Literature or Chickens?

Sunday, February 16, 2014
"I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens."

I loved this E.B. White quote when I heard it, not knowing it referred to the flock of poultry he was raising at the time. I always pictured him fussing in the kitchen with a chicken recipe, and being so frustrated, he'd go back to his writing.

I don't often get discouraged in the kitchen, but it's been hard to find a good recipe for baked chicken that isn't soggy and tasteless. Frying is the way to go for crispy chicken, but I'm reluctant to fry, for both dietary and safety reasons.

That's why I was so happy to receive The Lemonade Cookbook, and try the recipe for Buttermilk-Baked Chicken. If you don't mind waiting 24 hours while the chicken marinates, you'll be rewarded with one of the most flavourful chicken recipes I've ever eaten - and it's crispy, too!

I won this cookbook from Chocolate Shavings, a beautiful blog written by Jennifer, a food specialist for the magazine Canadian Living. Thanks, Jennifer! I'm looking forward to trying so many other recipes from this cookbook, too.

And (this isn't news for anyone who's seen me wrestling with my latest book) right now I'd have to say literature is more frustrating than chickens.



Buttermilk-Baked Chicken
(from The Lemonade Cookbook by Alan Jackson and Joann Cianciulli)

2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp hot sauce, such as Tabasco
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 onion, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 cups panko bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil

To prepare the marinade, in a large bowl whisk the buttermilk, mustard, hot sauce, paprika, salt, onion and garlic together. Put the chicken in a plastic storage bag, add the buttermilk mixture, and thoroughly coat the chicken in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, preferably up to two days.

When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess buttermilk. Discard the marinade. Season both sides of the chicken breast lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a flat plate. Press the chicken breasts into the bread crumbs to completely coat all sides, shaking off the excess.

Put an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with 2 Tbsp of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, lay the chicken in the pan (you may have to do this in batches). Sear for 3 minutes per sides. Nestle the seared chicken breasts side by side in the skillet.  Transfer the skillet (and chicken) to the oven and bake for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden.

29 comments:

Valerie Gamine said...

The Lemonade Cookbook - what's Not to love about that title? :D
This chicken looks scrumptious, Beth!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't eat chicken, but I might try this for my husband. Thanks for another great recipe.

bakewithjill.com said...

Great idea to sear the chicken before baking it. I've made a lot of baked chicken recipes and they are pretty good, but usually not very crispy or brown.

Guru Uru said...

This chicken looks delicious - it looks healthy, crispy and flavoursome :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Liz Berg said...

I love how moist chicken is after an overnight bath in buttermilk! I'll definitely try your recipe (if I can just plan ahead for once ;)). Great recipe, my friend!!!

Beth said...

Liz, from a master of recipes like you, that's a huge compliment! Thank you!

Angie Schneider said...

I love how crisp these encrusted chicken breast halves look! Have to try your buttermilk marinade.
Have a wonderful week, Beth!
Angie

bamskitchen said...

I am always on the look out for new good recipes with chicken breasts. Yours looks so crispy on the outside and I am sure moist on the inside. Take Care

jba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chocolate Shavings said...

This chicken looks fantastic! Every recipe I've tried from the book has been super tasty so far. Enjoy the rest of it!

Jemi Fraser said...

That sounds delicious! I've never heard that quote - but it's awesome!

Vicki Bensinger said...

I was just reminiscing with my husband over the weekend how when we first got married he loved fried chicken. We would get Kentucky Fried and he would eat the skin of all things (heart attack waiting to happen) and I would eat the meat. We were and still are a great team.

This recipe would be a hit in our house especially with him now that he avoids the skin of the chicken like the plague. Thanks for sharing this.

Bonnie said...

Beth, Thanks for sharing your new found recipe. I, too, am always looking for a good chicken recipe. I've tried so many. This looks and sounds delicious. Now if I can remember I need to marinate.... Enjoy your week! Bonnie

I Wilkerson said...

Crispy healthy chicken--what a find! Hopefully some nice innovation is around the corner on your book struggles as well!

Claire Davis said...

I haven't made chicken like this is so long, I have a problem with it getting crispy too. So I will have to try this one!

Chris Scheuer said...

I've often used buttermilk for a marinade. It does do wonders! This sounds great, I'm always thrilled when I find a wonderful recipe!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Marinating chicken in buttermilk is always a wonderful idea - the cookbook sounds wonderful and your chicken looks fabulous!

Jessica Lawson said...

Sounds delicious and I love the EB White quote :)

vanillasugarblog said...

Oh I want that cookbook, and I don't remember that quote but it is a good one.
Buttermilk is the best marinade; even with fish!

Juliana Levine said...

I like the idea of marinating in buttermilk...and if it takes 24 hours to have such a flavorful chicken I sure would not mind.
Thank for the recipe Beth...have a great week :D

Katerina said...

I always say that the secret is in marinate! They look crispy and I bet they were juicy inside!

Kitchen Riffs said...

In theory, properly done frying is actually pretty healthy -- very little fat gets absorbed. That's theory, of course. ;-) And the mess and safety issues keep me from doing it very often, too. So baking is it! And this looks like a really nice recipe -- love the buttermilk. Good stuff -- thanks.

Beth said...

I didn't know, that, John. Funny how I always learn something new from you! Thanks for the tip - although I'll still keep away from frying for the other reasons I mentioned.

Gloria Baker said...

look absolutely delicious Im sure my twins would love this:)

Crystal Collier said...

Now you've got me starving. Yummy! I need to go eat something. Maybe cheese...

grace said...

chicken is my protein of choice and i like this preparation! nice read, beth. :)

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I think I would give a great big yum to this buttermilk chicken! :)

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Oh, this looks so divine! I definitely wouldn't mind waiting the marinating time for this. =) And I love the quote about literature + chickens, too - so funny!

nancy at good food matters said...

No problem waiting here. Chicken is always better after spending a day in buttermilk!
Great recipe. Love the quote too--I hadn't heard that one before.

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