scare him off the limb with a kid’s Super Soaker and a pool net ready to catch him as he fell. He wasn’t budging. That darn little cat had no less than 8-1o neighbors trying to get him down and nothing.
One neighbor, by the grace of God, found the contact information for The Cat Rescue Guy (I’m linking it, because if you own a cat in the Baton Rouge area you NEED this man in your contact list). Unfortunately, we called him too late on Sunday for him to come right away but he told us to call first thing in the morning on Monday if the cat remained in the tree.
Bright and early on Monday, as everyone left for work, I took responsibility for getting down the cat and called Randall aka The Cat Rescue Guy. Because we still didn’t know for sure who would claim the cat if/when we got it down, I ran to the store and bought some cat food and a dish for water. I retrieved a cat carrier from a neighbor and set up a fan in the garage. I could at least take the cat to monitor his recovery, right?
(you have to squint, but it was super bright and they were way up there)
Luckily, as The Cat Rescue Guy geared up in hiking equipment, helmet and special shoes and propelled himself nearly 30 feet into the air, up the tree, and the mother of the guy we believe the cat belongs to arrived on the scene ever so grateful that we located TCRG. Several more neighbors come by to witness the miracle that is a retired man, who refuses payment of any sort, who spent TWO HOURS in the tree gaining the trust of this frightened cat to safely get him down.
There were rounds and rounds of cheers. It was quite impressive.
So if you’re wondering what the heck this has to do with Chicken & Pecan Waffle Sandwich Bites, it is this. Sometimes you need to celebrate. Celebrate that it’s someone’s birthday. Celebrate that accomplishment a friend has achieved. Celebrate you are alive and healthy.
Celebrate that you are not the cat stranded so very high in the tree that you can’t get yourself down.
Celebrate that you live in a world where such a thing as Chicken & Pecan Waffle Sandwiches exist!
- For the Pecan Waffles:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- For the Chicken:
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- vegetable oil
- For the Honey Butter:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Sift together dry ingredients, then add pecans. Beat egg yolk until light and fluffy; combine with milk and butter then add to the dry ingredients, mixing just until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Bake in hot waffle iron.
- Keep waffles warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
- Toss cut up chicken pieces in the Creole seasoning. Set aside. Whisk egg and milk together in a shallow bowl; set aside. Combine flour, pepper and mustard together in another shallow bowl.
- Working in batches, dip the seasoned chicken into the egg, then into the flour mixture. Place the chicken on a cooling rack lined with paper towels and allow the chicken to rest before frying.
- Heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a deep fryer (I have a mini Fry Daddy that I use just for this purpose), to 340 degrees. Fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and crispy; about 5 minutes. Drain.
- For the Honey Butter:
- Add all ingredients into a bowl and whip with electric hand mixers until the mixture is light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To assemble:
- Cut each waffle into 4 squares. Top one waffle square with a piece of chicken, followed by a dollop of honey butter, then topped with a second waffle square. Hold together with a skewer or toothpick.
- Serve with warmed maple syrup.
This recipe is in my cookbook, Picnics, Potlucks & Porch Parties so if you don’t have it, I hope that this recipe will nudge you to get it. Hint hint, nudge, nudge.
While these little Chicken & Pecan Waffle Sandwich Bites are perfect for brunch celebrations, they are also a perfect choice for those game days that occur a little earlier than anticipated. Like this weekend’s LSU/Florida game at 11:00am. Is that breakfast, is that lunch? I’m going brunch this weekend with these little fellas.