Buttermilk Baked Chicken (and a special birthday too!)

Hard to believe that this little guy turned 20 years old yesterday!!! Happy Birthday Simon!!! We miss you and ironically this picture was taken in California, which is where he's in college now. Love that gummy smile!! In honor of his birth, I decided to post this recipe for Buttermilk Baked Chicken, one of his favorite dinners! I promise to make this for you when you're home on break, baby!!

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

This is one of those dishes that is so easy you kind of feel like you're cheating when you call it a recipe. I've been making it for years and have no idea where I got it from but time and again this makes its reappearance in my kitchen. The coating is crispy, the chicken is moist and flavorful and the work is minimal which in my mind makes it perfection!

This is another of those "unwritten" no-measure recipes that every busy person needs in their repertoire. It's totally versatile so that you can use whatever you like and have on hand. Want to throw in some cloves of garlic? Great! Hate garlic but love rosemary, that's fine too. Prefer chicken thighs to boneless breasts, no problem! Really you can do almost anything--the only constant here is soaking the chicken in some sort of a spice-infused, buttermilk mixture, which tenderizes and flavors the chicken so well. All you do is pour some buttermilk into a large bowl, throw in some lemon juice, sliced onion, some spices and a few shakes of hot sauce and let the chicken soak in that for several hours. Then you coat it in whatever crumbs you like ( I used cornflake crumbs here) and bake it. And while it's baking you can toss in some potatoes to bake along with it or roast some veggies and you've got a meal that everyone will love and can be thrown together in just minutes--how perfect is that?!!I

So here's a big cyberspace hug and kiss, my-no-longer-teenage-son! (How can that possibly be when I am only 25?!!)


Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Makes as many servings as you want
Prep Time:  5-10 minutes; BakeTime: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts (or any kind of chicken you prefer)
  • buttermilk (enough to cover chicken-generally somewhere between 1-2 cups)
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 1 onion, sliced or a few cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • garlic powder, black pepper, salt to taste
  • a few shakes of hot sauce
  • cornflake crumbs (or any kind of breading you like)
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • additional fresh or dried spices, like rosemary, thyme, oregano (optional)

The Recipe

1.  Into a large blow, pour the buttermilk. Add the lemon juice, onion, a few shakes of garlic powder, black pepper and salt, and the hot sauce (and whatever other seasonings you like). Whisk together. Add the chicken and toss briefly in the buttermilk mixture, making sure that the chicken is completely covered in it. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours and up to one day.

2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a baking or Pyrex pan with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

3.  Onto a large plate, pour a generous amount of the cornflake crumbs (or whatever you're using) and season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, some grated parmesan cheese (if using) and any other spices you like. Mix together. Remove the bowl with the chicken from the fridge and using a fork, let each piece of chicken drain a bit over the bowl. Then coat each piece with the breadcrumb mixture and place it in the prepared pan. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours until chicken is cooked through and coating is browned and crispy--it depends on how large your chicken pieces are. I generally turn the chicken over about half-way through the baking time, so that each side gets crispy, but it's not absolutely necessary. Sometimes, I've forgotten and it's come out just fine too.

Enjoy!



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