Mitch was on biscuit duty cause he’s good at science and actually measuring things. Yes, that is a liquor bottle we used as a rolling pin and a drinking glass (ahem, old candle holder from Kroger) as a cookie cutter. Resourcefulness & it’s our middle names.
We just got back from a mini-vacation in Asheville, where we ate, drank, and ate again. Let me tell you, that city has quite the growing restaurant scene! The locals we met seemed to all agree on where we should eat and at the top of their list…..Over Easy Cafe for breakfast. As always, I looked up the menu to make sure it would be worthy of one of our very limited vacation meals. I wasn’t convinced. It just looked average and that isn’t what I was going for.
I was wrong. So unbelievably wrong.
That place was not afraid of flavor. It was as if they picked an ingredient for each dish and asked, “how much do we need to add before it jumps off the plate, slaps them in the face, and then gives them a big hug?”. Cause that’s exactly what it did!!
I left inspired – with a full stomach and ready for a nap! A few days later, we decided to take our favorite parts of the meal and combine them together for a special “Valentine’s” dinner that would be all our own. Clearly, we’re not the box of chocolate type.
So what did we end up with? Breaded and baked chicken tenders drenched in maple-chipotle sauce; thin, yet soft and flaky biscuits made out of beer, buttermilk & other stuff; and to top it all off, an out-of-this-world sage gravy ladled over the whole thing.
So my final warning is this: Do not make this recipe if you like bland food. You will not like this. However, if you’d enjoy being slapped in the face and then hugged (in the best possible way), this one’s for you!
Maple-Chipotle Chicken, Beer & Buttermilk Biscuits, Sage Gravy
- ¾ lb. chicken tenders
- 1 C buttermilk
- 1½ C panko
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 oz jar chipotle chiles in adobo
- ¼ C maple syrup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp worcestershire
- salt & pepper
- scallions, garnish
- 3 TBS butter
- 3 (.66 oz) packages sage, minced
- 3 TBS flour
- 3 C whole milk (hot)
- salt & pepper
- 12 oz. flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 TBS sugar
- 4 oz. butter
- 4 oz. buttermilk
- 4 oz. wheat beer
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Set up a breading station with two bowls and a sheet tray. Pour the buttermilk with salt & pepper into one bowl, panko with salt & pepper in the second bowl.
- Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Dunk each piece of chicken in the buttermilk and let soak for a few minutes. Lift one piece out and completely coat it with breadcrumbs. Then place it on a non-stick sheet tray. Repeat with all chicken.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip the tenders over and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Combine the garlic, chipotle with adobo sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire, salt & pepper in a blender until perfectly smooth.
- Pour the sauce all over both sides of the chicken and put back in the oven for 3 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a cast iron pan (or a sauce pan). Cook the minced sage in the butter.
- Sprinkle flour on top of sage and stir for a few minutes.
- While whisking, pour the hot milk in the pan. Stir occasionally until thickens to desired consistency. (won’t start to thicken until it comes to a boil)
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Put the butter in the freezer.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Take the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, & sugar), sift or whisk them together (I used a vitamix).
- Take the frozen stick of butter, cube it into tiny pieces and “cut in” to the dry ingredients.
- Make a well and pour the buttermilk & beer into it, small quantities at a time, stirring to incorporate completely. Do not overwork the batter – it should appear clumpy.
- Dust a surface with flour and pour the batter out onto floured surface. Flour a rolling pin (or in our case, a liquor bottle) and roll out to the depth of two fingers.
- Use a glass, mason jar, or cookie cutter to cut out biscuits. If necessary, flour the cutter as well.
- Repeat process with scraps. Should make 8 biscuits – depending on size of the cutter.
- Place biscuits on a lined sheet tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Put the bottom half of a biscuit in a shallow bowl. Place chicken tenders on top. Cover with sage gravy. Garnish with scallions. Top with biscuit top.