Tonight’s dinner is one of our new favorites. I’ve never used much buttermilk in my life, but you will see it again and again, as it has become my new favorite marinade. Tonight’s dinner was Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken, based loosely on Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network Recipe, Sauteed Zucchini and Squash with Parmesan Cheese, and steamed Jasmine rice.
Let’s start with the marinade. I used 1 qt. of buttermilk, 1/4C Sriracha, 5 shakes of hot sauce, 6 cloves of garlic, skinned and crushed with the side of the knife blade, 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 heaping tsp. kosher salt and 1 heaping tbsp. of brown sugar. That’s it – mix it all in a bag and add the chicken pieces. You can use whatever you’d like. We like thighs, but this will work with skinless, boneless breasts as well. Marinate the chicken in in the fridge anywhere from 2 hours to overnight, which I like best.
Your next step is to preheat the oven. I like to cook the chicken at 375 for about 45 to 50 minutes, however, if you’re using the oven for something else, you can adjust the time to temp. At 350 the chicken will take about an hour, and at 400 only about 35 minutes. Regardless, please check the temp with an instant read, putting the thermometer into the meat and avoiding the bone. You want it to read 165 to be fully cooked.
Next prepare your pan – cover a cookie sheet with foil, add racks and spray with any kind of oven spray.
Prepping the chicken is easy. I use a paper plate, corn flake crumbs and rubber gloves. You can also use tongs, but I just use my hands. Pull the chicken out of the marinade and let it drip so most of it drips back into the bag. Dredge the chicken on both sides, so it is fully covered and place it on the rack on the cookie sheet. Don’t overcrowd the rack so the chicken can cook evenly.
Ready to go into the oven. Tonight I had enough chicken that I used two trays. I put one in the upper 3rd of the oven and the 2nd one in the lower third. At 20 minutes, I swapped the trays. There are a number of recipes on the internet for this. Many suggest melting some butter and drizzling it over the top of the chicken to help the crust crisp up. You can do this, but it’s not really necessary and just adds additional calories to the dish.
Here it is – out of the oven and delicious. So why the buttermilk. I don’t know all of the science behind it, but from what I’ve read, if you use an acid based marinade on chicken, it will flavor it and season it, but it will toughen the texture of the meat rather than tenderize it. Buttermilk tenderizes it, adds flavor and moisture. This chicken will be the juiciest ever.
The zucchini and squash is also a quick and easy recipe. Slice the zucchini in strips, disks or chunked, whatever you prefer. Add a couple of swirls of olive oil to your skillet on high heat. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes and a couple of cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed with the side of the knife. Let this cook for just a couple of minutes, then remove the garlic. Add the zucchini and cook till some of it has browned and it is cooked through to your liking. Do NOT add salt, though you can add pepper if you’d like. Sprinkle with a tbsp. or 2 of parmesan cheese and enjoy. You can add diced onion, match stick cut carrots, broccoli – whatever veggies you like and serve it as your side dish.
Dinner is served!