Let’s get a few things straight. Fried food is awesome. Fried chicken is crispy and adds great texture to a sandwich. But the process of frying isn’t always so fun or pleasant.
- Crispy fried chicken tastes great.
- Frying food is usually quick.
- The crunch.
- Frying is messy.
- Frying uses up a lot of oil.
- Frying food can be less healthy than other cooking options.
I think my biggest problem with frying food is the mess. Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot more time in the kitchen and whenever I fry something, it easily takes me twice the amount of time for cleanup. Oil splatters all over the place and your pan and utensils require extra care in cleaning.
Because of this, I decided to try to recreate some of the excitement and enjoyment of eating a fried chicken biscuit without the frying part.
I was looking up baked chicken tender recipes online and noticed that most of them are baked around 425- or 450-degrees F (230 C), which is only 25 degrees lower than my normal biscuit recipe. This led me to a train of thought where I could possibly bake the biscuits and the chicken at around the same time and oven temp.
Guess what? It works.
Once you get the biscuit dough together, you can dredge your chicken thigh (or breast meat/tenders) and bake the biscuits and the chicken on the same sheet pan.
The biscuit recipe I use is in the recipe down below, but I figured I’d talk about it a bit here. I rarely bake a whole batch of biscuits at once these days. We’re a two-person household so there’s no need for us to have 7 or 8 biscuits at one time. Biscuits keep for a few days, but I find it more convenient to freeze the biscuits prior to baking if I don’t plan to eat them immediately.
This batch of biscuits bakes almost the same whether they are frozen or not. I think you might not get quite the amount of rise from a frozen biscuit, but they cook at the same oven temperature and almost the same time. You might need a couple of extra minutes on a frozen biscuit to fully brown the top. So, I suggest freezing biscuits so you can have them whenever the urge strikes you.
You can cook this recipe with chicken thighs, breast meat or chicken tenders. If you’re going with chicken breast meat, I suggest you butterfly the breasts to make the meat a little thinner to ensure even cooking in the time required by the recipe. Anything thicker than 3/4 of an inch might not get fully cooked in 20 minutes. If you’re worried about that, I suggest you check with an instant read thermometer before biscuit sandwich time.
The whole recipe
Check out the whole recipe and give it a try next time you crave a chicken biscuit sandwich. If you’re too big of a “chicken” and afraid of making your own biscuits, you can skip that part and use the chicken part of the recipe for chicken tenders or another type of chicken sandwich. But I think you should try making biscuits.
You can also do this recipe with store bought frozen biscuits or the kind in the “can.” But those probably won’t cook at the same time or temperature, so you’ll have to cook them separately. In this case, I suggest cooking the biscuits first and chicken second.
All of the taste and excitement of a fried chicken biscuit sandwich without all the messy frying part. Oven-baked panko coated chicken thighs cook at the same time and temperature as my biscuit recipe making this an easy one pan meal. The biscuit recipe is based off of Southern Living's buttermilk biscuit recipe.
- 300 grams self rising flour (2.5 cups)
- 1 frozen stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 sandwich sized chicken thighs (you can use breast meat too, see notes below)
- 1⁄4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons hot sauce (your favorite brand)
- 3⁄4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- non-stick cooking spray (Pam or another brand)
Biscuits: Using a box grater, grate frozen butter into the sifted self rising flour. Stir to combine until the butter is fully coated by flour. Put bowl in freezer for 10 minutes
Combine buttermilk to bring together as a dough. Stir no more than 15 times. Overworking the dough at this stage could cause your finished biscuits to be more tough.
On a floured surface dump out dough and roll with a rolling pin. Dust with flour as needed when dough gets sticky. Fold the dough over on itself five different times creating layers. Roll dough to 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick.
Cut biscuits into circles or squares and place on a piece of parchment paper. When cutting, you do not want to twist the cutter. Twisting while cutting will ruin the layers that you created with folding.
Once all your biscuits are cut, place the parchment paper on a sheet pan into a freezer if you want to freeze the biscuits to cook later. If you plan to cook the whole batch now, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). If you choose to freeze the biscuits, leave in the freezer for an hour on the sheet pan until they get hard enough to move to a zip top bag or freezer package of your choice. They will still bake at 450 F (230 C) for just about the same amount of time.
Crispy chicken: Get your chicken thighs out of the refrigerator and start to set up your chicken dredging station. You will need three bowls for this.
The first bowl will contain your all purpose flour. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to the flour.
The second bowl will contain your whole egg, mayonnaise and hot sauce. Add these three ingredients and whisk to combine well.
The third bowl will have the panko bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. whisk to combine.
Line half of a sheet pan with aluminum foil. The other side should have a piece of parchment paper.
Spray the aluminum foil side with cooking spray, this is where your chicken will go.
For each chicken thigh, coat with flour in the flour bowl, then dip into the egg mixture (ensuring that it's fully coated everywhere) and finally press into the panko bread crumbs until each piece is fully coated. Place on the cooking spray sprayed aluminum foil.
Spray the top of each piece of chicken with cooking spray, this will help the chicken brown and crisp up better.
Place your uncooked biscuits on the parchment paper side of the sheet pan and place it in the oven when it is fully up to temperature.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and flip each chicken thigh. Spray the top side of the chicken again with cooking spray.
Bake for another 10 minutes. At this point your chicken should be done and you can remove it to a wire rack to rest. Your biscuits might or might not need an extra minute or two. Check the tops of your biscuits and if they're not brown enough, cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, keeping an eye on them so that they do not brown too much.
Once the biscuits are browned to your liking, remove from the oven. Split each biscuit and add a crispy chicken thigh and any condiments you might want and enjoy.
Chicken: If you want to use breast meat, you will probably need to butterfly the meat so that it is thin enough to cook in time. Your meat needs to be no more than 3/4 of an inch thick to ensure that it is cooked sufficiently in 20 minutes. Chicken tenders would work well at this oven time and temperature if you want to use those.
Biscuits: If you're using store bought biscuits, you will need to check the time/temperature and follow the instructions on the package. This one pan method works because the biscuit recipe I use works well with the time/temperature that the chicken needs to cook at.
More crispy chicken biscuit sandwiches
If you like your fried chicken biscuits with honey mustard, this is a great recipe you might be interested in
Below is my recipe for a chipotle sauce. It’s great on tacos, nachos, burgers and chicken sandwiches. Try it on your next sausage biscuit. You may remember, I used it in my Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco post.
This is a fairly easy recipe to replicate a fried chicken biscuit at home with less guilt. It totally scratches my chicken biscuit itch without leaving my kitchen covered in splattered oil. I’d love to hear what you think if you try this recipe.