Chicken-Fried Venison, Waffles & Serrano Honey
Move over beef, there’s a new meat in town that’s game for chicken-fryin’. Hello, venison!
I have been having a love affair with venison of late. Admittedly, it’s born of necessity following my first hunting experience which yielded a freezer stocked with wild deer meat. So not only do I have quite a bit of it to get through, but it’s also a pleasure to find new creative ways of using the meat. Which leads us to the creation of this most excellent brunch dish, of chicken-fried venison on waffles with serrano chile spiced honey. HELL. YES.
A quick note on “chicken frying” for those who may not be familiar: it often has nothing at all to do with chicken. In fact, it’s an application most widely used with beef. Chicken-fried actually describes the type of batter used, and the frying technique. So if something is referred to as chicken-fried on a menu, you can expect that it will be coated in a flour mixture similar to that of regular Southern fried chicken.
Chicken frying lesson over, let’s get back to the main event. This particular dish uses “venison steaks” which basically are cut from the muscles in the front leg and ham that are large enough to avoid the grinder, but not as tender as a backstrap, and usually are only good for jerky or shallow pan frying, so this recipe is a fun alternative.
I don’t want to oversell it, but this dish really has it all. Salty, crispy, spicy, meaty and of course sweet. Chicken may have been toppled as the protein of choice to match with waffles. Pro tip: it goes pretty great with a grapefruit juice mimosa, or two. You’ll definitely need to book in some serious couch time after you’re finished, too, but it will be worth every bite.
Chicken Fried Venison with Waffles & Serrano Spiced Honey
- 6 small venison steaks
- 3 waffles (use bought or make your own)
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of milk or cream
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup honey
Using a meat mallet or tenderizer, bash the venison steaks evenly to thin them out. Sprinkle with salt on both sides to season.
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, garlic powder, pepper, nutmeg & paprika. In a second bowl, whisk the egg and milk to combine.
In a dutch oven or deep pan, heat oil on the stove. It will be ready to use when it reaches 325f.
Taking each steak, place in flour mix, then transfer to egg mix, then back to flour mix to create a coating. Place each coated steak on a foil lined tray ready for frying.
Once oil is at temperature, gently place 2-3 steaks in to cook, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry a few minutes per side until golden brown, then remove from oil and place on rack to cool for 5 minutes.
In a small pan, combine the honey and the serrano chili. Gently warm until honey has thinned to a syrupy consistency. Note: leaving this mix on the heat too long will wilt the chilies - they'll still taste good but won't look as fresh. If you prefer a less spicy honey, remove the chili seeds before steeping.
Warm the waffles and use one and a half per plate. Top with three pieces of fried venison, and drizzle with serrano honey. Serve immediately.
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