Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich with Biscuits and Coffee-Laced Gravy

 

This is the first of many recipes I will be posting from my favorite new cookbook Cooking My Way Back Home by Mitchell Rosenthal.  In this recipe the coffee-laced gravy is the star.  You can make the gravy and just serve it over biscuits if you like but I wanted to post the recipe in its entirety in case you want to try it  the way its suppose to taste.

Coffee-laced Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, cubed
  • 3 ounces breakfast pork sausage links, casings removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBS brewed espresso or other strong coffee
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock, warmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 6 Country Biscuits (recipe follows)
  • 6 fried chicken breasts (recipe follows)

Directions:

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until some of the fat is rendered.  Add the pork sausage meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula, for 3 minutes more, or until it starts to brown.  Add the onion.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

Add the butter and stir until melted.  Lower the heat to medium-low.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes to cook away the raw flour taste.  Pour in the espresso and stock and stir well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge and browned bits.  Raise the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture has a nice gravy consistency.  Finally, stir in the sage, then taste and correct the seasoning.

Split each biscuit in half horizontally and lay the halves, cut side up and side by side, on a plate.  Top with a hot fried chicken breast, ladle the hot sauce on top, and serve immediately.

Country Biscuits:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 TBS baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1/2 pound, plus 1/2 stick butter, frozen, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Scatter the butter on top, on low speed with mixer beat until the butter is about the size of peas, combine all bits with buttermilk until it forms into a dough. Turn the dough out into a lightly floured work surface. Fold and pat until soft and cohesive. Roll out to 1 inch thick and transfer to a sheet pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a day.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Re-roll the dough into a round 1 inch piece onto lightly floured work surface. Cut as many biscuits as possible into 2 inch rounds. Place the biscuits on prepared pan and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake the biscuits for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Hot Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk
Canola oil, for deep frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Town Hall Spice Mixture (recipe follows)
1 tsp salt

Directions:

Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and beat with a mallet until 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and buttermilk into a bowl and coat. Let soak for 15 minutes. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or heavy bottomed frying pan to 375 F. In a bowl stir together flour, spice mixture and 1 tsp salt. Toss the chicken into the flour mixture and out of the buttermilk and cook in hot oil for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Town Hall Spice Mixture

Ingredients:

2 TBS cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp celery salt

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Store in airtight container in cool cupboard. Keeps for up to 6 months.

Mom’s Turkey Gravy

This is a very simple recipe but for some reason I have always had difficulty making a tasty gravy. I have finally perfected mom’s turkey gravy and it sure does dress up a turkey dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Giblets from turkey
  • Flour
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Take the giblets from the turkey and place in a pan of cold water. Add bay leaf and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Simmer while turkey is cooking to make stock. Add water if necessary just keep the heat low.

When turkey is done, remove from roasting pan and use drippings for gravy. Place roasting pan on stove and shake some flour and water in a small container. Add flour mixture with turkey stock to drippings and simmer until gravy is the appropriate thickness for you. Keep adding flour mixture and stock until flavor is good. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Roast Turkey and Mom’s Gravy

 

I have made my Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey this way for the past couple years and it is tender and juicy. It is very different placing the turkey upside down in the pan but it truly is a way to keep the turkey breast moist. I spent my entire childhood stuffing the turkey with dressing with my mom but cooking it outside the turkey is safer and you can use turkey stock for flavoring. My mom’s gravy recipe follows.

Recipe found on the website http://www.simplyrecipes.com but altered by me to make it simpler.

Roasted Turkey

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey, approx. 15 lbs.
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • Tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • Parsley
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme
  • Bay leaf

Directions:

Bring the turkey to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in its plastic wrapping until you are ready to cook it. If you get a frozen turkey, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator for several days first. Allow approximately 5 hours of defrosting for every pound.

Remove the neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver). Use the heart and gizzard for making stock for the stuffing and gravy. Put the turkey giblets into a small saucepan, cover with water, add salt and a bay leaf. Bring to simmer and continue cooking until you are ready to make the gravy (add more water as needed).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash out the turkey with water. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Rub the inside of the cavity with the juice of half a lemon. Take a small handful of salt and rub all over the inside of the turkey. Use caution with this step, too much salt leads to over salted gravy since you will use the drippings. I made this mistake two years in a row.

Do not make the stuffing in the turkey because it increases the cooking time and is unsafe due to the possibility of bacteria in the stuffing. For flavor, insert 1/2 a yellow onion, peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, a couple of carrots, and some tops and bottoms of celery inside the cavity. Close up the turkey cavity with either string (not nylon string) or metal skewers. Make sure that the turkey’s legs are tied together, held close to the body, and tie a string around the turkey body to hold the wings in close.

Rub either melted butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle salt generously all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle pepper over the turkey.

Place turkey breast down on the bottom of a rack over a sturdy roasting pan big enough to catch all the drippings. Cooking the turkey breast down means the skin over the breast will not get so brown. However, all of the juices from the cooking turkey will fall down into the breast while cooking.

Add several sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary to the outside of the turkey.

Put the turkey in the oven. Cooking time of about 15 minutes for every pound. For the 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400 F for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225 F for the next hour to hour and a half.

If you want the breast to be browned as well, you can turn the bird over so that the breast is on top, and put it in a 500°F oven or under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, just enough to brown the breast. Note that if you do this, you will have a higher risk of overcooking the turkey breast.

Start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, an hour before the turkey should be done. You want a resulting temperature of 175°F for the dark meat (thighs and legs) and 165°F for the white meat (breast). The temperature of the bird will continue to rise once you take it out of the oven, so take it out when the temperature reading for the thigh is 170°F, and for the breast 160°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, spear the breast with a knife. The turkey juices should be clear, not pink.

Mom’s Gravy Recipe

This is a very simple recipe but needs some attention to get it right. I have finally perfected mom’s turkey gravy and it sure does dress up a turkey dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Giblets from turkey
  • Flour
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Take the giblets from the turkey and place in a pan of cold water. Add bay leaf and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Simmer while turkey is cooking to make stock. Add water if necessary just keep the heat low.

When turkey is done, remove from roasting pan and use drippings for gravy. Place roasting pan on stove and shake some flour and water in a small container. Add flour mixture with turkey stock to drippings and simmer until gravy is the appropriate thickness for you. Keep adding flour mixture and stock until flavor is good. Season with salt and pepper.