Sunday Brunch: Southern Fried Chicken, Egg and Honey Biscuit Sandwich

WGN Weekend Morning News

Chef Tony Gargano, an Illinois native, joins WGN Weekend Morning News to share his recipe for a Southern Fried Chicken, Egg and Honey Biscuit Sandwich.

Gargano grew up in Bartlett and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago before studying abroad in Italy. He is currently the chef of KNEAD: Urban Eatery in St. Charles.

Biscuits (Can be store-bought if needed)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, with extra for hands and work surface
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp. of cold buttermilk, divided
  • 2 tsp. honey

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Make the biscuits: Place flour, baking powder and salt together in large bowl or food processor. Whisk or pulse until combined.
  • Add cubed butter and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Cut/pulse until coarse crumbs form.
  • Pour mixture into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  • Pour 1 cup of buttermilk and drizzle honey on top.
  • Fold everything together with a large spoon or rubber spatula until it begins to come together. Don’t overwork the dough (should be shaggy and crumbly with wet spots).
  • Pour the dough and any dough crumbles onto a floured work surface and gently bring together with generously floured hands. Have extra flour nearby and use it often to flour hands and work surface.
  • Using floured hands or floured rolling pin, flatten into a 3/4 inch-thick rectangle as best as possible.
  • Fold one side into the center, then the other side.
  • Turn the dough horizontally and gently flatten into 3/4 inch-thick rectangle again and repeat folding.
  • Turn dough horizontally once more and gently flatten into 3/4 inch-thick rectangle. Repeat folding one last time.
  • For final thickness, flatten into 1-inch thick square, roughly 8 inch by 8 inch.
  • Cut into 4 inch by 4 inch squares.
  • Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk, bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, brush warm tops with melted butter.

Pickled Red Onions

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup of pickling spice blend
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • 2 red onions

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix all ingredients besides red onions into a pot and bring to a boil.
  • While liquid is coming up to temperature, thinly slice red onion and place in a separate pot.
  • When pickling liquid comes to a boil, strain over red onions and discard spices.
  • Place pot with red onions and pickling liquid on the stove and cook at medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Strain red onions and reserve liquid, allow onions to cool and refrigerate for future use.

Chicken Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley ranch seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix all ingredients and marinade overnight.

Breading for Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley ranch seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix all ingredients together.

Egg Mixture

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix all ingredients together.

Breading Chicken Directions

  • Remove chicken thighs from marinade and place into bowl of egg mixture.
  • Allow any egg to run off of chicken before placing chicken into flour mixture. It is very important to make sure you press the flour into the chicken to make it nicely coated.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat and fill halfway with an oil of your choice: peanut oil, Crisco, lard or liquid shortening.
  • Heat to 360 to 365 degrees.
  • When oil is heated, place chicken thighs slowly into pot away from yourself, two at a time.
  • Fry until thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  • Remove from oil and season with salt and pepper.

Spicy Honey Butter Drizzle

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently warm up honey in a sauté pan.
  • Whisk in butter, salt and crushed red pepper until combined and butter is melted.

Sunny Side-Up Eggs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Splash of water

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat a large nonstick sauté pan with 2 tbsp. of butter.
  • When butter is melted, crack 4 eggs in a pan.
  • Cook for 1 minute and place lid on top with a splash of water to create steam.
  • Cook for another 2 minutes or until desired doneness of egg.

Building the Fried Biscuit Sandwich

  • Start by slicing biscuit in half.
  • Heat up tbsp. of butter in a sauté pan and toast biscuit.
  • When toasted, place 1 fried chicken thigh on bottom of biscuit.
  • Spoon on spicy honey butter.
  • Place egg and pickled red onions on sandwich.
  • Place the top of biscuit on top and enjoy!

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