No Egrets and I just came back from Nashville, among other places. Culinary highlights include Dee’s Barbque (where we met Dee in the bargain), the Loveless Cafe, and Swett’s famous meat and three. We ate biscuits, biscuits, and the best fried chicken ever. I find myself back in the North Shore in a southern frame of mind: So here is my version of Foster’s Market’s chicken and biscuits.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. It’s cold outside, your roommates won’t mind if you turn on the oven a couple hours early.
Boil your local chicken in a pot with onions, garlic, bay leaf, and olive oil.
While the chicken is boiling, start making the biscuits. Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, 2 ts. of baking powder (make sure the baking powder is recent, or your biscuits will be like hockey pucks, not that I’ve learned that from experience or anything), 1 ts. baking soda, 1 ts. salt. Cut in 2 sticks of cold unsalted butter. (This is best done with a pastry cutter or even a food processor. However it can be done with two knives, it just takes a while. The goal of this step is to make sure each particle of flour is bonded to a particle of butter. Cut the butter in until a) you’re exhausted or b) until it has the consistency of coarse cornmeal.) Add 1 1/4 cup of milk (buttermilk is better) and mix until the dough just barely sticks together. DO NOT OVERHANDLE BISCUIT DOUGH. If the dough seems dry, add more milk, 1 Tb. at a time. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it extremely gently about four times, or until the dough resembles a ball. Again, err on the side of underhandling. Pat out the dough until it is 3/4-inch thick. Cut out with biscuit cutters or a glass. Put it aside and get back to the chicken.
Remove the cooked chicken from the bone and keep some of the broth from its cooking.
Melt butter and/or olive oil in a skillet and fry up some pot-pie vegetables. I like onions, pepper, and corn. No egrets prefers peas. You can also add mushrooms, carrots, celery, turnips, etc.
When the vegetables have reached the appropriate level of mushiness, add 1/4 cup of flour or arrowroot starch. Whisk in the broth and bring to a low boil. Don’t stop whisking until it starts to thicken or you get homicidal, whichever comes first.
Add sage and/or parsley and pepper, along with any of the veggies you’d like to be crisper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken and put mixture into a casserole dish.
Top with the uncooked biscuits. Brush the biscuits with an egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tb. milk). This will make the biscuits turn a pretty brown color. Cook for 25 to 30 min. and then dig in and enjoy.