This is a post about making breakfast sandwiches with Popeye's biscuits—certainly the finest fast food biscuits available in the greater New York metropolitan area, and arguably the greatest fast food biscuits available anywhere. According to my Twitter followers, Bojangles and Hardee's give'em a run for their money.
But before we get there, a quick story of finding good fortune in the depths of woe and misery.
A couple days ago, my wife abandoned me during the waning phase of a 2 1/2-day-long bout with stomach flu (a disease I would only wish on my worst enemy, and perhaps a few of his minions) in order to attend a bachelorette party in which she got a bit too serious with some drunken gummies.
I was so out of it when she left and so elated when I finally started feeling better late Saturday afternoon, that by the time the rest of the bachelor-for-a-night crowd arrived at my place that evening for a barbecue*, it hadn't yet occurred to me that stomach flu is highly contagious, even after all the symptoms are gone.
Looks like rotovirus is back on the menu boys.
*that'd be the beer and burger kind, not the 13-hours of smoking kind that only a tiny percentage of English speakers identify the word with, however vocal they are.
The rest of the gang ventured off into the real non-quarantined world to get themselves some fried chicken from Popeye's while I ended up eating a burger by myself (ok, the dogs kept me company).
My loneliness turned to jubilation when they returned with not one, not two, but an entire box of biscuits. Those gloriously salty, crispy, fatty Popeye's biscuits that I'd put in the running for best biscuits world-wide, homemade or no. I once again completely forgot about the latent baddies in my system and reached for the box, opening it up and thumbing through the stack to find the best one as the rest of the group looked at me, a bit slack-jawed.
It was the sick person's equivalent of licking the popsicle so nobody else will take it. I didn't feel good about how it came to pass, but I was now officially the owner of a dozen Popeye's biscuits.
Needless to say, the night ended on a down note with me passing out from too much biscuitiness and everyone else taking off to find something with which to fill their butter chakra. I woke up the next morning with a wife who was a little worse for wear and a stack of biscuits that still looked as magnificent in their golden brown radiance as they did the night before. Frankly, I can tell you which one I'd rather wake up next to again.
Then it struck me: Biscuits are the best—nay, only—medium upon which to build a breakfast sandwich. Popeye's makes the best fast food biscuits, but they do not make breakfast sandwiches.
Logic and an obligation to uphold what is right and beautiful in the universe both dictated that I amend this heinous miscarriage of good taste immediately.
I started by wrapping the biscuits in foil and reheating them in the oven, where they quickly became reacquainted with their former tender-crisp selves.
Next, I fried up a few strips of bacon in a cast iron skillet, then dropped a couple of 2 1/2-inch ring molds into the grease before cracking in a couple eggs.
This is my favorite way to cook eggs for breakfast sandwiches. It makes for a nice, tidy package, and a soft, runny yolk that won't just squish out the back when you bite into it the way it will if you just use a plain fried egg.
Adding a bit of water to the pan and covering it helps steam the eggs and cook them gently all around.
I then trimmed a couple of slices of American cheese to just barely drape over the eggs (feeding the cheese scraps to the dogs after taking a cursory nibble myself) and constructed my sandwiches. Split Popeye's biscuit, crisp bacon, soft egg, gooey cheese, and a biscuit top.
They were everything I hoped and dreamed they would be, which is good news, because I still have four more infected biscuits to work my way through over the next couple days.
If my wife was going to catch anything from me, she'd've done caught it anyway way before I made breakfast for her, which is why I felt not a pang of guilt serving her one of these glorious creations. Indeed, I felt it my husbandly duty to help her take the edge off of those Rummy Bears from the night before, not to mention whatever else it is wives do when attending bachelorette parties.
I'm really not sure, but I hear it involves sparkling wine, underwear, and pillow fights. At least that's what she tells me.
Besides, I will be attending the other half of the happy couples' pre-nuptial festivities with the Fried Chicken Gang in a few weeks down in NOLA, so I expect the same kind of morning-after-the-weekend forgiveness from her. Not that I plan on doing anything that will require forgiveness. We bachelors like our pillow fights just as much as you do, dear, and New Orleans is a tough town to get in trouble in, I hear.
For the record: Shouldn't all breakfast sandwiches do this when you bite into them?
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.