MABLE'S BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
Makes 8 - 10 Biscuits
4 teaspoons vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups self-rising flour
⅔ cups+1 tablespoon buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the butter in a 9½ -inch skillet. Place the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes to heat through and to melt the butter.
In a mixing bowl, crumble the shortening with the flour, using your fingertips, until the mixture is crumbly and the size of small peas. Add the buttermilk in 3 or 4 additions, while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula, and mix until the buttermilk is thoroughly incorporated. Do not overbeat. The dough should be quite sticky and hold together.
Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly flour the top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about ½ inch thick. Cut the biscuits into 2½ -inch circles (or 2- or 3-inch circles if you prefer). Dip each biscuit on both sides into the melted butter in the heated skillet, and arrange them in the skillet.
Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 8 -10 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and are lightly browned on the bottom. Turn on the broiler, transfer the skillet to the upper rack of the oven, and bake for 4 - 5 minutes more, or until the biscuits tops are browned. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
HONEY FRIED CHICKEN
For the chicken:
1 chicken, 2 ½ - 3 pounds, cut into 6 pieces
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup flour
¼ cup buttermilk
vegetable or corn oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl. Stir together the honey, vinegar and citrus juices and pour over the chicken. Let marinate for four hours, or overnight, refrigerated, turning occasionally.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.
In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, add enough oil to come one inch up sides; heat to 250 degrees. It's important to cook at a low temperature to prevent the honey from caramelizing too quickly and burning.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain on paper towels. Strain the marinade and reserve 2 tablespoons for the sauce. Dip the chicken in the egg wash, season well with salt and black pepper and dredge in the flour, coating thoroughly.
Starting with the dark meat first, gently drop the pieces into the hot oil for 5-6 minutes on the first side until browned. Turn the pieces and add the white meat, and continue cooking, adjusting the heat, so the chicken browns evenly on both sides without burning. Turn once more and cook until well browned and tender when pierced with a fork. The dark meat will take 15 to 18 minutes and the white meat will take 10 to 12 minutes.
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