Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chicken 'n' Biscuits!

     Old Fashioned Country Cooking! 
     Chicken 'n' Biscuits is a nice old fashioned hearty entrée.  The biscuits serve as the starch of the entrée and they take the place of rice or potatoes.  The biscuits soak up the chicken gravy, just like dumplings and this creates a warm satisfying feeling.
     Chicken 'n' Biscuits has been a popular meal since the colonial times.  In the old west, chuck wagon and mining camp cooks served up Chicken 'n' Biscuits as a filling meal.  Chicken 'n' Biscuits was a popular cheap down home style meal during the Great Depression too.
      Chicken 'n' Biscuits recipes do vary.  Most Chicken 'n' Biscuit recipes require Chicken Gravy (velouté), Milk Gravy (Béchamel) or an enriched broth.  Pennsylvania Dutch style Chicken 'n' Biscuits are usually made with a chicken stock and milk gravy.  In the Louisiana, a variety of French style Chicken Fricassee preparations are poured over the biscuits.  In the American South, the stewed meat is often made with roasted chicken and the gravy is made with pan drippings.  Modern Soul Food style Chicken 'n Biscuits recipes can have some fancy ingredients added to the gravy, like peppers and garden herbs.  Basically, no matter what style of Chicken 'n' Biscuits recipe is chosen, the goal is to create a satisfying plate of food that provides comfort!  
     Today's recipe is a fancy modern Soul Food style version of Chicken 'n' Biscuits.  The gravy is fancied up with aromatic vegetables, bell pepper and herbs, but the rich chicken flavor still reigns supreme.   

     Buttermilk Biscuits:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.
     • Buttermilk Biscuits

     Chicken 'n' Biscuits:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée.  
     Uncooked chicken leg or breast pieces can be used for this recipe.  I used chicken breast because that is what I had on hand, but the leg meat adds a richer flavor.
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauce pot (or sauteuse pan) over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 6 to 8 ounces of thin sliced raw chicken.
     Sauté till the chicken is a little more than halfway cooked, but not browned.
     Step 2:  Add 1 sliced garlic clove.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced carrot.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced celery.
     Add 2 tablespoons of diced onion.
     Add l/4 cup of diced red bell pepper.
     Sauté and stir till the onions turn clear in color.  
     *Try not to let the ingredients brown.  Stir often! 
     Step 3:  Add just enough flour while stirring, to soak up the excess butter and to make a pan roux. (About 3 or 4 teaspoons.)
     Continue to stir till the roux combines.
     Step 4:  Add 1 3/4 cups of light chicken stock while stirring.
     Add 1/2 cup of milk.
     Bring the gravy to a gentle boil while occasionally stirring.  
     *Scrape any roux that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan too.  The gravy will be a very thin consistency at this time.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1 small bay leaf.
     Add 1 small pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of tarragon.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.  (1 or 2 pinches)
     Step 6:  Gently simmer and reduce till the gravy is a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Remove the bay leaf.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 thin sliced green onion.
     Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Step 8:  Place 2 warm Buttermilk Biscuits on the back half of a plate.
     Use a slotted spoon to mound the chicken and vegetables on the front half of the plate.
     Pour a generous amount of the fancy chicken gravy over the biscuits and chicken.
     Step 9:  Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     Serve any extra gravy in a gooseneck sauce boat on the side.
     Serve with a few extra Buttermilk Biscuits on the side! 

     Warm, cozy and delicious!  This is a comfortable tasting modern Soul Food style Chicken 'n' Biscuits!  

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