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On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, is a Southern home cooking style restaurant called Jacob’s Pickles. Along with homemade (you guessed it) pickles, they serve up some incredible southern treats with a modern twist such as biscuits and gravy, catfish tacos, and mushroom mac & cheese.
But, my favorite item on their menu, hands down, is their fried chicken and biscuits. Its crispy, flavorful, and always done right. They serve it under a stack of thinly slivered pickles, then drizzle it with honey. Sound like an odd combination? Well, I say don’t knock it ’till you try it.
Although I describe Jacob’s Pickles as a place that “knows how to fry”, ordering up this Southern comfort food is still not a healthy choice when it comes to everyday eating. So, in my version baking the chicken after breading with corn or whole wheat flakes is the best way to keep the fat content down, while still enjoying a crisp breading over juicy meat.
These breasts are truly impressive when served over my “Best no-roll Biscuits“, smothered in pickles, and drizzled with your local honey. But don’t worry, I explain how to plate these below. Make this for guests and it’ll look like you had a few semesters in culinary school or spent a summer livin’ in South Georgia! They’ll have no idea how healthy and easy this recipe is!
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
- 1/3 cup AP flour
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cups cornflakes or multi grain flakes
- 2/3 cup low fat buttermilk
- 2 tsp Crystal hot sauce
- 1 tsp teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard seed
- 4 small dill pickles, thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp good quality honey (or amber agave, but use 1.5 tsp per breast)
- 4 of my “Best no-roll, less butter Biscuits EVER!“
- Foil for my “foil snake”(Chef’s Tip below)
Chef’s Tip*: What is a Foil Snake? Well, as a traveler I have to be selective about what tools I take with me. Every kitchen tool has to fit into the 4 plastic containers I’m able to have. I can’t bring a roasting rack to every state, for every assignment. So, instead I make my own by taking a long piece of foil and roll it into a rope shape. Then I snake it (hence the name) and lay it on a lined sheet pan. This way the chicken are up off the pan and can roast better WITHOUT the need of an actual rack. Clean up is easier too because it just goes right into the recycling bin!
Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, and lay a roasting rack or a “foil snake” on top. Set aside.
- Place flakes in a freezer bag and crush with a mallet or rolling pin. Pour them onto a large plate and set aside.
- On another large plate combine the flour with the smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (big enough to dredge the chicken pieces), mix the buttermilk, crystal hot sauce, mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and sage. Set aside with the rest of your prepared mixtures.
- Rinse the chicken in cold water; pat dry with a paper towel. Dip each breast in buttermilk mixture, shaking of the excess. Then dredge then flour mixture and again shake off excess. Dip in buttermilk one more time, then roll in the crushed flakes and place atop the foil snake.
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until the center of thickest part of breast registers 165°.
- Line up your 4 plates. Slice one “Best no-roll, less butter biscuit” in half and lay on each, flat side up.
- Lay a chicken breast over top the biscuit halves.
- Drizzle each breast with 1 tbsp of honey.
- Then divide sliced pickles among the 4 breasts and drizzle each with an additional tbsp of honey.
- Serve with a side of sauteed green beans, squash, or roasted carrots.