Chicken in a Biscuit!

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 7.52.03 PM

Wow, the first couple weeks of school have really put a damper on my posting schedule!  The kids are crazy, my schedule has exploded, and all I want to do when I get home is pour a glass of wine and sit on the couch.  I’m still cooking, it just tends to be in bigger batches that last a while and we can eat for leftovers.

I am particularly proud of creating these biscuits.  I am not the world’s greatest baker, but I do have one great biscuit recipe: my Cheesy Garlic Biscuits.  My chicken in a biscuit is almost the same recipe, but instead of cheddar I used goat cheese.  I also added some shredded chicken that I  marinated in hot sauce.  This added a nice vinegary tang to the biscuit that went perfectly with the creamy goat cheese.  These biscuits are perfectly moist and soft, with a crunchy exterior.  I thought they would pick up a little more heat from the hot sauce, but they ended up beautifully balanced and you could barely tell the hot sauce was even there.

We ate just these for dinner one night.  The next night I made a fabulous sausage gravy to pour on top of them and it made me happy.

20150904_090514

Pure decadence.

So for a side dish, a light dinner, or a base for a luscious gravy, this dish is a beauty.  Go get you some.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 large chicken breast, or two small
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot if possible)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Start by chopping the chicken breast into small pieces and marinating it in salt, pepper, and the hot sauce.  Marinate for an hour before cooking.  Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add your marinated chicken and sauce and cook, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.    20150831_195154

Remove the chicken from the heat and shred with two forks

In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and garlic powder.  Add the melted butter and milk.  Combine gently with a fork.  Add the shredded chicken and crumbled goat cheese and fold into the biscuit mix.  It should be thick and sticky.  Also, it is orange.

20150831_200353

Use a spoon to drop biscuits onto the pan.   It will make 10-12, depending on how big you want them.

20150831_200550

Cook at 450 for 20 minutes, or until done.  If desired, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with dried parsley and sea salt flakes.

20150831_203212

Serve warm.

20150831_203342

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Pinterest!

Glorious Focaccia Bread

2015-08-18 19.45.31How do I love thee, focaccia bread?  Let me count the ways.

A good focaccia bread recipe has been a personal vendetta.  Baking is not my particular forte.  Yeast is a tricky, elusive bastard.  Measuring cups shoot me in the heel.  The entire art of baking escapes me completely.  But I still want focaccia.  Chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, full of the flavor of herbs, salt, and olive oil.  That is it.  None of this other goofy stuff people like to top their focaccia with.  I am a purist.

Yet somehow, every time I try to bake focaccia something goes dreadfully wrong. I often end up with something resembling a dense cracker.  (See: yeast troubles.)  But I finally got it.

This recipe is not only easy, it has perfect flavor and all the things I want out of my focaccia bread.  My fiance and I ate half of this recipe in one evening, as well as the delicious eggplant parmigiana that I made.  My house smelled amazing.

All you really need with this bread, is a glass of good red wine.  It is best about 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven.  But it really does still taste pretty good the next day.

I don’t have many pictures for this one.  I was cooking the main course at the same time and it was all a little hectic in my tiny kitchen.  I just forgot, until the end.  Let me tell you though, my house smelled amazing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • olive oil
  • flakey sea salt
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions

Start by proofing the yeast.  Do this by dissolving the honey and then the yeast in the warm water and let set for several minutes, until the yeast begins to foam.  Sift together the flour and salt and put in the bowl of a mixer.  When the yeast/water/honey mixture is ready, add it to the flour.  Use the dough hook of your mixer and let it knead the dough on low for seven or eight minutes, or until smooth and elastic.  The dough is wet and still a bit sticky.

When the dough is ready, put about 2 teaspoons or so of olive oil in a bowl.  Put a couple drops on your hands and pull the dough out of the mixer.  Rub all sides in the oil so that the dough does not stick.  Cover with a towel and put it somewhere warm and dry to rise for around two hours.  The dough ball should double in size.

After rising, spread another 2 tsp or so olive oil in a 9″x13″ baking sheet.  Spread the dough out in the sheet, stretching it to the corners.  Cover again and let rest for about 40 minutes.

Prep the rosemary by taking the leaves off the stem and chopping them coarsely.  After the dough has rested, sprinkle the rosemary over it.  Feel free to use more or less rosemary as desired, or to add other herbs as well.  Thyme especially works quite well on this bread.  After sprinkling desired amount of herbs, use your fingers to dimple the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle with about a tablespoon more of olive oil over the top, letting some oil pool int he simples.  Sprinkle with about a tablespoon or however much you desire of flakey sea salt.  Bake at 450 degrees fahrenheit for around 20 minutes.  The top should be golden brown.

Pull the bread out and let cool on a rack for five to ten minutes before serving.

