When it comes to biscuits and gravy, it's important to let nothing go to waste, which is why we've devised the ultimate crowd-feeding snack plan for using every last bit of dough. Enter: the biscuits and gravy tray.
After cutting out the biscuits, we form the scraps into a pan-sized edible tray with holes perfect for filling with gravy. We spice things up with roast jalapeños in the biscuits and spicy chorizo in the gravy. Trust us, this is gonna be your new favorite party trick.
The key to perfect biscuits is to keep everything cold. Their height comes from a combination of leaveners, combined with specks of butter in the dough that steam in the oven to create flaky layers. To maximize this equation, freeze your butter before you grate it (pro tip: Use a food processor for a quick and easy method that won't tire out your arms); that way, it won't melt into the dough as you knead it with your hands.
Some would even go so far as to freeze the bowl and flour before starting. Depending on how hot your kitchen is, that's not a bad idea. Just make sure to work fast, so the ingredients will stay cold and the biscuits will be ready sooner.
To learn more, read "Gravy Train."
Roast Jalapeño Biscuits and Gravy
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes, plus freezing time
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus freezing time
For the Biscuits:
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 large jalapeños
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2½ tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
5 sticks unsalted butter, frozen and coarsely grated
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup cilantro leaves, minced
For the Gravy:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cooked, uncured chorizo, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Vidalia onion, minced
1 jalapeño—stemmed, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Kosher salt, to taste
For Baking and Serving:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Espelette pepper, for garnish
Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Finely chopped chives, for garnish
1. Make the biscuits: Preheat the broiler. Place the garlic and jalapeños on a sheet pan and broil, turning as needed, until well charred, 3 minutes for the garlic and 5 to 6 minutes for the jalapeños. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 5 minutes. Then, peel and mince the garlic, and stem, seed, peel and mince the jalapeños.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda and paprika. Add the butter and toss to combine with the dry ingredients. Add the cream and, using your hands, knead until a crumbly dough forms.
3. Transfer to a clean work surface and add the reserved minced garlic and jalapeños with the cilantro, and knead until smooth.
4. Shape into a rectangle and lightly dust with flour. Roll into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle and fold into thirds like a letter. Dust again with flour and rotate 90°. Repeat the process of rolling out and tri-folding 2 more times.
5. Dusting with flour as needed, roll the dough into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, trim ¼ inch off each edge of the rectangle and discard to allow proper rising. Transfer the rectangle to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Using a 2¼-inch fluted ring cutter, cut 12 biscuits out of the rectangle, spacing each cutout ½ inch apart.
6. Place the biscuits on another parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart from each other. Wrap each pan with plastic and freeze, 2 hours to overnight.
7. Meanwhile, make the gravy: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, onions and jalapeño, and cook until softened and beginning to caramelize, 8 minutes.
8. Stir in the butter to melt, then stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
9. Preheat the oven to 400°. Take the pan of biscuits and the biscuit scraps out of the freezer and discard the plastic. Brush both with the melted butter and sprinkle with a pinch of Espelette pepper and flaky sea salt. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and puffed, 20 minutes for the biscuits and 25 minutes for the scraps. Transfer the scraps to a platter and arrange the biscuits all around.
10. Reheat the gravy and spoon into the holes of the biscuit scraps. Garnish with chives and serve.