My other half introduced me to this recipe. It was his grandmother’s. Passed down to his mother. Like all good recipes it’s been passed down to him. This is a recipe we love. It’s comfort food at its utmost pinnacle. If you look up home cooking in the dictionary, you might very well find this recipe. Happiness on a plate.
This isn’t a particularly difficult recipe. It’s not however, a quick recipe. It takes a little bit of time to prepare. It’s time worth spending, trust me on that. Thanks Grandma Irene. Here’s to making sure your recipe will continue to make people happy. This recipe makes enough for four. We like the biscuits so much there are enough biscuits for two, if you’re not piggy about it they’ll do fine for four as well. There are never any left over biscuits for us. Ever.
To start you’ll need chicken. Not particularly a surprise I suppose. You can go about this almost anyway you like, provided it fits into a pot and you have enough stock to cover what you’re cooking. This means no whole chickens. We grab about 3 pounds usually. That’s bone in weight. 2 to 2.5 pounds without bones will work just as well. Whole breasts, chicken tenders, thighs, legs, it’s pretty much your choice within reason. Whatever you decide to cook, it needs to go into a pot. Cover your chosen chicken with enough stock that’s it’s completely submerged. At least almost all the way. Turn your stove top to medium heat and simmer uncovered until cooked. For the whole breasts I used, that was about 20 – 25 minutes. Once they’ve cooked all the way through, remove them from the stock pot and set aside to cool a bit.
Here you’ll be greeted with a stock pot filled with super-chickeny chicken stock. This is the basis of the gravy in this recipe. Here’s where things get interesting. You’ll need to cook the stock down a bit to thicken it. Just cooking it down won’t be enough. Oh no. You’ll need to add some things to hasten that process. Here’s a bit of a trick that you can credit my mother with. You need to get some flour and some butter into this mix. Flour added to stock or any other liquid can quickly clump up and leave lumps. Lumps are not tasty. The easiest way to do this without lumps is to combine both the flour and butter before it goes in. How do you do that? Good question.
If you take four tablespoons of flour and two tablespoons of butter and roll it around for a while you’ll end up with a buttery ball that can be added to your stock. Making this little ball will keep the flour from making little clumps in your gravy. The fat from the butter absorbs the flour. Or the other way around. Whatever the case this aids its entry into your stock. You can also add some arrowroot if you’d like. Arrowroot is a natural additive that thickens soups, stews and the like. A little bit can go a long way. A combination of the two is also fine. Give it some time to cook down. It’ll take a little while but soon it’ll simmer to a thicker gravy. When it’s looking a little bit thicker, add 1/2 cup of cream or 1 cup of milk. If you’re using milk you’ll need to give it a few more minutes to cook more moisture out of it. When it’s looking to be around a consistency you like, you can lower the heat to just keep it warm. You might also want to add a little seasoning. Salt isn’t usually necessary. Pepper, maybe a little basil, onion powder, garlic powder maybe. Not too much though, it should be pretty tasty right out of the pot.
Your chicken should be cooled to the point that you can handle it without burning your fingerprints off. Breasts are fairly easy to skin and then shred into bite sized pieces. You can chop with a knife, pull apart with your hands, whatever you’re more comfortable with. Once you’ve got it broken down you can add it back to the finished gravy. That completes the chicken part of your recipe.
While all this chicken cooking and gravy producing is going on you can quickly make the biscuits. They are a simple buttermilk biscuit recipe. They are also out of this world. They are a recipe culled from Dot’s Diner, in Boulder, CO – so they say. I’d give them some link love here but I can’t find a link to their place other than Facebook page. Get a website folks! Your biscuits are famous. So a mention is the best I can do. Mix all the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add butter milk (or milk and buttermilk powder – alternatively milk with some lemon juice added), and cut in cold butter. Mix well and you’re ready to go. I make drop biscuits, which are easier and smaller than full size biscuits. After about 10 minutes in a 425 degree F oven they are ready to eat. Check them a bit early, they cook pretty quickly.
Fill your plate with biscuits and ladle the gravy-chicken mix over the top and prepare to have a meal that leaves you with that deeply soul satisfying feeling. Rib sticking is another word that comes to mind. There’s nothing quite like a handed-down family “soul food” recipe to really make you full. I’m sure this isn’t the healthiest recipe ever made, but it’s hugely satisfying. The biscuits have a wonderful butter thing going on and the chicken and gravy is a perfect complement. If you make no other recipe this month, this is the one to give a try.
Chicken and Gravy Recipe – 4 Servings
- 2.5 to 3 Pounds of Chicken
- 1 to 2 Quarts of Chicken Stock (depending on the size of your pot – you can also use some water to bring it up to depth)
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- 4 Tablespoons of AP Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Each Onion and Garlic Powders
- 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream or 1 Cup of Milk
- 3 Cups Flour
- 3/4 Cup Butter (1 and 1/2 sticks) – Chilled & Cut into 1/4″ Pieces
- 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
- 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Buttermilk (or substitute)
- More Love