Updated: Jul 28
You know what I do with my chicken?
I drop it like it's hot.
Drop that chicken in the hot oil and watch the batter crisp-up to a perfect, golden brown.
I just bought Snoop Dogg's cookbook, From Crook to Cook, Platinum Recipes from the Boss Dogg's Kitchen.
My friend bought Snoop's book as a mother's day present for her mother-in-law and I knew I had to get a copy.
It's a funny gift considering my friend's mother-in-law can't cook and has never heard of Snoop Dogg. (I'm pretty sure they don't play, “Nuthin’ But A G Thang”, on Christian Radio.) And in case you're wondering, G doesn't stand for God.
My friend has heard of Snoop, of course, and has a not-so-secret crush on him. She met him once at a bar in the East Village and Snoop told her that he liked her leather jacket. She's loved him ever since and tells anyone who will listen.
"Did I ever tell you that time I met Snoop at a bar?" she asks.
I have heard that story a dozen times but it never gets old.
"Tell me again," I say, and she does.
On house cleaning days, you can find my friend blasting the Hip Hop icon's music as she scrubs her kitchen floor, DoggyStyle.
I never had a crush on Snoop, but I liked his music, and danced to his hits during my clubbing days. I rediscovered him a few years ago on VH1's, "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party."
I grew-up on Martha too, watching her shows, making her recipes, and subscribing to her wedding magazine. Because of Martha, I bought an over-priced Vera Wang wedding dress and searched for a florist who would make me bouquets of dark-purple anemones.
They seemed an unlikely pair, Snoop and Martha - The OG and and Queen of the GT (the Good Thing), but it worked and besides, Martha's totally gangsta.
In the first episode of "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party.", They have a chicken wing battle where Seth Myers (Team Snoop) asks Martha if she's ever killed a chicken. Martha says she has and Seth asks her how she did it."
"Did you shoot it?" Seth Myers asks.
"No," Martha says.
"You rung his neck?" Snoop asks.
"No, I fed it some vodka, and then I cut off it's head."
Team Martha (Wiz Khalifa) lost the chicken wing battle to Snoop's potato chip-battered wings, so when reviewing this cookbook, it seemed only fitting to make a chicken recipe.
Since my friend loves all things D-double O-G, and fries chicken weekly (its one of three foods her daughter will eat), she seemed like the perfect participant to test Snoop's fried chicken and waffles recipe.
To make sure we had an authentic Snoop experience, I wanted to sip on some gin and juice while we cooked.
"The last time I drank gin and juice I woke-up in a bathtub," my friend said.
"We are going to make Gin and Juice 2.0," I say.
"You won't end-up in a bathtub, just on the floor, maybe."
Snoop's gin and juice remix recipe is made with gin, apple vodka, pineapple juice, and a slice of lime - and it's real tasty. (Snoop has a entire chapter on adult drinks to sip on.)
I was also surprised that Snoop and I have many of the same items in our pantries: soy sauce, honey, cans of tuna, hot sauce, and ketchup. Snoop says the ketchup must be Heinz, and I agree. Heinz is the best ketchup, and being that it originated in my hometown, Snoop's won more brownie points with me.
Speaking of brownies, this cookbook is filled with recipes that the whole family will enjoy, like his Bow Wow Brownies and Ice Cream (barring you omit any green stuff from the brownies and keep the gin out of the juice).
Some of Snoop's other family-friendly recipes include: Mack and cheese, Baby Got Back Ribs, Spaghetti de la Hood, and he even has a recipe for Fried Bologna Sandwiches (which I grew-up eating too).
Not only does Snoop give us a peak at the staples in his fridge and his pantry, he also gives a list of his favorite restaurants, his favorite cereals and munchies, and his suggested playlist to cook by.
There's lots of luscious desserts, too, like Gimme S'more Pie and Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday Cake.
Another reason I like this book is because Snoop gives measurements in standard measuring cups and in grams. It's no surprise that Snoop likes to measure things in grams but it shows he's a real boss C to the -double O -K.
