National Chicken and Waffles Day Date in the current year: October 20, 2024

National Chicken and Waffles Day October 20 is a perfect day to treat yourself to some delicious soul food because it is National Chicken and Waffles Day. This unofficial but beloved food holiday celebrates one of the most iconic American food combinations.

Chicken and waffles is just what its name suggests: a dish combining chicken and waffles. The exact origins of the dish are unclear, but the general consensus is that it originated in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine some time around the 17th century. The original version consisted of a plain waffle topped with pulled, stewed chicken and gravy. By the mid-19th century, chicken and waffles was a common Sunday dish in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

A version of the dish using fried chicken is associated with the American South because fried chicken is a staple of Southern cuisine. However, there are no mentions of the combination of fried chicken and waffles in early Southern cookbooks, so it is possible that fried chicken and waffles became associated with soul food without actually being popular in the South.

Fried chicken and waffles started to become popular in the 1930s. There are mentions of the dish being served at The Maryland in Los Angeles in 1931 and at the Wells Supper Club in Harlem, New York in 1938. Although the combination was advertised as a Southern specialty, this claim wasn’t supported by any real evidence.

Unlike the savory version of chicken and waffles that originated in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, the “Southern” version of the dish combines sweet and savory. Waffles are served with syrup, butter and sometimes even powdered sugar, as they would be for breakfast, and accompanied with crispy fried battered chicken.

In 1975, Herb Hudson, a former Harlem resident, opened Roscoe’s House of Chicken N’ Waffles in Los Angeles. The restaurant quickly became popular among the Hollywood crowd and has even been mentioned in several films such as Tapeheads, Jackie Brown, Rush Hour, Swingers, and Be Cool.

Roscoe’s House of Chicken N’ Waffles created National Chicken and Waffles Day in 2021 to promote this delicious food pairing and raise awareness of Roscoe’s Motivation for Change Foundation, a non-profit launched by Roscoe’s to help local communities through charitable programs and activities.

Celebrate National Chicken and Waffles Day by indulging in delicious chicken and waffles at your local diner or making your own version of the dish at home. And don’t forget to invite your friends to join, because everything tastes better in good company, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalChickenAndWafflesDay and #ChickenAndWafflesDay.

National Chicken and Waffles Day should not be confused with National Fried Chicken and Waffles Day, celebrated on August 8. The latter was created in 2019 by Metro Diner, a Florida-based casual dining restaurant chain, to promote one of its signature menu items. To celebrate the holiday, Metro Diners offer fried chicken and waffles at a discounted price. If you live chicken and waffles, make sure to celebrate both holidays!

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National Chicken and Waffles Day, food days, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, Roscoe’s House of Chicken N’ Waffles