Old-fashioned Individual Chicken Shortcakes (Chicken & Biscuits)

Two Individual Chicken Shortcakes on PlateWith all that is happening in the world, I’m in the mood for homey and comforting foods. So when I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Individual Chicken Shortcakes, I had to give it a try. This is really a recipe for old-fashioned Chicken and Biscuits. Whatever it is called, this dish hit the spot. The biscuits were flaky, and the chunky chicken gravy was warm and hearty.

Here is the original recipe:

individual chicken shortcakes on plate
Source: Balanced Daily Diet by Janet McKenzie HIll (1920)

When I updated the recipe, I used butter instead of shortening when making the chicken gravy.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Individual Chicken Shortcake (Chicken & Biscuits)

  • Servings: 5-6 Shortcakes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


2 cups pastry flour (all-purpose flour also works if pastry flour is not available)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

approximately 2/3 cup milk

butter, if desired (use when assembling)

Chicken Gravy

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked chicken (coarsely chopped into approximately 1/2-inch cubes)

To Make Biscuits: Preheat oven to 450° F.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening. Add most of the milk and mix using a fork until dough starts to cling together. Add more milk if needed. Roll dough on a prepared floured surface into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch squares. Place squares on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 -15 minutes (or until lightly browned).

To Make Chicken Mixture: Using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually, add chicken broth while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until it thickens. Add the chicken, and stir to combine.

To Assemble: Split the biscuits, and butter, if desired. Put 1-2 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the bottom half of each biscuit. Put other half on top, and spoon another 1-2 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture on top. Serve.


39 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Individual Chicken Shortcakes (Chicken & Biscuits)

    1. I noticed that at the store where I shop that the flour is all sold out. Apparently many people think that they will have ample time to do a little baking. 🙂

  1. We used to have this often when I was a kid, and it’s one of the first things we learned to make in home ec class. The one difference is that we added red bell pepper and celery to the creamed chicken. Our teacher was death on monotone foods!

  2. Really enjoyed this old recipe, Sheryl. As a word person, and a recipe reader, I really liked seeing how the author puts “ful” at the end of every measure, something I find very interesting. And what a homey, comforting dish this is. I liked your photo (yummy) and the original drawing too.

    1. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this post. It’s fascinating how there are some words (or ways of using words) that have become archaic over the past hundred. years. The “fuls” at the end of the measures are a fun example of that.

  3. This is a keeper!

    And good thing I buy flour in the large economy sized bag – would you believe that the store shelves were empty? The only two products that were not available: TP and flour!

    1. Like the store where you shop, my local supermarket is out of flour. Lots of people must be planning to bake while they are at home over the next few weeks.

  4. I have been directed to be out of work until the end of the month (at least). It feels good to get back to making things from scratch again. It is all I did when I was fortunate enough (and poor enough?) to prepare all of my food.

    1. It can feel very rewarding to make food from scratch. Even during these difficult times, there are a few slivers of silver linings in the clouds.

    1. Now I’m curious about how you might adapt this recipe to make it vegan – use tofu instead of the chicken? potatoes? something else?

  5. This is what my grandmother would make on Monday nights after having fried chicken on Sunday… I was never a big fan as I’d prefer to just have cold fried chicken!

    1. Back in the day, I also would have preferred left-over fried chicken. Now that I am older, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Chicken and Biscuits.

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