Friends don't let friends Blue Apron alone.
Is that how the saying goes? Can I use Blue Apron as a verb?
I love to cook (hi, hello, understatement much?). I also love to plan meals and grocery shop, so I am definitely not the target demographic for a meal delivery service like Blue Apron. However, I am certainly not above accepting free food, and so when my friend Susan was busy applying to grad schools this past Spring,* that meant I got to "help" her boyfriend Mike cook and eat many of their delivered meals. It was fun for me to see what the service has to offer, and how they explain cooking methods to people who may not cook that much, and also, what they consider to be a full serving (spoiler alert: it's tiny if you eat meat and huge if you're vegetarian). I'm still convinced my way works better for me, but I can see the appeal of a delivery service. Also fun? I drank all of Susan's wine. #sorrynotsorry
*she got into UW, yay Susan! Hope you are still surviving Accounting!
One of the meals we made was a chicken and biscuit sandwich that was so close to being good that I knew I was going to recreate it in my own kitchen. All the parts were there for a great sandwich I could adore: crispy chicken, tender biscuits, collard greens, and mayo mixed with tabasco sauce. How could it not be good? Well, the chicken was way too big for the sandwich, the biscuits didn't have the structural integrity to serve as a sandwich bread, and the collards were kept raw and served in a slaw that was meant to be served both on the sandwich and on the side. Huh?
I thought about what I would have done differently had I written the recipe, and I got to work recreating. I decided to use the cream biscuit base I adapted into my Cheddar Garlic Biscuits, because it makes for a not as flaky yet still tender biscuit that would hold up better to being a sandwich bread. I opted for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, instead of the chicken breast we used in the original recipe, because thighs are more flavorful and also smaller and better suited to anchoring a biscuit sandwich. As for the slaw, I kept the collard and carrot mixture, but I sauteed the collards first, because wilting them a bit just makes for a better eating experience and the leftovers felt more like a side that I could add to other meals. Finally, I kept the tabasco and mayo mixture exactly the same, because you don't mess with perfection.
The resulting sandwich was exactly what I wanted that first one to be! Everything was warm, with a juxtoposition of textures between the crispy chicken, the softened yet still snappy collards, and the soft biscuit. There was saltiness from the chicken, sweetness from the slaw and heat from the sauce. I nailed it.
Chicken & Collards on a Biscuit
Inspired by Blue Apron. Serves 2. There are a lot of different parts to this sandwich, but nothing is difficult.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/8 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing (see note)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to season chicken
- 1/2 tbs unsalted butter
- 1/8 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 bunch collards, stems removed and cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, shredded
- apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp tobasco sauce
- 1 tbs mayonnaise
- Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, then stir in the cream and mix to combine. Divide the dough in half and roll into 2 balls, then flatten into 3-inch discs. Brush with cream and bake, 15-18 minutes, until golden.
- While biscuits are baking, pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with some sea salt. Heat a skillet over medium high heat on the stove, and melt the butter in the pan. In a bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tsp sea salt, and pepper, and add in the chicken and toss to coat.
- Lift the chicken out of the flour and shake off excess. Lay the pieces in the hot skillet and cook until crispy, flipping halfway through, about 5 minutes on each side. When done, remove from pan and place on paper towel lined plate to drain.
- While chicken is cooking, heat 1 tsp olive oil in another skillet, then saute the collards until wilted slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the shredded carrot. Add vinegar and honey and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir together the tabasco sauce and mayo. Assemble the sandwiches: cut each biscuit in half through the middle, and spread each half with the tabasco mayo. Lay a piece of chicken on the bottom half of each, then top with desired amount of slaw (you will have extra). Top with remaining biscuit halves and serve immediately.
- I realize 3/8 cup of cream is a ridiculous amount, so this is a great recipe for when you have that last little bit in the fridge that you don't know what to do with, or you could just double or quadruple the biscuit recipe and have extras.