Saturday, April 25. 2015: Chicken Biscuit by Chef Lee Hillson

Chicken Biscuit by Chef Lee Hillson


Yields 10 biscuits

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting the board 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold 1 cup buttermilk (approx) Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.

3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.

4. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.

5. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.

6. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.

7. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.

8. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.

9. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.

10. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.

11. If you like"crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.

12. Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken 

8 chicken leg quarters, cut into thighs and drumsticks (If making as a meal) 1 quart brewed tea, double strength 1 lemon, quartered 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup kosher salt 1 quart ice water 3 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups corn flour 2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning (Old Bay or Lawrys) 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 8 eggs 1 cup buttermilk Peanut oil Directions Combine tea, lemon, sugar and kosher salt, and simmer for 5 minutes or salt and sugar are complete dissolved. Pour in ice water and cool brine completely. Submerge thighs and drumsticks in brine for 48 hours.

Remove to a wire rack and allow chicken to drain. Combine 2 cups of the flour and the corn flour, crab boil, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Place remaining 1 cup flour in a medium bowl, and in a third bowl beat eggs with buttermilk. Line up bowls of flour, egg-buttermilk mixture and then the flour-corn flour mixture, in that order. Coat the chicken in the flour, then the egg-buttermilk mixture, and then the flour-corn flour mixture, applying pressure to ensure even adherence. Let the chicken sit in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour before frying.

Pour oil in a heavy pot at a depth of at least 3 inches. Heat oil to 300 degrees F. Fry chicken, submerged in oil, for 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees F for dark meat, 160 degrees F for white meat. Drain on a rack.

Pickled watermelon

1 (2-2.5 pound) watermelon

6 cups water

2 tablespoons salt, divided

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1 teaspoon pickling spice

3 (1/4-inch) slices fresh ginger

2 whole cloves

2 whole allspice

1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

1 1/4 cups sugar

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1 cup white vinegar


Bring 6 cups water and 5 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Place pickling spice, ginger, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely. Combine cheesecloth bag, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and vinegar in saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot vinegar mixture over sliced peeled watermelon. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 12 hours.

Maple Butter · 

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 two-inch cinnamon stick

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces


1. Pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan; add cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees (soft-ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, discard cinnamon stick, and stir in butter until melted.

2. Immediately transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat, starting on low and increasing to high, until mixture is thick, opaque, and creamy, about 8 minutes. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.