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Gluten-free recipe wins State Fair cooking contest

North Carolina State Fair

Gluten-free Cracker Jack Chicken and Waffles was the winning recipe in the House-Autry Mills Chicken and Waffles recipe Friday at the N.C. State Fair. Doris Mills of Cary created the winning recipe and received $250 for first place and another $50 for being the best gluten free recipe.

Yvonne Payton-Davis of Knightdale won second place and $100 for Southwestern Style Chicken and Waffles. Jonathan Edwards of Wilson won $50 for Chicken and Waffle Turnovers.

The contest was open to any breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, dinner or dessert-type recipe using a House-Autry Mills product. Judging was based on taste, creativity and ease of preparation.

The winning recipe follows:

Gluten Free Cracker Jack Chicken and Waffles
Waffles (NOTE: You may wish to marinate the chicken while you make the waffles.)

1 cup gluten-free flour blend
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if flour blend already contains it)
½ cup House-Autry Mills plain corn meal
¼ cup gluten-free graham style cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat waffle iron. In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and stir vigorously until well combined. Cook the waffles according to the instructions that came with your appliance.

Popcorn Chicken

1 cup buttermilk
1 pound boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
Canola oil for frying, enough to submerge your chicken pieces
1 cup House-Autry Mills yellow corn meal
½ cup potato starch
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
In a medium size bowl, marinate the chicken in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a large frying pan or deep fryer. In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Transfer the chicken to the corn meal mixture, draining away excess liquid first. Coat the chicken thoroughly and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Candy Coating

1 cup Spanish peanuts, salted
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place peanuts in an oven-proof dish and warm in oven. Keep cooked waffles and chicken warm in the oven while making the candy coating (waffles can be placed directly on oven racks). In a large, heavy-bottom sauce pan, combine all remaining ingredients. Stir frequently and using a candy thermometer, heat to about 240 degrees. Remove peanuts from the oven and stir them into the candy mixture. Continue to heat the mixture to soft-crack stage, about 280 degrees. Remove the waffles and chicken from the oven. Arrange the chicken on top of the waffles and drizzle the candy/peanut mixture over the top. Allow to cool somewhat before serving.
Serves 4-5.


  • North Carolina State Fair
  • 1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
  • Raleigh, NC 27607

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