Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Our Sausage Gravy and Biscuits is a big, delicious breakfast guaranteed to satisfy a man-sized appetite.

Whenever we go out to eat for breakfast, whether it is to Cracker Barrel or an intimate mom and pop restaurant, Jathan loves a hearty meal of flaky biscuits smothered in sausage gravy. There’s just something warm and comforting about it. Growing up in the South, he dined on his share of this dish, but it wasn’t until we took a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming that I experienced the best version of this meal I’d ever had. The biscuits were huge, the gravy meaty, perfectly seasoned and amazingly delicious. So here is our spin on this classic breakfast that never fails to satisfy a man-sized appetite.

COOK: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground sage-seasoned pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half or milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 recipe Buttermilk Biscuits

DIRECTIONS

  1. Brown sausage in a large heavy skillet, stirring until it crumbles. Drain sausage on paper towels, reserving 1/2 cup drippings in skillet.
  2. Whisk flour into sausage drippings until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes or until browned.
  3. Stir in sausage. Gradually add half-and-half, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Stir in salt and pepper. Serve gravy over split buttermilk biscuits.

YIELDS: 3 cups gravy, about 6 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Shrimp Jambalaya

Shrimp Jambalaya

Packed with veggies, meat and lots of spice, our Shrimp Jambalaya is a culinary trip to bayou country!

Growing up down South, I adored Cajun cuisine. When I visited New Orleans, I came to love restaurants like the Court of Two Sisters, Commander’s Palace and Broussard’s that serve up their take on traditional menu items like blackened fish, crawfish etouffee, bananas foster or pecan pie. Friends in NOLA also taught me how to prepare their own family’s recipes for gumbo, red beans and rice and more. It was all so good! When I moved to Cincinnati, I had to create these dishes myself and quickly introduced them to my new friends. Now I’m renowned for my Cajun cooking and am more often than not asked to prepare some of my trademark dishes whenever people come over. Until now, I’ve never revealed my secret recipes. But like good food, recipes are meant to be shared among friends. As with many Cajun dishes, my Shrimp Jambalaya is packed with veggies, assorted meats and lots of spice. So take a culinary trip to the bayou, treat your favorite folks to this awesome dish, and as we say in New Orleans, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”).

PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE STOCK

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp in the shell
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water

FOR THE JAMBALAYA

  • 1/2 pound spicy smoked sausage, sliced and quartered
  • 1 pound tasso (smoked ham), cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in small diamonds
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 scallions, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. FOR THE STOCK: Peel and devein shrimp, set aside. Place shrimp heads, shells and tails in a pan with onion, celery, wine and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes; strain.
  2. FOR THE JAMBALAYA: Heat oil in a large pan. Cook the sausage and tasso for 5 to 6 minutes; remove from pan. Add onion, celery and bell peppers to pan and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, Cajun spices and bay leaves; simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Return sausages and ham to pan and add rice and stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Stir in shrimp and chopped scallions. Cook uncovered for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve.

TIP: Although this dish is hearty enough to serve on its own, it is great with cornbread, sweet potatoes, a mess of greens and iced tea.

YIELDS: 6 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Cajun Spices

Although you can purchase ready-made Cajun Spices at most grocery stores these days, you can also prepare your own special blend. This is the base seasoning for gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and countless other New Orleans style recipes.

PREP: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix the spices together and store in a space jar.

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread tastes better when it is prepared in a cast iron skillet! The addition of whole corn kernels, green chilies and chili powder make this recipe hard to beat.

Although some people swear by boxed cornbread mixes, I firmly believe that there is no reason in the world why anyone should ever have to buy one of them. Cornbread is one of the easiest breads to make and it goes great with everything, including slow-cooked beans, soups, stews, chilies, fried catfish, seafood gumbo, barbecued brisket and more. It’s no wonder that cornbread is a Southern staple, served on almost every self-respecting cook’s table. Sometimes it seems like there are as many cornbread recipes as there are cooks. But there are a few things you need to know before making cornbread for the first time.

First, the best cornbread is made in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, buy one. I use an 8-inch skillet for this recipe. In an emergency, you can prepare this in an 8-inch square glass baking dish, but there is something magical about the way cornbread cooks up in cast iron. Once you make it this way, I promise you will never want to go back to glass bakeware again. Second, use a high quality cornmeal. I prefer Aunt Jemima’s Yellow Corn Meal. But be careful not to buy the self-rising kind that comes in the round box. Buy the five-pound bag. It might seem like a lot if you have never used cornmeal before, but believe me, once you start cooking with it you won’t want to stop. You can use it to bread chicken, fish, make hush puppies and more. Finally, this cornbread always goes quickly, so if you’re feeding a lot of people, be sure to make multiple batches. It is simply that good. Now let’s get to cooking!

