Honey Tender Biscuit Sandwich

A sandwich that needs no sides… it can stand on its own! This little beauty is one of our favorites here to whip up in the office. It is so easy to make your own version, and we’ve got the secret recipe below for delicious yeast raised lard biscuits and fried chicken! Just use a little honey to sweeten it up, and a dash of your favorite hot sauce to give it some kick! In a hurry? Use some frozen tenders in a pinch for time, but make sure you fry them in tallow for the perfect flavor!

Make up your chicken the day before. See our notes below. Once you’ve rolled out the biscuits and put them in the oven, you can start dropping the chicken into the fryer. Chicken and biscuits cook to perfection around the same time, so if you are prepped and ready to go, your timing will be perfect to build the sandwiches!

The Biscuits

Biscuits are easy and fun to make up. These are very fluffy and high because they are leavened 3 ways. The baking powder works with moisture and heat for extra rise. The baking soda plus cream of tartar and acidic buttermilk create a rising action. The fat is cut into the dry ingredients, the liquid ingredients added and mixed but not over mixed. You want to develop some gluten, but not so much that they are tough. This is done by a little kneading and rolling. In time you will learn feel it, and know intuitively exactly when they are ready!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup lard, plus a little more to grease the pan
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or regular milk or plain full fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, optional
  • 1 packet of instant yeast about 2 tsp
  • ¼ cup warm 110°F water

To begin, let the yeasts wake up in a little bowl with the warm water and a little of the sugar and flour. They should be frothy and doing something after five minutes. If nothing is happening, the yeast may be dead, and you will need to try a newer packet.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all your dry ingredients and mix. Add your lard, and cut in. It should be somewhat coarse and crumbly, kind of like streusel. Add the yeast and water mixture, and the buttermilk/milk/yogurt with the optional honey and fold/ toss with a spatula or fork. Everything should be combined, but no need to overmix. Pour out of the mixing bowl onto a floured surface and knead and fold. You can use a rolling pin or your hands to form the mixture into a slab about ¾” thick. You can then stamp out 2 ½” rounds with a clean floured biscuit cutter.

You can reuse the scraps and do this step twice. Each time you roll out and handle the dough, it forms more gluten and gets a little tougher and won’t rise quite as high. The biscuits will still taste delicious, but you may notice a slight difference in height. If you want to be a little more casual and energy efficient, just form a rectangle that is about ¾” thick and cut into about 2” squares. No need to get out the biscuit cutter if you don’t mind square ones, they still taste great with less fuss. If you wish to get a more handsome, golden color, you can brush the tops of the biscuits with an egg wash. DO this right before you put them in the oven, however this step is optional. Also, a nice brushing of melted butter when they are finished never hurts. Bake in a 400-425°F oven for about 11 to 16 minutes and let your nose and eyes be your guide. Allow to cool on a rack for a short period of time and serve warm.

Fried Chicken

For this particular sandwich, we prefer to use boneless chicken thighs or boneless tenders. You could easily do a fried chicken breast as well – but we prefer the dark meat! You can use this same recipe to make bone-in fried chicken, however ain’t nobody got time for bones when biting into a biscuit sandwich!

Ingredients/Tools:

  • Small deep fryer, or cast iron skillet
  • Lard or Tallow – enough to fill the pan half way
  • Buttermilk – enough to cover your chicken for soaking, about 1 cup
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper, plus 1 tbs 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper or chili pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2-3 cups all purpose flour

Mix all the seasonings together up to the onion powder. Take the prepared chicken and toss it with the spice blend either in a bag or in a bowl, and cover well. Let this sit overnight in the fridge, allowing all of the seasonings to soak into the chicken. Take your egg and mix it into the cup of buttermilk. Mix well, add the spiced chicken, and let it soak for an hour. If you don’t have buttermilk, regular milk will work. If using regular milk, you can add a little bit of acid – such as vinegar or lemon juice. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cornstarch, and 1 tbsp of black pepper. Once the chicken has soaked for an hour – dip each piece in the flour and coat as best you can.

Lay out on a floured tray or sheet pan until ready to fry. When you are ready to fry make sure your shortening is around 350°F and don’t crowd your pan too much. It will take 7-9 minutes depending on piece sizes. We like to cook them to an internal temp of about 180-190°F. Normally, this would way overcook something, but it seems to work just fine for tenders or boneless thighs. The result is still very juicy – and very conservative for food safety. Let cool slightly before taking a bite. If you need to make batches and hold it, a wire rack in a very low oven is a good way to keep it warm, yet still crispy.

Sandwich Prep

Once the chicken and biscuits have cooled for a few minutes. Simply stack them to your preference and top with honey, hot sauce, or any condiment of your choice! You’ll notice that the beautiful flaky layers of this biscuit and the crunch of the chicken pair so well together. The spice of the chicken with a dollop of honey is the perfect balance of sweet and heat! Enjoy!