Most of you probably don’t know this, but John and I lived in Texas from 2007-2008. During my final year of graduate school at Boston College, John was offered a relocating promotion… so after graduation, I packed up and joined him in Houston. Along with moderate winter temperatures, affordable real estate prices, drawling southern accents, and – unfortunately – Gulf coast hurricanes and sticky-hot humidity, we were introduced to a variety of delicious novel foods including migas and huevos rancheros, tilapia tacos and boiled crawfish, spicy & sweet cinnamon-infused coffee from The Buffalo Grille, and Shiner Bock beer at pretty much every eating and drinking establishment we frequented.
Perhaps the most decadent Texan meal we encountered was biscuits and gravy during a weekend stay at our friend Pat’s family’s ranch. After sleeping off an impressive spread of smoked beef, secret-ingredient-chili, and a melange of other stick-to-your-rib eats, we awoke to a breakfast of flaky biscuits smothered in a rich sausage gravy. Needless to say, I felt a bit weighed down after the hefty weekend splurges, so I tucked away the idea for “healthified” biscuits and gravy for later brainstorming.
A little over a year – and a move back to our beloved Boston – later, I finally got around to re-inventing the classic southern breakfast of biscuits and gravy.
If you are a purist at heart, be forewarned that this dramatically lightened recipe deviates from traditional recipes. However, If you are a health-conscious foodie like myself, there is no question that the ingredients in this recipe will appeal to you. Homemade chicken breakfast sausage is cooked until crumbly and browned before being folded into a silky gravy made with 1% milk and without butter. The sage-scented sausage gravy is draped over light buttermilk biscuits, and then topped with a dusting of freshly cracked black pepper.
Regardless of what type of diet you follow, I can say with a certain degree of certainty that once you taste my version of biscuits and gravy, you will have a new go-to meal to work into your breakfast, (or in our case, breakfast-for-dinner), rotation. Although I am thrilled to be back in the wonderful city of Boston, it’s nice to reminisce about our time spent in Houston; and what better way to do that than through food?!
*Please excuse the lackluster photographs… taking pictures of beige food (x3: beige chicken, beige biscuits, beige gravy) is no easy feat!*
Biscuits and Gravy with Homemade Chicken Breakfast Sausage
- 4 freshly baked buttermilk biscuits (such as Eating Well‘s Buttermilk Biscuits)
- extra virgin olive oil
- homemade chicken breakfast sausage* (recipe follows), uncooked
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
- Split each biscuit on a separate plate; set aside.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausage, and stir with a wooden spoon to crumble. Cook until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour through sage. Slowly add milk, and whisk to combine.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in the flour-milk mixture, and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Stir the cooked sausage into the warm gravy, and spoon over the split biscuits. Finish with an extra grinding of black pepper.
*Homemade Chicken Breakfast Sausage
- 1/2 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- generous 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- generous 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp brown sugar
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well.