The Deal with Biscuits

December 22, 2011

When I first heard about people from the USA eating biscuits with chicken, I thought that it was just one of those weird American things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on America. They’ve got some great culinary badges – Cornbread and Gumbo spring to mind. But to me, biscuits are sweet little things, like Tim Tams or Teddy Bear Biscuits.

And let’s be honest, some of America’s food is a little…strange. Case in point, the Thanksgiving favourite, Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole. And too, or so I believed, biscuits and chicken.

But you see, the deal with biscuits is that they’re actually…delicious. Kind of like a savoury scone, when done well they’re absolutely fantastic. And indeed very welcome with chicken stew, soup, scrambled eggs and more. They absorb flavours beautifully and provide a nice change from sometimes boring, occasionally bland toast. As it turns out, biscuits: not so strange after all.


While in the States this past August, I tried three types of biscuits:

1) The first was at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg. Sometimes a biscuit needs to be quiet, like this one. This biscuits was really light and subtle in flavour, serving perfectly as a vehicle for the confidently delicious fried chicken, salty bacon and creamy ranch dressing. Quietly confident.

Other times a biscuit likes to stand alongside the other ingredients, vying for your attention. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t…

2) The second biscuit was served alongside scrambled eggs and bacon during brunch one Sunday. As a side note, this was the day I first had grits (!!!).

This biscuit was certainly confident, but it really needn’t have been so assured. Ouch, way to shoot a biscuit down. Despite being wonderfully flaky, it was a little stodgy overall. Stodgy and meh. It just didn’t wow me. It could have done well to stand back a little and improve itself – work on it’s posture, or something.

But the third biscuit…that was beautiful.

3) It too liked to stand alongside the other delicious bites on the plate, positioning itself super straight, unabashedly attempting to be that much taller than the other meal components. But this time it’s confidence was warranted. It really shone. And without arrogance too. Well, maybe just a little…it so knew it was hot stuff.

Vicki and I visited Cookshop for breakfast on our very last day in New York City. We loved it so much the first time, when we had ooooh so delicious pancakes and Summer fruit, so we knew it would be the perfect place to enjoy our last breakfast in this incredible city.

I ordered The Cookshop Scramblescrambled eggs with caramelised onions, creme fraiche and chives (love), with a buttemilk biscuit (love) and Applewood smoked bacon (love). Love.

Oh yum.

This biscuit was, as I mentioned, made with buttermilk. And in my very very limited biscuit eating experience, I’ve decided that buttermilk is the key to a good biscuit. Perhaps I shall start baking my own so that I can say such statements with some actual credibility. But for now I can happily recall my three biscuit experiences, and delight in my delicious learning curve and development of true biscuit appreciation.

Yep. True biscuit appreciation.

Especially buttermilk biscuits.

Heidi xo

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  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 22, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I have never tried a biscuit (due to the wheat content) but I know Mr BBB has. He was not a fan though…..perhaps he needed to try one with buttermilk!

  • Iron Chef Shellie December 22, 2011 at 10:03 am

    yes biscuits and chicken sounds rather wrong!! I think of chocolate ripples with roast chicken… blergh! Although I would give it a go.

    That buttermilk last one looks amazing!

  • Leah December 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I have always found this whole biscuits thing intriguing! But to me its just like having savoury scones?
    I have always wanted to make them.

  • Michelle Chin December 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Biscuit and something savory seems okay for me as there are some chinese snacks that involve biscuits with savory filling.

  • Heidi December 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Lisa – perhaps!!

    Michele – hmmm choc ripples and roast chicken haha. Maybe not 🙂

    Leah – just like savoury scones, you should definitely make some 🙂

    Michelle – interesting!

    Heidi xo

  • msihua December 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Woah.. I must have been like the old you that can't see biscuits with savoury items! Needs to get to US to get my weird food on!

  • Hannah December 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Goldilocks and The Three Biscuits!! 😀

    P.S. My brother is making us American-style sweet potato casserole for Christmas this year. I'm both deeply excited and utterly terrified. I'm hoping to save mine for dessert 😉 Crazy lovable Americans…

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet December 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Wow that is a little weird biscuits with chicken but then I guess the English men like yorkshire puddings hehe 🙂 i wanna try the buttermilk biscuits too ~

  • The InTolerant Chef December 23, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Buttermilk certainly makes good scones, so maybe it is the key to a good biscuit too?

  • Heidi December 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

    msihua – hahaha love it 🙂

    Hannah – You're fantastic. Firstly, Goldilocks and The Three Biscuits = brilliant. Secondly, I do hope to hear back about that casserole… you described your feelings perfectly. Perfectly because I would too be feeling the same 🙂

    Daisy – so true!

    InTolerant Chef – indeed, I think we're onto something 😉

    Heidi xo

  • Terry Turtle December 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    The last biscuit looks amazing and sounds like he deserves to be noticed… especially with his perfect posture!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 23, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    You hit the nail on the head Heidi. It's the buttermilk for biscuits that makes them so swoonworthy! 😀

    Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas-with lots of buttermilk biscuits! 😉 xxx

  • Blithely Unaware December 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I love the (love) you put after the buttermilk biscuit. I've never had a true biscuit but desperately want to… making a mental note now to search tastespotting for a recipe.


  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) December 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Heidi! Enjoy a lovely time with your family! 😀

  • Heidi December 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Terry – hehehe indeed 😉

    Lorraine – thanks, lovely 🙂 you too!

    Blithely Unaware – good luck on your biscuit hunt!

    Kath – awe how sweet 🙂 you too!

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah December 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Bahahah! Love it! Perfection is whatever you and I think, feel, or say 😉

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