The Sweet Additions That Elevate Any Chicken Biscuit

Fried chicken biscuit with sweet toppings
Fried chicken biscuit with sweet toppings - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

A glorious chicken biscuit holds its own with nothing but the two things in its name: a crispy piece of fried chicken and a buttery homemade biscuit. It's like biting into culinary divinity, having established its reign as a heavenly meal for the hungry masses. A genuine chicken biscuit needs no plate-mates and hardly any embellishing condiments. However, there's a humble little twist that even the most devout chicken-biscuit lovers condone: spreading a little sweetness onto the bun, or drizzling it over the hot, crunchy biscuit.

The sweet addition to elevate a chicken biscuit doesn't have to be anything fancy. In fact, the very idea of that would counteract the down-home appeal of fried chicken tucked in the crunchy cloaks of a split-open cooked biscuit. We're talking ordinary home-kitchen companions such as honey, marmalade, jam, maple syrup, and sweet versions of relishes and chili sauces.

As you try each of these sweet-thang additions to your chicken biscuits, whether at breakfast, dinner, or shared-style happy hours, you'll get the gist. There's also a good chance of discovering your own sweet additions -- anything goes, as long as it's edible and tasty.

Read more: 26 Best Toppings To Add To Your Chicken Sandwich

Honey In Glorious Incarnations

Fried chicken sandwich with honey
Fried chicken sandwich with honey - Veselovaelena/Getty Images

Honey goes with just about anything, depending on how you use it. Chicken biscuits may seem unlikely recipients of Mother Nature's sticky, sweet, golden elixir, but toss that misconception right out of your brain. It's a perfect example of sweet-and-savory compatibility, and the effect depends on a couple of factors: how much honey you use, and whether you spread it on the biscuit or drizzle it over the fried chicken.

Since you don't want a soggy biscuit, your best bet is to target the chicken. After placing a piece of fried chicken on a biscuit half, drizzle about a tablespoon of warm honey directly over it. For extra sweetness, make it 2 tablespoons, allowing the honey to soak into the crispy crust and run over the sides, sliding onto the bottom biscuit half if you're lucky. Like a little heat with your sweet? Reach for a jar of hot honey, or make your own by infusing plain honey with chili peppers.

You might get some sticky lips and fingers when biting into that deliciousness -- but don't even think about using a knife and fork for manageability. You'll lose the whole chicken-biscuit vibe, along with a bit of chicken-eating cred. However, if you just can't handle the sticky situation, opt for spreading some honey butter directly onto the biscuit.

Maple Syrup And Sweet Sorghum

Maple syrup in bowl
Maple syrup in bowl - Lauraag/Getty Images

Syrup of any type is a candidate for sweetening the chicken biscuit deal, but genuine maple syrup may be your best bet. It's pure and earthy, straight from the tree as nature intended. Flavored syrups, even ones containing real fruit, can be overly sweet since they're typically made with processed sugar, and some even contain artificial flavorings, corn syrups, or extracts. Though still tasty in some applications, such as poured over plain waffles or pancakes, these syrups can clash with the savory nature of fried chicken.

Maple syrup is similar to honey in that it's clean and natural, while also being easy to dribble over hot, crispy, fried chicken. But maple syrups tend to vary in flavor based on the source, so try out a few different brands to see how they work with chicken biscuits. They also vary in thickness, so you'll want to pour or spread accordingly.

You may also want to try sweet sorghum syrup, which comes from the extracted juices of a sorghum plant. Though sometimes called sorghum molasses, it's a different product altogether, with a syrup-like consistency rather than the thickness of molasses. Sorghum syrup also carries a distinct taste, less obviously sweet than molasses or maple syrup, with a slightly sour taste depending on how it's processed. If you've grown up with Deep South or Appalachian cooking, it's a familiar taste that can hit the spot when oozed over a chicken biscuit.

Marmalades, Jams, And Jellies On Chicken Biscuits

Jam and marmalade in containers
Jam and marmalade in containers - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Then there's the sticker, even sweeter jams and jellies tucked into our refrigerator doors, staples for spreading over toast, muffins, and, yes, biscuits. It seems like a no-brainer to pair sweet jammy spreads with a quasi-sandwich called a chicken biscuit. But there's the fried chicken part to consider. Fortunately, other chefs have already taken the jam-chicken combo to the testing table.

As it turns out, certain jams are a good poultry complement, most often used as a glaze for baked or grilled chicken. Earthy jams such as plum or apricot carry a subtle sweetness that's less likely to overpower light meats such as chicken. There's even such a thing as berry-jam fried chicken, where the jam serves as a marinade, infusing the sweet flavor straight into the chicken before it's even fried and turned into a chicken biscuit. That's a more subtle way to get the sweet addition in there, rather than as an after-spread.

However, don't be shy about slathering jam, jelly, or even marmalade onto the biscuit itself, just before closing it up with the fried chicken. The citrusy touch of orange marmalade can introduce another flavor level with its mix of sweet and tangy tones. Just opt for a jam-like marmalade rather than one with a gel consistency; you don't want a runny texture or soggy biscuit. Jammy marmalades sometimes have chunky bits of fruit or peels that give your chicken biscuit a sweet textural surprise.

Sweet Relishes And Chili Sauces

Homemade sweet pickle relish
Homemade sweet pickle relish - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Relishes and sauces are givens when eating fried chicken dinners. From barbecue and ranch dipping sauces to spicy potato-salad pickle relishes and hot mustard mixtures jazzing up a skillet of cornbread. So, why wouldn't they work with a fried chicken biscuit sandwich? In fact, they work just fine, especially when the sweet versions offer that contrast you're craving.

Because of the consistency, sweet relishes are best when spread over the chicken rather than directly onto the biscuit. Though relishes can technically be made from all sorts of chopped fruits and vegetables, the most common sweet relish by U.S. standards is the sweet pickle relish. It's made from cucumbers, vinegar, sugar, and quite often things like onions and various spices. It's an excellent way to bring a bright, sweet, and tangy touch to chicken biscuits, particularly when enjoying one for lunch or supper rather than breakfast.

The same goes for sweet chili sauces. It's that savory-sweet thing again but with a spicy zing from minced chili peppers. Depending on the maker, it can also have more savory depth than other sweet chicken-biscuit additions. Thai-style sweet chili sauces can impart tasting notes of garlic, ginger, tomatoes, or even spicier elements such as Sriracha and cayenne pepper. This is not to be confused with traditional Thai chili sauce, which could leave behind a fish sauce imprint. Just drizzle the sweet version over the fried chicken, and enjoy the elevated status of your otherwise humble chicken biscuit.

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