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil plus 1/4 cup

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Pour 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in an 8-inch cast iron skillet and heat in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add milk, egg, corn, chilies, chili powder and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Beat until fairly smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour batter into skillet. Heated oil should rise and cover the edges of the batter, this will give your bread a crisp crunchy edge. Put skillet in oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve.

TIP: Top bread with 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese for a Mexican meal. Honey, butter and molasses also make great toppings.

YIELDS: 9 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment

Chicken two ways

Chicken is one of the easiest, inexpensive and most convenient dishes in a family’s culinary repertoire.   Roasted, baked, sautéed, broiled, grilled or fried, you likely already have a favorite chicken recipe or two up your sleeve. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who learned how to make these simple poultry classics from your mom or grandmother, or even an uncle or father who happened to know his way around the kitchen. But in case you’re not, or even if you are but you still like to try new variations on these recipes, today we’re going to teach you how to prepare two of our favorites.

With Our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken you’ll sink your teeth into flavor filled drumsticks that are as juicy as they are crispy. And with our Southern Grilled Chicken, you’ll savor rich pepper glazed poultry that cooks up great on the grill or on the stove. We’re making chicken two ways, today on Jathan & Heather!  

Buying chicken

Before we get started, we’re going to tell you a little tip that saves us time and money every time we make chicken. We love dark meat when we eat poultry, and if you do too, you should know that your butcher probably sells thighs and drumsticks already packaged together. If so, you’ll want to get a 5-pound bag or carton (and if you want the whole chicken, just buy the 5-pound equivalent, whole or cut up). Now that you have that handy, we’re going to brine the poultry.

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt dissolves easily in water to make a basic brine that creates succulent poultry.

Brining poultry

In case you don’t know, brining is an important step in preparing truly fabulous poultry. Brining changes the consistency of your poultry, making it more fibrous and porous, which is a good thing. This allows your chicken to retain moisture as it cooks so by the time you serve it on the table, it is still juicy and oh-so-delicious! So let’s begin. Now for those of you who have brined poultry before, you may have seen a more complex method than what we’ll use here, but you really don’t have to. Our method is quick and simple, and has the same effect as other recipes that tell you to use multiple herbs.

PREP: 10 minutes
REFRIGERATE: 8 hours or overnight

INGREDIENTS
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
5 pounds chicken, cut up

  1. In a large stock pot, combine 6 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt; add chicken. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain chicken; rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
  3. Step three? There is no step three. Brining is that simple!
Our favorite Southern Fried Chicken

Our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken is juicy, zesty, crispy and delicious. Here we've served it with sides of Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Sautéed Green Beans.

Our Favorite Southern Fried Chicken

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
STAND: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2-pounds chicken, already cut up and brined
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup bacon drippings

  1. Combine salt, pepper, cayenne and flour in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Place 2 pieces of chicken in bag; seal. Shake to coat. Remove chicken; repeat procedure with remaining chicken, 2 pieces at a time.
  2. Combine oil and bacon drippings in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat to 360° or until a few water droplets dance on the oil when shaken from your fingertips into the pan. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, skin side down. Cover and cook 6 minutes; uncover and cook 9 minutes.
  3. Turn pieces; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover and cook 9 minutes, turning pieces during the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary. Drain on paper towels; keep warm.

TIP: For best results, keep the oil temperature between 300° to 325°.

YIELDS: 4 servings.

Southern Barbecued Chicken

Pepper glazed Southern Barbecued Chicken is great off the grill or cooked atop the stove. Try serving it with Baked Beans, Cole Slaw and Corn Bread.

Southern Barbecued Chicken

PREP: 25 minutes + marinating
GRILL: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (We use Chipotle Chicks Hot Flash Habanero Sauce.)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 1/2-pounds chicken, already cut up and brined

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil; stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool.
  2. Pour 1-2/3 cups marinade into a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add the chicken.
  3. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
  4. If cooking on a grill, prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Place skin side down over pan. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes on each side or until juices run clear, basting occasionally with reserved marinade.
  5. If cooking on the stove, heat a cast-iron grill pan until pan is hot and water droplets sizzle on the surface. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Place skin side down over pan. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Do not baste as bottom of pan will fill juices from the poultry.

YIELDS: 4 servings.

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.