Chicken + Biscuits


Breakfast in bed is the most luxurious concept, but it so rarely ends up as divine as the perfectly set tray with a little bud vase and carafe of fresh-squeezed orange juice that it is made out to be in movies. Especially with a dog. A lap dog. She isn’t even a lap dog, she’s more of a as-close-to-your-face-as-possible dog, and that’s without food. Breakfast in bed is out of the question, as a result. In fact, just sitting down can be a challenge with Mops. Breakfast standing up is the sad reality of my life, if breakfast is to be had at all. I was motivated this year to make a meal that stood out for a reason other than a medical emergency. BF’s favorite breakfast is chicken and biscuits, so I decided to try to make this Southern staple myself for Valentine’s Day.

As I previously alluded to, the bar was set very low for Valentine’s Day this year. All I had to do was avoid filleting my finger and going to the emergency room and I would be in the black for this holiday. BF initially planned to cook for me, but he ended up having class on Thursday and was off the hook unable to do so. Last year, I had big plans, as usual. My plans included a fort, which I set up as a surprise and decorated and a menu featuring fancy steaks, tabbouleh salad, roasted sweet potatoes, and a peanut butter-fudge brownie. I was very pleased with myself.

After setting up the world’s most adorable indoor picnic, I had everything ready to go for dinner, then decided that an extra squeeze of lemon juice would just make the tabbouleh. I didn’t have any more fresh lemons, but found a plastic squeeze bottle of lemon juice, unopened, in the fridge. I was in a rush and had the large knife I was using to cut the fresh lemons and, holding the lemon-shaped bottle in my left hand, I tried to pop a little hole in the top with the knife in my right hand. As you surely know already, I missed the bottle completely and instead popped said little hole in my left hand on my index finger. Luckily I was so far along in the getting beautiful for Valentine’s Day process that I already had done my hair and makeup, so I have quite the E.R. glamor shot to verify my story:


So that’s why I was to stay out of the kitchen on Valentine’s Day. The lawyer in me of course had to find a way to skirt the rule, so I got up very early and decided to make an elaborate breakfast, without injury or other calamity.

Classic Butter Biscuits


To make the biscuits, you will need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus an additional 1/3 cup or so for kneading.
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 stick of cold butter, sliced into thin pieces (8 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim, but alternatively buttermilk is suggested).
  • 1-2 tbsp. butter (for melting, optional).

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 and grease a cookie sheet.
  • In your bowl of your mixer (or by hand), add the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  • Using the kneading hook attachment (if you’re in the Kitchen Aid club) cut the butter in gradually. Many recipes suggest using your hands for this process, but I did not find any deficiency in using my standing mixer.

  • Add the milk last and let the mixer work its magic until the dough is sticky.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough on a floured surface and knead a bit with your hands as you flatten the dough, adding flour as necessary.
  • Roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 of an inch in thickness and fold it in half (on top of itself) to create layers. I used single layers in the ones I have photos of, but I strongly suggest folding over.
  • Cut biscuits as desired (I used a glass because I didn’t like the size of the cutters I had on hand).
    • Side note: in doing my research for this post, I learned that biscuits that are dropped by spoon (more like a cookie) are referred to as “cat-head biscuits.” Just let that weirdness soak in.  
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Optional: If you’re feeling really indulgent, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave once you have the biscuits in the oven. Use a pastry brush to add extra melted butter to the biscuits about 5-8 minutes into baking. No one has ever objected to extra buttery goodness, I promise.
  • Serve nice and warm, with love. And extra butter.
Fried Chicken Tenders



You will need:
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. each paprika, dried mustard, dried parsley, and garlic powder
  • Appx. 1 1/2 cups canola or peanut oil for frying
Method:
  • Cut the chicken breasts into your desired size (I wanted bite-sized). 
  • Beat together the eggs and milk. Place chicken pieces in the wet mixture. 
  • Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir together, then add in chicken pieces and toss to coat all of the pieces. Discard leftover egg/milk mixture. 
  • Pour canola or peanut oil in a large iron skillet. The above measurement is a guess – the guideline is to have about 2 tablespoons of oil in your skillet. You may need to add more as you continue to cook. 
  • Turn flame on medium-high heat and let sit until very hot (don’t add your chicken until it’s time. Patience). Drop a tiny bit of water into the oil to test the heat. Add chicken in batches, turning over as needed. 
  • Fry the chicken pieces until golden brown, then remove from oil and place on paper towels to remove some of the oil. Serve hot with fresh biscuits. 

The moral of the story is that when life hands you lemons, do not attack them with massive knives. Hope you had a very happy Valentine’s Day!

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