The Deal with Biscuits
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 Scramble - scrambled eggs with caramelised onions, creme fraiche and chives (love), with a buttemilk biscuit (love) and Applewood smoked bacon (love). Love.
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.