Consume this bread with large glass of good red wine and some excellent company for maximum enjoyment. 🙂

2015-08-18 19.47.19

Apple Brown Butter Tart

So one of my bad habits is buying too much fruit.  I love fruit.  And I almost always buy way more then Dan and I could ever hope to eat before it goes bad. And then when the food starts to look, well, not great, that is when I bake with it.  Bananas that are too brown to be delicious, Apples that have sat in the fridge a couple of weeks.  Strawberrys that are starting to be very dark in color. That is when I get to bake up a storm.

Now I am not talking about BAD food mind you.  No mold. No bad spots. Nothing like that. Just food that you don’t really want to put in your lunchbox and eat by itself. Just kind of old. Not gross.

So the other day I realized that some of the apples I had in the fridge were getting to that “not-quite-so-crunchy-and-fresh” stage. And I found a recipe for a delicious tart. Yay!

ABBT

The link to the original recipe is in the photos caption.  It is by Anne Burrell who is an amazing chef who I greatly admire.  This is kind of her recipe with some changes of my own.

ABBT4 ABBT5

The first change is the crust. I used a one I got from a good family friend named Gail.  She is not only the worlds greatest pie baker but she is also the woman who made my dress!

dress dress2

You didn’t really think I would have NO wedding pictures did you?

Anyway Gail gave me a wonderful pie crust recipe that not only tastes delicious but also can be split into balls, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen! So when you want it just pull it out of the freezer, thaw, and use as you wish.

The only other thing about this recipe is browning the butter.  If you have never done this before it sounds kind of weird. You don’t want the butter to burn, but browning it gives a wonderful flavor to many different dishes from pies to pancakes and everything in between.  The butter will boil and froth and foam up and go through a few stages before it is brown but stick with it!  Eventually you will suddenly smell a a nutty scent and the foam will die down and you butter will look like caramel. That is when it is finished and you need to remove it instantly from the heat or it WILL burn.

ABBT6

Brown butter

Otherwise this is a rather simple recipe and very caramely and delicious! I hope you enjoy!

Gail’s Pie Crust

4 cups flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1  1/2 cups butter

1 egg

1/2 cup cold water

1 tsp vinegar

Combine all your dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until you form an even mixture. In a separate bowl beat the eggs in with the water and vinegar.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and knead till an even mixture is found.  Split into six balls and wrap with plastic wrap. These can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks or placed in the freezer till desired.

Makes 6 full sized pie crusts

Apple Brown Butter Tart

Filling: 

1  1/2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

3 eggs

1  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Apple Mixture:

2 Tbsp butter

6 medium sized apples, cored and cut into 1 inch slices

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 cup brandy

flour

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water

First remove dough from fridge and allow to rest on the counter for about 15 minutes while you make the fillings.  This will bring it to room temperature and make it easier to work with.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees

For the filling: In a small sauce pan brown the butter by cooking it on a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter looks the color of caramel and smells lightly nutty.  Immediately remove from the heat and place in a mixing bowl.mix in the sugar and then gradually add the flour.  Mix in the eggs one at a time and lastly add the vanilla and stir till everything is smooth and equally combined.

For the apple mixture:  Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add the apples and sugar.  Cook over medium heat until the apples start to soften, about 6 minutes.  Add the brandy and cook till the alcohol burns off, just a couple of minutes is necessary.

Now it is time to put it all together.  Grease a 9 inch tart pan or a 9 inch pie dish (I used the pie dish) dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the dirt out evenly. turning regularly and dusting with more flour whenever necessary until it is about an 1/8 inch thick and much larger then the size of your dish so you can make the folds on top.  Place in pie or tart dish.  Spread the filling in the bottom and place the apples on top.  Fold the extra dough over the top.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Copycat Red Lobster Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Erica is the baker.  I know.  Hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t bake.  I just have issues with measuring.  As in, I hate measuring, and baking requires a great deal of precision measuring.  When I do feel like baking, this is by far my favorite thing to bake. You will notice, I use the word “heaping” a lot in this recipe.  Or “about”.  This is an attribute to my measuring issues.

20141208_113229

This recipe caused me great struggles, but I think I have finally perfected it.  The consistency and texture is the toughest thing to replicate.  To be perfectly honest, it took a little assistance from Erica to figure out how to fix everything.  This is way better than the box mix you can buy at Costco.  Guaranteed.

20141208_113910Just look at all the cheesy, garlicky, buttery goodness.  It is even little brother approved!

20141208_113823He was actually late for class because he was so busy enjoying these!

Ingredients:

  • 2 heaping cups of flour
  • 1 heaping tbsp baking powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Soften, but do not melt, one stick of butter.  Cut into flour mix.  Once butter is thoroughly combined, add milk and fix until everything is damp.  Mix in cheese, just until combined.  Dough should be sticky, but somewhat firm.  Add flour if necessary to make sure dough isn’t too “goopy”.  If it is too soft, the biscuits won’t fluff and it will be a gooey, cheese mess.  Make about 9 even size balls and drop on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until top is brown and dry looking.

Immediately after removing from oven, melt 1/2 stick butter in microwave.  Mix in ~1 tsp parsley, and another sprinkle of garlic powder if so desired.  Brush on top of biscuits.  Cool about 5 minutes, then consume!

Enjoy!