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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chicken Biscuits

What doesn't taste better in a biscuit, I ask you?  This is a fabulous upcycle recipe for chicken (or turkey) leftovers.  You can tweak it to suit your palate...add Italian seasoning if you want a Mediterranean flavor, taco seasoning for Mexican, Cajun seasoning for a little Creole flavor, or leave it pretty plain with just salt and pepper.  Any type of cheese will do, though I prefer a cheese in the "melting" family...mozzarella, provolone, gruyere, fontina....rather than the "shape-retaining" family...goat, cheddar, jack, swiss.

You don't want the filling to be soupy, so be sure to drain canned tomatoes well or squish the seedy innards out of fresh tomatoes.  I use dry minced onion to help absorb any extra liquid from the tomatoes, though you can choose to use a bit of fresh onion instead. 

I usually use refrigerated "whomp" biscuits (as the Sweet Potato Queen calls them, cuz you "whomp" them on your kitchen counter to open the tube) for this recipe.  Nota bene: you'll want to get "regular" size biscuits, not "jumbo" biscuits (I screw up so you don't have to!)  When I do make homemade biscuits though, I use a recipe from a fundraiser-type cookbook called All Maine Cooking.  It is *the* best biscuit recipe I've made...not too heavy, not too wet, not too salty, not too sweet, and easy to put together and roll out.  I give the recipe halved as you'll only need half to go with the Chicken Biscuit recipe.

Nerd Note of the Day...did you know cream of tartar is a by-product of winemaking?  Tartaric acid (which is what CoT is) comes from the leftover grape bits.  You could use about 3 tsp of baking powder instead of the baking soda and cream of tartar if you don't keep cream of tartar on hand, though there are other uses for it like stabilizing whipped egg whites and making your own playdoh.

Chicken Biscuits
Makes 8 biscuits

1 refrigerated can of biscuits (8 regular size)
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 medium tomato, squeezed and diced (or 3/4 cup canned tomatoes, drained well)
1 tbsp dry minced onion
1/2 cup shredded or diced cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Press biscuits into a lightly greased muffin pan to form cups.  Combine remaining ingredients and spoon into biscuit cups.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 400F. 

1/2 All Maine Cooking Biscuit Recipe
Makes about 8 biscuits

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp shortening (not butter or oil)
about 1 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients together.  Rub shortening into dry ingredients with your fingers, until it's finely crumbled.  Stir in milk.  Don't overmix or biscuits will get tough. 

Knead lightly a few times to get dough to hold together.  Roll out to about 1/2" thick and cut into rounds.  Use in recipe above or bake 20 minutes at 425F Pin It

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