Melissa Pasanen

Chicken and Biscuits with Melissa Pasanen


I’m so excited that Melissa Pasanen will write about the Fat Kitchen for Seven Days! The article will come out on November 14, which just happens to be the pub date when the book goes on sale.

I’m especially pleased because customs has held up the shipment of books that is meant to go out to reviewers and critics. The stores got their allotments, but somehow this one batch of books was flagged for a closer look.

While I don’t doubt that my book deserves a closer look — and some might even consider the idea of returning animal fats to the table a subversive idea—its a darn shame that reviewers aren’t getting the book as promised.

I was able to squeak out one copy for Melissa—that was the first problem solved. Next problem, what do you feed a journalist you want to impress? I started with duck-fat popcorn. As we munched and chatted, I handed her jars of rendered fat that I wanted her to see and smell. No porky, beefy, ducky odors there! But she did detect a note of nuttiness in the bear fat I presented here. “Oh! I’d really like to taste that,” she said.

No problem, I whipped up a little sautéed cauliflower, which was just delicious. Then I got down to the serious business of making chicken fat biscuits to go along with the chicken pot pie filling I had made earlier. Then it was on to an apple tart.

Pastry made with lard is easy to handle.  I filled the free-form tart with duck fat caramelized apples.

Pastry made with lard is easy to handle. I filled the free-form tart with duck fat caramelized apples.

This is the recipe I followed. It’s from The Fat Kitchen, of course!

bird and biscuits 008.jpg

Buttermilk Biscuits made with chicken fat

4 cups fresh or frozen cubed or chopped vegetables, peeled if necessary (see below)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons (75g/2.6 ounces) any poultry fat

2 shallots, minced, or 1 leek, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)

6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups cooked chicken (or turkey or rabbit)

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh


1.  Prepare the biscuits according to the recipe directions, but do not bake. .  Place in the refrigerator.

2.  If you are using fresh root vegetables, place in a saucepan, cover with water, and add about 2 teaspoons fine sea salt.  Bring to a boil and boil until just tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain.  If you are using fresh summer vegetables, steam over boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes.  If you are using frozen vegetables, remove from the freezer.

3.  Preheat the oven to 450°F.

4.  To make the creamed chicken, melt the fat in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic, if using, and sauté until fragrant and limp, 3 to 5 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir until all the flour is wet.  Whisk in the broth and stir until thickened and smooth.  Stir in the chicken, vegetables, and thyme.  Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer.  Keep hot while you bake the biscuits.       

5.  Remove the biscuits from the refrigerator.  Bake according to the recipe directions for 15 to 18 minutes, until the biscuits are golden.

6.  To serve, split open one or two biscuits for each serving.  Ladle the chicken and vegetable mixture over the biscuits halves and serve immediately.

Adapted from The Fat Kitchen by Andrea Chesman©Andrea Chesman 2018. All rights Reserved