I have a thing for biscuits. The love affair started when I was growing up and always used to gobble them up at KFC and McDonald’s (actually, McDonald’s breakfast biscuit sandwiches are still one of my guilty pleasures when we’re travelling!). I also have fond memories of buying those buttery biscuits that you can pop out of a can and bake at home when I first started dating Apolinaras. Of course, now I know my way around the kitchen and also enjoy making them at home, but I also always order biscuits if they’re on a menu. When we were at Screen Door in Portland, for example, you bet I subbed a warm fluffy biscuit for the boring old toast that came with my meal!
The main Screen Door attraction was their fried chicken and sweet potato waffles. I’d actually never had chicken and waffles before, and now I feel like I may be disappointed if I ever order them anywhere else because they were that good! They also had biscuit sandwiches with fried chicken on the menu, and both these dishes inspired today’s brunch recipe of crispy pecan chicken and sweet potato biscuit sandwiches with maple butter!
I whipped up sweet potato biscuits with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and then sandwiched pieces of crispy pecan and panko coated baked chicken spiced with paprika and cayenne pepper. Of course, I also couldn’t resist spreading a nice dollap of maple butter on top. Yum!
Crispy Pecan Chicken and Sweet Potato Biscuit Sandwiches
Sweet Potato Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I usually stick the cut butter in the freezer briefly while I’m prepping the dry ingredients)
1 cup mashed roasted sweet potatoes (I roasted two and had a bit leftover)
1/3 cup buttermilk
Crispy Pecan Chicken:
3/4 cup pecans, pulsed in the food processor until finely ground
3/4 cup panko
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into half lengthwise and again in half the other way so you have 12 pieces of chicken total that fit each biscuit
2 large eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
To make the sweet potato biscuits, heat oven to 450˚F. Place flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a food processor and pulse once to mix. Add cold butter pieces and pulse several times or until coarse crumbs form. Mix mashed sweet potatoes and buttermilk together in a large bowl; stir in flour mixture. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, being careful not to overwork the dough or warm the butter up too much. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll 1/2-inch thick with a lightly floured rolling pin. Use a 3-inch round cup or cookie/biscuit cutter to cut out 12 biscuits, re-rolling dough scraps as needed. Place biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 450˚F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the chicken, heat oven to 350˚F. Mix ground pecans, panko, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a shallow pan. Put the flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge both sides of the chicken pieces in it. Place the beaten eggs in another shallow dish and dredge both sides of the flour coated chicken in the egg mixture; place chicken pieces in the pecan mixture and coat well on all sides. Place coated chicken on a large greased cookie sheet and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.
To make the maple butter, mix butter and maple syrup together until smooth.
To serve, cut the biscuits in half and butter the top cut sides. Add the chicken on top of the bottom biscuit half and place the buttered top half of the biscuit on top. Makes 12 sandwiches.
Nutrition: 377 calories, 20.1g fat, 2.0g fiber, 19.0g protein per sandwich
Cost: $0.83 per sandwich