Chicken-Fried Doughnuts

with Cayenne-Maple Glaze

A dear friend of mine and I were recently talking chicken sandwiches, as they as still enjoying the heightened attention that initially spiked late last summer (Chick-Fil-A's present health code troubles notwithstanding).

My friend, owner of her own Upper East Side cafe and former restaurant owner, came up with the idea of making a fried chicken sandwich but using a sliced doughnut as the bun. We both agreed that it would be evocative of the popular southern dish of chicken & waffles.

I, for some reason always needing to take things two steps further, decided later that day that I needed to re-affect that same culinary nostalgia, yet without the bother of the chicken, leaving the future iterations of fried chicken sandwiches to the countless menus of "hip" restaurants and their fan-seeking chefs.

I loved the idea of replicating the textures and aromas of a good chicken & waffles plate, so I thought why not — again, skipping the chicken — just double-dredge the raw doughnut dough (with flour seasoned with a bit of cinnamon) and deep-fry it like I would fried chicken. Real maple syrup (much harder to find with these days) is a natural base for a doughnut glaze, especially spiking it with a dash of cayenne pepper.

Crispy, aromatic skin encloses a soft, airy doughnut. A drizzle of maple glaze (heat-blended with a bit of condensed milk and powdered sugar) balances out the salty and savory exterior, especially once the palate is brightened by a the kick of a dash of cayenne pepper.

It essentially is a elevated version of chicken & waffles, just purely in doughnut form. And as is Cheeseboro Kitchens ideology, it is a cozy way to reimagine an old school favorite dish, in a newly realized yet still wholly accessible way.