French Onion Chicken and Biscuits with Maple Butter
October 20, 2018 by Nicole Collins
Do you guys ever pretend you're better at something than you really are?
This doesn't necessarily need to apply to an activity. Maybe it's a skill set or a characteristic that you try your best to act like you have, even though you know you don't.
Yeah, I'm not talking about one of those moments when you're blinded by your own awesomeness and can't see the truth. I'm talking about when you know you have that thing that you're blatantly no good at, but you keep telling yourself that if you keep ignoring that fact, maybe one day you'll magically not suck at that thing.
For me, one of my biggest and most recent issues is my memory. I have an awful memory. AWFUL!
I didn't always use to be this way. But, I blame a lot of my memory loss on my many years managing way too many people and way too many projects 100% by myself. It used to be so bad that I'd have an employee tell me something, and by the time I walked the 20 ft to my office, I'd more than completely forgotten it. I used to tell them that my brain was rejecting information since it was too full, so it wasn't my fault.
It's funny though, because I know my memory is not reliable. But, I like to act like it is. I do things that may require future follow up with the intention of remembering them for an extended period of time later. I think to myself “oh, that's easy” or “oh, that's important. I'll definitely remember that.”
Who's surprised that 99.9% of the time, I don't.
My memory block had a flare up when I was gearing up to prepare this recipe. You see, I oftentimes buy chicken in a larger pack than I need, and I just freeze any extra for another use. But, I have this TERRIBLE habit of not labeling what kind of meat it is when I put it in the freezer bag. Every single time, I think to myself “I don't need to mark this. I'll remember what it is.”
Well guess what folks, chicken breasts, chicken tenders, and chicken thighs all look the same when they're shoved in a sandwich bag and double bagged in a freezer bag. And guess what else, I never remember which one is which. And, then I have to go buy more chicken to make sure I have what I really need, because I can't take the risk of it thawing out and being the wrong thing.
For today's recipe, I took the gamble. I needed chicken tenders. Once the bag of frozen question marks thawed, I realized I had chicken thighs. So, I still had to make that extra trip to the grocery store anyway.
There are two morals of this story, kids. 1. Always label (and date) your freezer bags. And 2. Don't be a hero. If you know your memory is bad, accept it, take notes, and move on.
I guess you're wondering why I needed chicken tenders, right? Well, silly, it was to make today's recipe!
Today, we're making French Onion Chicken and Biscuits with Maple Butter.
So at work, 'tis the season for french fried onions. I feel like all I look at all day long is order after order for french fried onions. My coworkers and I have been talking recently about who in the world is buying all of these FFO's (as we call them), and what in the world are they doing with them. Because, all those onions have to be going in more than just green bean casserole.
So, I got to thinking about what else I could do with those delicious crispy onions, and I thought back to a less than stellar chicken and waffles dish I recently had at a restaurant. The chicken from the restaurant needed seasoning, badly. But, it did have a nice oniony flavor in the breading on the chicken. And, the lightbulb went off.
So, we start by breaking down our french fried onions to crumbs in the food processor. Now, the onions can be a little greasy, so they get a wet sand like texture when they're ground. So, we mix in some panko to help break up the coating a smidge. Then we set up a standard breading station of flour, egg, and onion breadcrumb; and we dip away!
Our chicken today is baked, and we're creating a pan situation that will allow the chicken to get nice and crispy on the outside. We want the hot oven air to touch all sides of our chicken, so we're going to rest our chicken on a baking rack atop a sheet pan while it bakes. This will allow the heat to circulate around the chicken without risking losing some of the breading by flipping the chicken.
Once our chicken is finished, it's got plenty of great uses as is. Serve it with fries and sauce like chicken nuggets. Cut it up and use it as protein in a salad. Or do what we're doing today, and turn it in to a brunch situation.
We're using some help from the grocery store by using refrigerated biscuits to lay under our crispy, oniony chicken. But, to take this meal to the next level, we're going to top it with a pat of homemade maple butter to provide that salty sweet contrast. It's as simple as taking softened salted butter and mixing with with pure maple syrup. Done.
If you really want to get crazy, serve this with a gooey fried egg on the side and an extra drizzle of maple syrup on top. The fluffy biscuit, the crispy chicken, the sweet butter, and the luxuriously yolky egg are like a dream come true if you can get them all in one bite.
And, please don't rely on your memory to memorize the steps to this delicious recipe. Pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook, or save it on Instagram so you can come back to it again and again. Trust me, you'll want to! And, the links to all my social media are at the top and bottom of this page!
Alright guys, I pretty much just set you up with the best possible brunch situation for today, so get up and make this right now!
Enjoy, and let's eat!
French Onion Chicken and Biscuits with Maple Butter
Serves: 4 Print
For the French Onion Chicken:
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 cups french fried onions
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp seasoned salt
cooking spray (I use canola cooking spray)
For the Maple Butter:
4 tbsp (½ stick) salted butter, softened
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 biscuits, prepared
4 fried eggs, optional
maple syrup, for drizzling
Make the Maple Butter: In a bowl, mix butter and maple syrup until well combined. Take a piece of plastic wrap, and lay the butter mix in the center, creating a log shape. Tighten the plastic wrap around the butter to secure and finish forming the butter log. Refrigerate until hardened and ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a baking rack generously with cooking spray, and place on top of the baking sheet. Set aside.
Prepare your breading station: In a food processor, pulse french fried onions until they have a coarse crumb texture. Place onion crumbs in to one small bowl, and mix well with panko breadcrumbs. In a second bowl, add eggs and beat generously with a fork. Make sure there are no clumps of egg white that haven't broken down. In a third bowl, combine flour and seasoned salt.
Coat the chicken: Using tongs, take chicken, one piece at a time, and coat in flour mixture. Shake off excess flour. Next, coat the chicken in the egg and let any excess drip off. Finally, Coat chicken in onion crumbs, gently pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking rack. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated. Space chicken pieces on the baking rack so they do not touch. Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray to coat.
Bake for 18-22 mins until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
To serve, cut biscuit in half. Arrange 1 chicken tender over each biscuit half. Top with a slice of maple butter and an extra drizzle of maple syrup, if desired. Serve along side a fried egg, if desired.
*You can make these ahead, store the baked chicken wrapped in foil in the fridge, and reheat them at 400 degrees in the oven for about 10 minutes to enjoy more than just the first day.
*I usually campaign that your hands are your best kitchen tool, but it is so much easier to control the breading process on these with tongs. You can shake off the extra flour and egg easily, coat the chicken with onion crumbs, and transfer them to the baking tray without having to worry about clumpy hulk fingers.
*The baking rack on the baking sheet is a necessary step to the process. It helps the warm air of the oven circulate around the whole nugget so it gets nice and crispy on both sides! And, we don't have to stop and flip them and risk losing some of our pretzel breading!! Don't forget to spray the rack with cooking spray though, or it will stick.
*You could use chicken breasts if you have them as opposed to chicken tenders. Just cut them in to strips to make your own tenders.
*Rolling the butter in to a log makes it easier to cut and serve with our chicken and biscuits.
*The aluminum foil on the baking sheet is just for easy cleanup up.