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Buttermilk – it’s not just for pancakes! October 27, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, Freezer Meals.
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You know, I don’t even remember why I had buttermilk in the house.  I mean, I must have bought a quart for something, but I’ll be darned if I can remember what!

The biggest problem with buttermilk, as I see it, is that it’s only sold in quarts.  At least I think it’s a problem – maybe not so much?  After all, if I didn’t have 3/4 of a quart of buttermilk to use up, would I have ever made those lovely orange buttermilk pancakes for breakfast?  Probably not.

PhotobucketAnd, much as we’ve always loved it, without half a quart of buttermilk in the house, it probably wouldn’t have occurred to either of us to do this buttermilk baked chicken, either.

Which is so good.

So simple.

And so easy to freeze for another time, too!  This is a great dish to make ahead and stick in the freezer for later.

We started with three chicken breast cutlets.  (We started with frozen chicken and cooked it when it thawed, but you could just easily start with fresh chicken, freeze it, and cook it when it’s thawed.)

Note:  The reason we used cutlets is that we can’t seem to find reasonably-sized boneless chicken breasts in the supermarkets!  They’re all 10-12 ounces or so, which is absolutely ridiculous!  So I get them home and trim them – I basically slice them in half, and the top, nicer slice is served as chicken breasts, and the smaller bottom, raggedy half just gets frozen and used either as “tenders” or as chunks.

PhotobucketSo, the chicken is in a freezer-quality zip-top bag, and to it, we add:

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp. honey

And that’s that.  Seal the bag and “massage” the honey and mustard until it sort of dissolves into the buttermilk.  That’s basically going to be your marinade and will be frozen just like that.

PhotobucketMeanwhile, in a separate bag, combine:

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (the green can stuff is fine if you’ve got that)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) black pepper
  • a pinch (or a wee little sprig) of chopped rosemary

And there’s your breading.  Seal the bag, and take it, and the bag of buttermilked chicken, and stick them in another bag, label it, and stick the whole works in the freezer.

To cook, the first thing you want to do is make sure your chicken is completely thawed.  Remember, if the chicken is still frozen in the middle, it may not cook completely, and there is very little in this world more disgusting than cutting into chicken and finding it . . . rare.  Poultry should always be completely cooked!

OK, now that the public service announcement portion of the program is done, carrying on.

PhotobucketSpray a sheet pan (or cookie sheet) with non-stick spray, place it in the oven and preheat the oven.  (The preheated sheet will help crisp the chicken – neat, huh?)

While that’s preheating, remove chicken from the buttermilk marinade, shaking as much off as possible (the mixture may be kind of thick and gloppy – that’s OK).  Then roll or shake in in breadcrumb mixture to coat and set aside until the pan is ready.

Place your chicken breasts on the preheated baking sheet (you will note that we also lined the pan with foil – an unnecessary precaution, but hey, you never know, right?)

Photobucket

Return pan to oven, bake 15 minutes, turn chicken, and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Chicken should be nicely browned and, if you’re inclined to check, the internal temperature should reach 165°.

PhotobucketThen just plate it up and enjoy with your favorite sides!  Does it taste like fried chicken?

No.

Is it delightfully tasty on a weeknight after work with crash hot potatoes and garden fresh sauteed Swiss chard?

Heck yeah!

Wanna try it?  Let me know what you think!

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Comments

1. origamifreak - October 27, 2009

mmm. that sounds good. And you know, I think I actually HAVE all of those things on hand, except the fresh rosemary. And I’m pretty sure I have some dried…

I often buy powdered buttermilk from the local Mennonite store, since I use it in baking and don’t really want an entire quart, either! LOL

– I keep powdered buttermilk on hand too, but honestly, I do prefer the real stuff. Oh, and dry rosemary will work just fine – or use whatever herb you have (thyme, sage, etc.).


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