Pimento Cheese Chicken Salad on Honey Butter Biscuits.
You know the whole dramatic what-would-your-last-meal-be question?
I’ve found a new answer. A huuuuuuge new answer.
And you’re looking at it.
Yeah, I mean, in true Jessica fashion it’s probably only my favorite thing until my next favorite thing appears but really, this is so fantastically delicious that I can hardly stand to look at it anymore.
There was a moment in 1993 when I really loved my hair crimper. Yes, my mom said it (and a subsequent perm) made me look like Roseanne Barr, but it didn’t stop me from AGAIN buying a hair crimper when I was like 21 or something. “They” say that hair crimping is cyclical, and that’s kind of how I also feel about pimento cheese.
At least in my life. For the past year, I’ve wanted to pimento cheese all the things things (and thankfully, none of the hair crimpers).
Pimento cheese is now a verb, so feel free to hate me.
Oh these biscuits. They have a story to tell.
I had planned on sharing something deliciously fried and biscuity for months now, a little bite that you could serve at your 30 second kentucky derby party. Honey butter biscuits and lightly fried chicken and tons of arugula for the perfect taste.
I had the most terrible fails in the kitchen ever. I don’t even know what my fried chicken looked like, but it wasn’t good. I soaked some in buttermilk and did the flakey flour crumb thing. I’ve done it before so I know it works.
I tried crusting it in tortilla chips (which I’ve also done before) but that was also a major fail. Eddie thought that the chicken pieces I made actually looked like biscuits (and not in a good way) so it just wasn’t happening.
And it didn’t sound as great anymore either, after seeing the atrocious mess. So I did something else.
Enter: PIMENTO CHEESE CHICKEN SALAD.
Not sure if I will ever make any other chicken salad as long as I live. It’s chicken salad tossed with tons of white cheddar, pimentos, bacon, some greek yogurt and mayo, lots of flavor and piled on top of arugula. Then covered with bread and butter pickles. ALL on top of that honey butter biscuit I wanted oh-so badly.
This might be my favorite thing that I’ve made in 2016. The freaking flavor is unreal. There is every texture imaginable with a touch of sweet, savory, crunchy and flakey.
These are my weekend dream, summertime picnic dream, spring garden party dream. I’m in it.
You can make all of the pieces to the sandwich ahead of time, but you probably know that biscuits taste best when they are fresh. Even if you skip the whole biscuit part, you need to try some pimento cheese chicken salad on toast.
Preferably topped with potato chips, because sandwiches shouldn’t be eaten any other way.
BUT. Good news.
The biscuits can be made in a half hour – probably less if you’re familiar with biscuits. I don’t love baking and am not a baker at heart, but biscuits always win because they are super simple. So buttery and flakey and the desired vehicle for all of the chicken salad plus pimento cheese.
So really. How is lunch today even going to compare?!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained
- 2/3 cup finely grated white cheddar cheese
- 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt, I recommend whole or 2%, but do what ya want!
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 cups arugula, for serving
- bread and butter pickles, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, add the cold butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse little crumbles remain. I use my hands and mix for almost 5 minutes. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, stirring with a large spoon until just combined, not overmixing. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together – I did.
- Pat dough into a circle that is about 1 1/2 inches thick. This will make TALL biscuits! Using a biscuit/cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on a nonstick baking sheet. You may need to bring the dough together and flatten it more to get the last few biscuits. Additionally, you could also just drop large spoonfuls of batter on the baking sheet and form them that way.
- Bake the biscuits for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are golden and high. Whisk together the melted butter and honey. Remove from the oven and brush the honey butter all over the biscuits, then let them cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, toss the shredded chicken with the salt, pepper and paprika. Toss in the bacon, onions, garlic, pimentos and cheese, stirring until evenly distributed. Whisk together the yogurt and mayo, then fold it into the chicken mixture, until every bit combined. I like a slightly “drier” chicken salad, but if you want it to be creamier, add in more mayo or yogurt by the tablespoon and mix until your desired consistency is reached.
- To serve, brush the biscuits with more honey butter, cover with arugula and place a few spoonfuls of chicken salad on top. Add your pickles and you’re good to go!
spoiler alert: it isn’t.