Introduction: The Reggie: Modified
You have probably heard of The Reggie. It is a dish from Pine State Biscuits in Portland, OR. If you follow Serious Eats or Alton Brown you've heard of it recently.
Should you find yourself in the area I am sure it is delicious. If I were close I'd stop in. Unfortunately flying all the way to Portland for a sandwich would cost hundreds of dollars. For approximately $20 I made my own and it was amazing.
It is important to note the original Reggie has bacon. I decided we were okay without it, though I'm sure it would add an extra layer of amazing to this already perfect dish.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Assemble Your Team
I made the Buttermilk Biscuit recipe from Alton Brown. It is my go-to biscuit recipe and it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, a reasonable investment for homemade biscuits. If you have a favorite recipe use it. If you'd rather buy some make sure they are at least two inches in diameter.
Scramble your sausage. Set it aside to drain, but don't dump those drippings. You will need them later.
Fried chicken is super simple to do at home. This particular chicken was two boneless, skinless breasts I thawed and sliced into more manageable sizes. They then marinated in buttermilk, hot sauce, and black pepper. Use enough buttermilk to coat the chicken, and hot sauce and pepper to taste. Chicken should luxuriate for at least six hours or up to 24 hours.
When you are ready to cook the chicken drain it from the buttermilk and coat it in breading. This breading is plain all purpose flour and a variety of spices. Season it to your liking. Once you have floured the chicken let them sit on a plate. This can be done while your oil heats.
Step 2: The Second Breading
This is important.
As much as you think one dredge of flour will be enough, you're wrong. The first coat will soak up chicken juices and adhere to the meat. The second coat is where you get your crispy crust and all the flavor.
Do not skip this step or you will be sorry.
Step 3: The Frying
Heat Your Oil
Your oil needs to be between 350 and 370 for frying. If it is too cool your food will soak up oil and get soggy, too hot and your crust will burn before your chicken cooks properly. Use an instant read thermometer to track your temperature. I used a cast iron pot here to help maintain heat during frying.
As described in the previous step give your chicken a second dredge.
Into The Oil
If the oil doesn't start bubbling when you drop in the chicken your oil is not hot enough. Avoid splashing - oil is hot and your skin won't appreciate it. If you are clumsy or worried keep a cool, damp towel near by.
If you are concerned about the fire hazard of frying indoors keep a tight fitting lid on hand and avoid splashing. Additionally ensure your oil doesn't fill more that 2/3 of the vessel to give it bubbling room. Hot oil on a burner will start a fire. Remember: smothering puts out oil fires. Either use a fire extinguisher, baking soda, or other smother methods. Water will spread an oil fire.
Step 4: Sausage Gravy Is Best Gravy
Basic Roux Gravy
This gravy is a fairly simple roux gravy. It requires butter, flour, milk, and seasoning. Use equal parts of everything. If you used 2 Tablespoons of butter, use 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 cups of milk. Make as much gravy as you need.
Start with butter. I added mine to the sausage drippings. When it stops foaming add flour and whisk. It will bubble as the flour cooks. Stir it frequently but do not let it brown significantly.
This should be done in small batches. Add a little bit of milk and whisk it into your roux. See that picture where the roux looks like dough? Don't do that, add more liquid before this point. Once your roux seizes you will have a terrible time whisking out the lumps. You will whisk your arm off or have lumpy gravy.
Continue adding milk and whisking constantly to avoid burning. Cook on medium until the gravy thickens. Pulling the whisk through the gravy should leave open streaks, as pictured. When this happens your gravy is finished. Add your prepared sausage, mix, and heat through.
Step 5: Dinner Assemble
Open Biscuits, Plate
The best way to open a biscuit is with a fork.
Layers of Goodness
Start with your fried chicken. Add your favorite cheddar and melt it. This can be done under the broiler if your chicken isn't hot enough to melt it quickly.
Spoon some of your gravy over the chicken and add your top.
You are ready, enjoy.