Biscuit Trio Recipe | The Great American Recipe

There’s nothing more iconic in my neck of the woods than biscuits. Add some fried chicken and a cheese sauce and you’ve got heaven. This trio of biscuit sandwiches takes you on a road trip down I-65 from Louisville to Nashville—from hot brown to pimento cheese to Nashville hot chicken, this is the South on a plate.

This recipe from Brian appears in Episode 1 of Season 1 of The Great American Recipe.


Yield: Serves 4 (3 biscuits per serving)



  • Pimento cheese:
  • 4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimentos
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish

  • Kentucky bar fight sauce:
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ½ jalapeño, diced
  • 1½ teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch

  • Hot chicken:
  • Peanut oil, for deep frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus a pinch, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Dill pickle slices, for garnish

  • Hot dip:
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Scotch Bonnet flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac

  • Biscuits:
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted European-style butter, such as Plugra
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1½ tablespoons white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing
  • Finishing salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

  • Hot brown:
  • 6 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1½ teaspoons citrus herb rub, such as B.T. Leigh’s Somethin’ to Cluck About, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ tomato, sliced thin

  • Mornay sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


  1. To make the pimento cheese, combine the shredded Gouda and cheddar cheeses, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, pickled jalapeños, pimentos, and sweet relish in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together; it should still be chunky. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make the Kentucky bar fight sauce, combine the blackberries, blueberries, and jalapeño in a saucepan over medium heat. Using a potato masher, crush the berries. They will begin to release their liquid as they soften. Cook the berries until all the juices are released, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer and strain the mixture into a bowl; discard the solids in the strainer. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add the white sugar. Bring to a boil.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee, bourbon, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan, whisking continuously until it reaches a boil and the sauce is thickened, about 5minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool.
  4. To make the hot chicken, pour the peanut oil into a Dutch oven and heat to 325 degrees F.
  5. Set up your coating station with three shallow bowls. In the first bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper. In the second bowl, beat the egg and a pinch of salt. In the third bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup flour, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
  6. Set a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. First, coat the chicken thighs in the bowl with flour, salt, and black pepper; shake off the excess. Next, dip the chicken thighs in the egg mixture; shake off the excess. Finally, dip the chicken thighs in the bowl with the flour and seasonings; shake off the excess. Place the thighs on the prepared rack and let them sit for at least 10 minutes before frying.
  7. When ready to fry, carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, using a spider or large slotted spoon to turn the chicken over occasionally. It should take about 7–8 minutes per side.Meanwhile, set a clean rack on top of a clean baking sheet. Transfer the cooked chicken to the rack. Check the internal temperature, making sure the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees F. Do not discard the oil yet.
  8. While the chicken is resting, make the hot dip. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, cayenne pepper, Scotch Bonnet flakes, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and sumac. Slowly and very carefully, whisk in 1 cup of the peanut oil left over from frying.
  9. Using a spider or slotted spoon, dip the chicken in the spiced oil and set back on the rack.
  10. To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  11. Using the small holes of a box grater, grate the cold butter into a large cold bowl. The finer the butter, the better. Place the butter and bowl in the freezer. In a second large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, white sugar, and salt. Once the oven is preheated completely, remove the butter from the freezer and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter (a bench scraper or your fingertips will work, too) until the mixture looks like crumbs. There should be some pea-size lumps of butter remaining. Add the buttermilk and stir until combined. The dough should be wet and sticky.
  12. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well. Gently work the dough until it comes together, then fold it in half using a bench scraper and gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Repeat this kneading process five more times, folding the dough in on itself each time.
  13. Using your hands, flatten the dough to about 1 inch thick and cut out biscuits with a 2¾-inch biscuit cutter, pressing straight down rather than twisting the cutter. Dip the cutter in flour before each use to keep the dough from sticking to it. Cut as many biscuits as possible.
  14. Place the biscuits on the lined baking sheet with the biscuits just touching each other, in rows of four. Lightly press your thumb into the middle of each biscuit to keep the tops from doming.
  15. Rework the remaining dough and repeat the process until you have as many biscuits as you can; you should end up with 12–14 total.
  16. Bake for 15–20 minutes.
  17. At 15 minutes, start checking the biscuits: The bottoms should be a light golden brown. Once the bottom is perfect, turn on the broiler and brown the tops of the biscuits for 1 minute, or until nicely colored. Remove the biscuits from the oven. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with finishing salt. Serve hot.
  18. To make the hot brown, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat.
  19. While the bacon is cooking, trim the chicken thighs to be the approximate size of the biscuits.
  20. Season the chicken thighs with the citrus herb rub and salt.
  21. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
  22. Add the chicken thighs to the bacon fat remaining in the skillet and fry the chicken, turning once. Once they are golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 15minutes, then transfer to a plate.
  23. To make the Mornay sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it is foaming. Add the flour and whisk to form a paste. Let the paste cook until it is slightly blond in color and there is no longer a raw flour smell. Begin to slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. The mixture will clump, become smooth, and finally begin to thicken. Add the onion powder and salt. Continue to whisk.
  24. Once the sauce begins to thicken, reduce the heat to low and slowly begin incorporating the Gruyère. Add a small amount of cheese, whisk until incorporated, and then add another small amount of cheese. Continue until all the Gruyèreis incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
  25. Repeat the same process with the Parmesan cheese.
  26. Set the sauce aside, off the heat. If it gets too cold, heat gently over a low burner.
  27. To plate each serving, using a fork, split three biscuits. Place the bottoms of the biscuits on a plate. Set the tops of the biscuits to the side.
  28. On one biscuit, place a hot fried chicken thigh, then spoon some of the hot dip over the chicken. Top with a few dill pickle slices
  29. .On the second biscuit, place a dollop of pimento cheese, then drizzle with some of the bar fight sauce.
  30. On the last biscuit, place a pan-fried chicken thigh, add a tomato slice on top of the chicken thigh, then 2 bacon slices on the tomato, and finally a spoonful of the Mornay sauce. Dust with a pinch of citrus herb rub.
  31. Place the biscuit tops on each sandwich and serve immediately.
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