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Bringing a touch of elegance to the 3 am classic chicken and biscuits, Chef Callie Speer of The Holy Roller in Austin presents the Casbah.

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Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- Anybody's that's from Texas knows the chicken biscuit I'm talking about. It's a thing that people eat at 2:30 in the morning when they're leaving the bars. We want to toss all of that out of the window, and do it better with the casbah. I'm Callie Speer, and I'm the chef owner of Holy Roller. - [Britt] And I'm Britt Castro, and I'm the pastry chef at Holy Roller. - [Callie] Coming up in the south, biscuits just hold their own place of importance, as does fried chicken. We've all eaten fried chicken as kids in various ways, the way we do it here with corn flakes is really reminiscent of how my grandmother and my mother, and even how we do at our house for our child, just using the things you had at home, and using something that your kid would eat. - We have a lot of really great food memories, but you want to pass that on to other people and create those memories and make great food that people enjoy eating. The casbah is just something that makes people happy. It's butter, and chicken, and if you don't like that, like, you're missing out. - Kind of goes hand and hand with this play of trying to make these things that we like to eat, but make them better, and make them something that you actually want to come in here not at two o'clock in the morning and eat. - [Britt] It just reminds me of the warmth, and the friendliness of the south, and Texas. It's like a hug. - The fried chicken on the casbah is breaded in a way that's very reminiscent of my childhood, and putting some love into it, but then coating it with something that's a little bit silly, and playful, and certainly nostalgic. First in a bowl, you're gonna add salt, sugar, and a black tea bag. The black tea is strong enough to come through, and really give the chicken that good, solid tea flavor. Add the lemons, along with black pepper, thyme, honey, and coriander. Pour hot water into the bowl, and then stir everything together until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Cool the brine down on an ice bath. You cool the brine down so that you avoid cooking your chicken. To let the chicken brine for four hours, any longer than this will make the chicken too salty, and a little bit tough. While the chicken's brining, we can set up our breading station. Place corn flakes in the food processor, pulse the corn flakes around five times in a food processor. You don't want giant chunks of corn flake, but you also don't really want powder, you want an in between where you get that nice crunch from the corn flake, without eating a bowl of cereal. Set up your dredging station by pouring the corn flakes into a shallow half sheet pan. We're also gonna set up half sheet pans with flour, and buttermilk. Dip the chicken in the AP flour and shake off any excess. Then dip the chicken in the buttermilk, and shake off any excess. Then you're gonna dip the chicken into the corn flakes. You're looking to make sure that all of the chicken is covered, and this is going to ensure that you have this nice, golden crust all over it when it's removed from the fryer. Once you've got the coating all nice and covering the chicken, then it's time to place it in the fry basket. Drop the fry baskets into the oil, and while it's cooking, you're gonna want to cook it at about 350 degrees, and you're waiting until this chicken looks like super nice, golden brown color. Once fried, lift the baskets out of the oil and allow the chicken to drain. Here at Holy Roller, we make the best biscuit... Definitely this side of the Mississippi. - To make the biscuits, you're gonna sift all the dry ingredients together. That's the AP flour, the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. And that just prevents any clumps. When you go to bite in the biscuit when it's done, everything's nice and mixed together so it makes it fluffy. With your bench scraper, you're gonna cut the butter into small cubes, about one inch by one inch so when you put them into the food processor, they're not large chunks. Load the butter into the food processor, don't do it too fast because things will fly out. Pulse the butter and the dry ingredients in the food processor 'til it's about the consistency of loose gravel. You don't want the chunks of butter too small cause then you won't get the nice flakiness in the biscuit. Place that food process mix into your bowl, to be ready to mix the wet ingredients in. Slowly add the buttermilk to the ingredients in the bowl. Do it slowly so you don't overwork it, and you don't want to make it really tough by blending it together too fast. Slowly add cream into the mix, fold it in again so you're not creating too much toughness. So you're gonna continue to gently fold the mix together, just until the liquid soaks up all the dry ingredients. It's gonna be slightly shaggy looking, almost like it's too dry, but it's not there yet. On your surface that you're going to roll the biscuits out on, lightly flour it with cake flour, you want to use cake flour just because you don't want to add any more gluten to your mixture. Pour your mix from the bowl onto the lightly floured surface, and you're gonna bring it together with your hands just so it doesn't go everywhere. Form a loose rectangle, you're gonna cut it in half, and then fold that on top of itself. Then you're gonna cut that in half again. So you'll have about four bricks high, and you're just gonna keep folding that together about seven times, to almost create a lamination like you're folding a book or a sheet to create the nice, flaky layers. Gently press down onto the biscuit, and do this a couple times. It comes together and it starts to look more like a proper biscuit dough. Roll this chunk of dough about one inch thick. You're just gonna cut it into squares, three and a quarter inch by three and a quarter inch. Once you cut your squares out, you're gonna chill the dough, chill it for at least 30 minutes, that way it's nice and cold going into the oven, and it'll help create a nice, flaky biscuit. Once your dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge, brush it with an egg wash, so it gets a nice, shiny texture on top, and put it into the oven. Bake the biscuits at 375, once the biscuits have been in for about 15 minutes, you're gonna remove them from the oven, check that the centers are baked all the way through, and they're nice and golden brown. - Once we have our chicken done, and our biscuit done, we're going to assemble it with a handful of different things. Honey butter, Comeback sauce, or add an egg. Finish it and send it out the door. The first thing we're gonna do is cook our egg, so you're gonna add clarified butter to a heated pan. Add your egg, and we're gonna cook a sunny side egg. You're gonna season this egg with salt and pepper. Slice the biscuit in half, and slather the bottom with Comeback sauce, which is sort of like a spicy mayo. Spread the top with honey butter, the honey butter is our version of honey butter, which is butter, honey, and a little bit of citrus. Place two pieces of the fried chicken on top of the bottom half of the biscuit. Slide your egg on top of the chicken. Sprinkle the egg with black pepper and chopped parsley. Then we're gonna spear the casbah with a toothpick. We use toothpicks here that have little teeny, tiny skulls on them, just because why not? Place your mixed greens into a bowl, and add your vinegarette. We're going to add just a little bit at a time to mix it up and make sure that it's not overdressed, or soupy, that it's just covered just enough. Take that salad and place it next to the casbah. Then, we're gonna add a ramekin of syrup on the side. It's meant to give you that maple flavor, give you that sweetness, but to allow you to DIY that part. And then that's it, that's the casbah here at Holy Roller. - [Britt] The casbah has so many textures going on, and that's the best part of it. Buttery, flaky, crunchy, crispy. - One of the things about the casbah that I liked so much from the get go was that particularly with the chicken, it's far crunchier than you think it's going to be, which is really fun. Like you eat it and you're like, wow. Chomp, chomp, chomp. - [Britt] The casbah is exciting because it's a couple of things that you kind of know and love, and then it comes together in a way that you probably haven't eaten it before. - The love and the thought that's put into it certainly makes it unique. It's our take on something that is very recognizable, definitely to people in the state of Texas, if not the city of Austin, and I think it shows, but it shows in a way that it's not glamorous, and it's not fancy, and it's not meant to be. It's meant to be fun.