Recipe courtesy of Jodi Elliott and Ned Elliott

Fried Chicken and Biscuits with Red-Eye Gravy, Romaine Slaw and Lemon Jam

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 day 4 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 1 day
  • Cook: 3 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 cups buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Cheddar Biscuits:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

4 ounces (about 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) cold shortening, cubed

2 ounces (1/4 cup) cold butter, cubed, plus more melted for brushing

1 cup shredded medium Cheddar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Lemon Jam:

3 lemons, cut into thin rounds, seeds removed

1 1/2 cups sugar

Red-Eye Gravy:

4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brewed espresso

3 tablespoons ground espresso beans

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups cooked spicy pork sausage, chopped

2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and ground black pepper

Romaine Slaw:

2 hearts of romaine, cut into 1/4-inch strips crosswise

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup pickled red onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos

Salt and ground black pepper

Canola oil, for frying

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

4 fried eggs


  1. For the chicken: Combine the buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  2. For the cheddar biscuits: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix.
  3. Add the shortening and butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the cheese and mix. Slowly stir in the buttermilk while mixing, just until combined; do not over mix.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about an inch in thickness; be careful not to overwork the dough. Cut, using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, and place the biscuits on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with melted butter. Bake until the tops are just golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. For the lemon jam: Put the lemon slices in a small saucepot and cover with 1 1/2 cups water and the sugar. Cook on low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has cooked down to a syrup consistency.
  6. For the red-eye gravy: Make a roux by combining the butter and flour in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Add the brewed and ground espresso, milk, cream and sausage, and stir well to incorporate the roux. Add the hot sauce, paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat until the mixture has a thick, gravy consistency, about 45 minutes.
  7. For the romaine slaw: Combine the romaine, sour cream, olive oil, red onions, chives, pickled jalapenos and salt and pepper to taste in a large salad bowl and toss well.
  8. To finish the fried chicken: Heat a few inches of canola oil in a fryer or deep skillet to 320 degrees F. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and smoked paprika in a shallow bowl. Drain the thighs in a colander, and then dredge in the flour mixture. Fry a few pieces at a time in the hot oil until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and has a golden brown crust.
  9. For each serving, place a dollop of red-eye gravy in the center of the plate. Cut a biscuit in half and place the bottom half atop the gravy. Top with a fried chicken thigh, another dollop of gravy, a fried egg, 1/2 cup romaine slaw and a dollop of lemon jam. Place the top half of the biscuit on top and drizzle with 1/2 cup more gravy. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.