Back at our OG test kitchen, I patted the chicken dry from its overnight brine. (Snoop starts with a brine of water, sugar, salt, bay leaf, hot pepper flakes and orange peel.)
My friend dipped the chicken in a dry mix of flour, cornmeal, cayenne pepper, baking powder, pepper and salt, dipped it in buttermilk, and got to frying.
The crust was crunchy and crisp, a little tangy from the buttermilk, a little spicy from the cayenne, and the chicken was moist and juicy. It was the first time I had chicken and waffles. I wasn't sure I would like the sweet syrup on the chicken, but man was it good.
I'm not kidding when I tell you that this is the best fried chicken I have ever eaten.
My friend and I loved it, our families loved it, and they want to know when we are making more.
From Crook to Cook is a super fun book with legit recipes that are off the hook (see what I did there?) proving that the Boss Dogg has chops on stage and in the kitchen.
Chicken and Waffles
For the Brine:
1/3 cup [65 g] granulated sugar
1/3 cup [55g] kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Peel of 1 orange
For the Chicken:
3 1/2 lb [1.6 kg] whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 breasts cut crosswise, 2 thighs)
3 cups [420 g] all-purpose flour
3/4 cup [105 g] yellow cornmeal
4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cracked black pepper
3 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
2 cups [480 ml] buttermilk
1 qt [960 ml] canola oil
For the Waffles:
1 3/4 cup [245 g] all-purpose flour
1/4 cup [50 g] granulated sugar
3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups [480 ml] buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 Tbsp [1 stick, or 110 g] unsalted butter, melted, plus more for serving
Maple syrup, for serving
To Brine the Chicken:
Fill a large pot with 5 cups [1.2 L] of water. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and orange peel. Cook, stirring, until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Place the chicken in a large bowl and cover completely with the cooled brine. Cover and refrigerate for 10-12 hours and up to 24 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Set the chicken aside and discard the brine.
To Batter the Chicken:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, cayenne pepper, baking powder, black pepper, and salt until combined.
Transfer to a large shallow dish. (We used a bowl.) Place another large shallow dish next to the flour mixture ( we used a bowl) and add the buttermilk to it.
Place a wire rack or pan next to the dishes; this will be where you set your battered chicken.
Take a piece of chicken and submerge it in the buttermilk. Lift and let excess drip back into the dish. Roll the chicken in the flour mixture, coating it completely.
Place the battered chicken on the wire rack or pan and repeat with remaining chicken.
Let the chicken dry for 20-30 minutes before frying.
To Fry the Chicken:
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the canola oil to 350 degrees F [180 degrees C ]. Set a wire rack over a plate or line a pan with brown paper and set aside.
Working in batches beginning with the drumsticks, carefully add the chicken to the hot oil, careful not to crowd the chicken (we did two pieces at a time) otherwise it'll become greasy. Once the chicken is added, the oil's temperature will drop between 300 degrees F to 320 degrees F [150 degrees C to 160 degrees C ]. Watch and adjust the heat to maintain a consistent 350 degrees F [180 degrees C ] temperature.
Fry the drumsticks for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Once the chicken is done, remove each piece with tongs and transfer to the prepared rack or pan to drain. Sprinkle generously with salt.
Fry the breasts and thighs for about 10 minutes, or until golden. If the chicken is getting too dark, lower the heat. When done, transfer to the rack or pan. Sprinkle generously with salt.
Fry the wings for about 8 minutes, or until golden. Once the chicken is done, remove each piece with tongs and transfer to the prepared rack or pan to drain. Sprinkle generously with salt.
Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
To Make the Waffles:
Preheat a waffle maker to 350 degrees F [180 degrees C ].
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cornmeal, and baking soda until combined. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add the buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet until incorporated (the batter will be lumpy).
Following the manufacturer's instructions, pour the batter into the waffles maker and cook the waffles until golden brown.
Top each waffle with a large pat of butter. Add your favorite piece of fried chicken and pour on plenty of maple syrup.
Want to have Snoop right in your own kitchen? Click on the image below to buy a Snoop Spoon.