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Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken on a “Biscone”

By Cheryl Day
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 30

Ingredients

  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 gallon-size tea bags
  • 1 cup plus 1/4 cup for biscone sugar
  • 1 quartered lemon
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 6 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plus 3 cups and 2 tablespoons for biscone all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground, optional, plus 1 teaspoon for biscone black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Paula Deen's House Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 plus egg wash egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch for egg wash salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, cut into cubes, plus 2 sticks softened butter for scallion butter butter
  • 1 1/2 cups plus more for dredging buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 3 finely chopped scallions

Directions

For the brine:

Bring the cold water to a hard boil and remove from the heat. Add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add 1 cup sugar; stir until dissolved. Add the lemons and 1/3 cup kosher salt; stir to dissolve. Put in a nonreactive bowl and refrigerate to chill for 8 to 12 hours. Cook’s Note: Make sure the brine is good and cold before adding the 6 chicken breasts.

Put the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours. Drain the chicken.

In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 °F.

Put 1 cup flour into a shallow bowl. Add the cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, if using, add House Seasoning to another dish, and buttermilk for dredging and the hot sauce to a third dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the cornstarch and lastly the buttermilk. Carefully add the chicken to the hot oil and fry until golden and fully cooked. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm until ready to serve.

In a small bowl add the egg and stir, then add the milk and salt and mix well to combine.

For the biscone:

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Add 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper into a large bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is the size of peas and some larger pieces. Gradually add in 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk until it is just combined. Stir in the cheese. Do not overwork the dough.

In the same bowl, pat down dough and dust the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Using an ice cream scooper, arrange scoops of the biscone mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake, turning halfway through, until the tops are golden brown about 18 to 20 minutes.

For the butter:

In a small bowl add the 2 sticks butter and scallions. Using a hand-held electric mixer, combine until well incorporated.

To assemble:

Split the biscones in half and smear with scallion butter. Serve as a sandwich with the chicken breasts.