I ate way too much on vacation. We had cookies and ice cream. We grilled out steak and shrimp and hamburgers. We went out to eat and had grouper sandwiches with french fries. We had mai tais and margaritas. And Gerrit and I didn’t go running a single time during the week.
So when we got back on Monday I was all set to go buy us some healthy fish and cook it up with some simple vegetables. We needed something light. But no. For some reason this is the recipe that stood out to me and what I decided I was craving when I went grocery shopping. So we just fully embraced it and fried up the chicken and made the buttery biscuits and promised ourselves we would be better the rest of the week (so far, fairly successfully).
Despite my Southern upbringing, chicken and biscuits is really something I’ve never had much of. I take that back. I’m obsessed with Chick-fil-a breakfast, but somehow that seems different than what I made for dinner even though they are identical in theory. But now that I’ve done this for dinner, and not just left it to the chicken-for-breakfast-experts, I don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t be done more often, for any three meals of the day.
There are a lot of things I love about this particular recipe. First of all, the biscuits are wonderful. So wonderful in fact, I might use the biscuit recipe for regular weekend morning biscuits, whether we have the chicken to go with it or not. I cut down the butter from the original recipe, because really two whole sticks of butter for eight biscuits, although they are eight very large biscuits, seemed entirely too much. I could feel an extra pound or two just reading the recipe.
I also added some soaking time for the chicken. The longer chicken soaks in buttermilk, the more tender and juicy it seems to get, and although the recipe gives no directions to let your chicken stay in the buttermilk longer than the time it takes you to heat up the oil, I think an extra hour (or longer if you can manage it) of soaking is only beneficial.
I also have a note about the chicken itself. The recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which is what I used. But honestly, as much as I love chicken thighs and dark poultry meat, I think I might prefer chicken breasts in this recipe next time. Since this is basically a sandwich, of which you take a whole bite, I didn’t particularly like that I would sometimes bite into more fatty pieces of chicken and couldn’t pick them away (as I usually do when I eat chicken thighs). But other than that, this chicken is delicious.
The honey on this is also delicious, although something I was a bit unsure of at first. In the chicken seasoning there is a bit of onion powder, and the sweet honey complements that subtle bite of onion in the most beautiful way. And all wrapped together with that creamy buttermilk biscuit, it makes a beautiful dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. This is all-purpose food, I think.
Fried Chicken and Biscuits
adapted from Southern Living Magazine, April 2012
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Wait Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
For the chicken:
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
For the biscuits:
2 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
Chopped Pickled Green Tomatoes
1. To prepare the chicken, sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and onion powder. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add the chicken, turning to make sure each piece is coated. Cover and refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. After the chicken has soaked for at least an hour, remove from the refrigerator to let it come to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl combine bread flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
4. Place the bowl of dry ingredients and the cubed butter in the freezer for 10 minutes.
5. When the butter and flour are chilled, remove them from the freezer. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or fork to cut the butter into the flour mixture, until the mixture is course and crumbly.
6. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and egg. Whisk together and then add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until all the dry ingredients are moist.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 to 4 times and then roll or pat the dough out to a 1 inch thickness (preferably in as square a shape as you can manage). Cut the dough into 8 rectangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 15-16 minutes, until golden brown on top.
9. While the biscuits are baking, fry the chicken. Pour oil to depth of 1 inch in a large cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Place the flour on a plate or in a shallow dish (or in the bowl you mixed the biscuits up in). Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture and dredge it in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour.
11. When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken. Fry for 5-6 minutes on each side, until both sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (it may have to be cooked in 2 batches).
12. To serve, slice each biscuit in half horizontally and place one piece of chicken between the two slices. Top the chicken with desired toppings and then the top slice of biscuit. Serve immediately.