6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or lard
4 cups all-purpose flour plus more
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
10 small boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
10 slices cheddar (optional)
Sausage Gravy (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place butter and shortening in freezer for 10 minutes.
Blend 4 cups flour and next 5 ingredients in a food processor. Add butter and shortening. Pulse mixture until it resembles coarse meal, 20–25 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Gradually add buttermilk while tossing mixture with a fork (mixture will not be completely incorporated). Knead in bowl with lightly floured hands just until dough forms, about 3 turns.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat out dough until 1" thick. Lift 1 side and fold it over. Gently repeat 5 more times. Roll dough to 3/4"-thick round. Using a 3" biscuit cutter, cut biscuits from dough. Gather scraps and repeat patting out and cutting biscuits for a total of 10 biscuits.
Place biscuits on a parchment paper– lined baking sheet, spaced 1"–2" apart. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted horizontally comes out clean, 12–15 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack; let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature. Rewarm before serving.
For fried chicken:
Whisk buttermilk, dill, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover; chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
Pour vegetable oil in a large pot to a depth of 2". Attach a deep-fry thermometer to side of pot. Heat oil over medium heat to 350°F.
Whisk 1 1/4 cups water with remaining 2 teaspoons salt, remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper, flour, and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Drain chicken well; pat dry with paper towels. Working in batches, dip chicken into batter. Fry chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crispy and golden brown and chicken is just cooked through, 9–12 minutes per batch. Drain chicken on paper towels.
Split biscuits in half; place 1 bottom half on each plate. Top each with a cheese slice, if desired, then a chicken thigh. Spoon Sausage Gravy over chicken, if desired. Place biscuit top over.
For Sausage Gravy
1/2 pound breakfast sausage
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, Freshly ground pepper
Cook sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces with the back of a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes; set aside on a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium; continue to whisk until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in drained sausage and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool completely, cover, and chill. Rewarm before serving.