In the Sweetbread and Crawfish Terrine recipe, I explained the significance our hands play in thoughtful cooking. To quote myself again, “Like cuisine, Hands are neither inherently good nor inherently bad. It is what we do with them that make them that way”. My hands make biscuits. I will be remembered by the generations that both precede and proceed me for the crisp flaky exterior ultra-tender buttery interior of the biscuit that has become the reflection of my soul. Glazed with black-pepper honey butter in the style of a fine sticky bun. These biscuits are the best you ever had! They have assumed their rightful sovereignty among the baked goods being forever indebted to my hands for that accomplishment. It is because of these biscuits that my family, both young and old, will always remember the warmth and care of my hands.
Some people believe “Less is More”. Well it’s not, “More is More”. Just for that stance alone I felt the need to guild the lily with some deep fried turkey tails. The Turkey Tails are completely luxurious with the ratio of fat to cartilage to meat. Take one assertive bite and as the juice dribbles to the tip of your chin, you will be wondering why in the hell did you have to travel to the other side of the tracks to find them. Make no mistake, the laborers of the street are no fools. They are keeping this treasure for themselves.
Turkey Tails and Biscuits
Serves 4 during an unsuccessful afternoon of cane pole fishing
8 turkey tails cut into quarters—use a good knife and show no hesitation
15 dashes Tabasco
1T granulated garlic
2T Kosher salt
Peanut oil to deep fry
For the Honey Butter:
1c local honey
2T un-salted butter
2t ground black pepper
3 sprigs of fresh sage
For the Biscuits:
2c flour, plus a little extra for dusting
2T baking powder
2t Kosher salt
1/2lb un-salted butter
1 1/2c milk
Combine the turkey tails with the buttermilk and Tabasco in whichever bowl you may have clean. Place the marinating bird into the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
To make the Honey Butter: Combine the honey, butter, black pepper and sage into a small pot and bring the mixture to a simmer over a medium flame. Cook for 2 minutes and set aside to cool.
For the Biscuits: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2 cups of the flour with the baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix it up with your hands. Cube the chilled butter and sprinkle it into the flour mixture. Break the cubes up with your hands until the butter resembles that of the size of a pea that you have flattened. Form a well into the center of the flour-butter mixture and pour 1 cup of the milk into the well. Mix with you fingers until the flour has absorbed the milk. Add any extra flour as needed to bring the mixture together until it resembles a dough that is submissive and will listen to the instructions that your hands give it. Sprinkle some flour out onto your counter with a few snapping flicks of your wrist and place the dough onto the floured surface. Press the dough down with your hands until a uniform thickness is achieved of about 2 inches. Cut the dough into 12 uniform biscuits. Shape them however you see fit. Place the biscuits with their sides touching one another on a parchment paper or foil lined baking tray. In a small bowl whisk together the egg with the 1/2 cup of milk and brush the egg wash over the top of the biscuits. Place the biscuits into the oven on the center rack and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and prepare for immortality.
For the whole dish: Pre-heat you fryer or a cast iron skillet filled with peanut oil to 335 degrees. Remove the turkey tails from the cooler. In another bowl combine the flour, garlic, cayenne and salt. Mix together until harmonious. Take the turkey tails and coat them in the flour and gently lay into the hot oil to fry. Fry each batch for 6-8 minutes. The turkey should be golden and easily bobbing up to the surface from the bottom of the basket. Line a platter with the biscuits and place the tails on top. Liberally drizzle the whole platter with enough honey butter to satisfy any longings and prepare to suck on your fingers.
“Some people say less is more, It is not, More is More”