Sausage and Sage Biscuits

Sausage and Sage BiscuitsChicken and a Biscuit
Next week is Spring Break. And, while we don’t have an elaborate vacation scheduled, we are planning on a few small trips here and there to get us away from the daily grind. There are a few open days with nothing planned except to sit around and drool. I am hoping there will be at least one rain-free day to allow for a little laying in the hammock laziness. (Of course, I am writing this as it is absolutely pouring outside. I mean seriously, will it never end?)

Hammock laziness is fantastic. But, it can lead you to daydreaming, which in turn can lead you on some pretty random mind journeys. Case in point, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other night in search of a few minutes of mind-numbing escape, I saw a video that a friend of mine shared showing a chicken running in her pasture while wearing a pair of blue pants. I almost wet myself. I have been laughing about it for days. It’s cracking me up as I write this now. I don’t know why I find the video so funny. But, it gets me every time. My kids think I am certifiable. They’re probably right!

And now for the random mental journey…
While watching the video, I was reminded of when we first moved into our house. There was a lot of work we had to do including building a fence around the property plus a long list of repairs that needed completion before we could even move in. Strangely, we decided to build the chicken coop first—probably because we were so excited to have the room to have chickens.

That memory lead to another of my husband and a friend building the fence around our property. I can’t even tell you how many feet of fence they built in that single weekend. Our house sits on a little shy of an acre-and-a-quarter and the fence goes around three sides of it. So, feel free to do the math. It’s a lot of fence. And, I have never seen two men eat as much as they ate that weekend (and these are dudes that can put it away on a regular basis). I now have a healthy understanding of what it is like to feed people on a farm or working cattle ranch. Which reminded me of the biscuits and gravy I made for them on the second morning to make sure they had the energy needed to keep building.

See? All of this from a chicken wearing pants…

That’s how I found myself thinking about biscuits and gravy. Since we’re on break next week, I will actually be able to cook something time-consuming for breakfast instead of the rushed bowl of cereal or piece of toast. There will be no calorie-burning fence building. So, I had to find something gravy-less at the very least.

I was happy to come across this recipe for Sausage and Sage Biscuits. I may be delusional, but it seems a tad better for you than traditional biscuits and gravy. And, if not? It’s vacation. Calories shouldn’t count on vacation. So, I am going to eat my biscuits in my hammock while pondering the benefits of pants on chickens…

Sausage and Sage Biscuits
Adapted from New York Times Cooking recipe by Genevieve Ko
Yields approximately 20 biscuits

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
12 ounces bulk pork breakfast sausage
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup butter, cubed plus extra for melting
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Prepare the sausage
Heat a large cast-iron or another heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and sausage to the skillet and cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into tiny bits, until browned and cooked through about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain on paper towels.

Allow cool to room temperature.

Make the dough
Heat oven to 425 ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.

Add the butter and toss to coat with the dry ingredients. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, press and cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form with some blueberry-size pieces remaining. Toss in the chopped sage and sausage until evenly coated.

Add the buttermilk and mix with a fork until no dry bits remain and mixture just comes together.

Make the biscuits
Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. With lightly floured hands or rolling pin, pat or roll the dough into an 8″ by 10″rectangle (about 1/2-inch thick).

Using a biscuit cutter or rim of a drinking glass, cut the dough into 2-inch circles. Gather the excess, knead gently and pat roll out the dough again making more biscuits until you have used it all up. Place the biscuits on the prepared sheet allowing 1-inch of space between them.

If the dough has softened, refrigerate or freeze until stiff. Brush the tops of the dough squares with melted butter and press a single sage leaf onto each. Top with fresh ground pepper.

Bake the biscuits
Bake until the biscuits rise and the edges are just beginning to brown, (about 20 to 25 minutes).

Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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