Robert Freeman is a man with strong opinions, a hair trigger on his belt, and a penchant for foods so fatty they put you to sleep. The Itis, Robert's catastrophic soul food franchise, so effectively renders its selfsame phenomenon that it nearly destroys the town. Food from the Freeman menu is best consumed annually.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 3 tablespoons salt

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (more as needed)

  • Nonstick spray

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 cups vegetable oil

  • 3 cups peanut oil

  • 1 pound plain pork sausage

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 3/4 cup whole milk (more as needed)

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar

  • 4 eggs, soft scrambled

  • Maple syrup

Method

Makes 9 servings

  1. Butterfly chicken breasts and pound out between two sheets of plastic wrap until 1/2” thick.  Butterfly thick parts of chicken thighs until they are uniform thickness.  In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.  Whisk to combine, and add chicken pieces, tossing to evenly coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, and baking soda.  Whip egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.  Combine egg yolks, buttermilk, and cooled butter, and fold into dry ingredients.  Mix until a mostly smooth batter forms, adding more buttermilk as necessary.  Gently fold in egg whites until just barely combined.  Spray down waffle iron with nonstick spray, and cook waffles according to manufacturer instructions.

  3. Heat vegetable and peanut oil to 375F.  In two separate pie pans, place eggs and flour with baking soda and powder.  Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk brine, shaking off excess liquid, and first coating completely in flour.  Once chicken is evenly coated in flour, toss in eggs until likewise evenly coated.  Dredge once more in flour, and immediately fry in oil for 6-10 minutes, until breasts register 160F and thighs register 175F.  Drain on a wire rack.

  4. In a large saucepan, sauté pork sausage (removed from casings if necessary), breaking into small chunks, and cooking until a deep brown fond has formed on the bottom of the pot.  Add flour and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Add milk slowly while stirring, and bring to a gentle simmer until thickened - add more milk as necessary until desired consistency is reached.  Season liberally with freshly ground pepper.

  5. Grease a deep lasagna pan.  Assemble lasagna as desired — it’s recommended to start with a layer of chicken thighs, topped with sausage gravy and cheese, then a layer of waffles. Next up, the chicken breasts, more cheese, gravy, scrambled eggs, another layer of waffles, then finishing with even more cheese.  Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve with warm maple syrup only to those with excellent health insurance.

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