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Buttermilk-Brined Chicken

July/August 2014

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This healthy buttermilk chicken recipe has all the flavor of buttermilk fried chicken without the frying. Using salt in the brine to draw moisture into the chicken, buttermilk to tenderize and a heap of herbs for fresh flavor, this easy chicken marinade creates unbelievably delicious fried chicken.


Buttermilk-Brined Chicken

Makes: 8 servings

Serving Size: 3-4 oz. chicken

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Buttermilk Brine

  • 4 cups buttermilk (see Tips)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Chicken

  • 4 to 4 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks and/or breasts), skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. To prepare buttermilk brine: Combine buttermilk, sugar, shallots, garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and pepper in a bowl. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  2. To marinate chicken: Place chicken in a sealable gallon-size plastic bag. Pour in the brine mixture, seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
  3. To prepare chicken: Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and pat dry with paper towels. Rub 1 tablespoon oil over the chicken and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to 400°F or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400°F).
  5. Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the chicken with the lid closed, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165°F, 28 to 30 minutes total for breast halves; 32 to 36 minutes for thighs and drumsticks.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Brine the chicken (Step 2) for up to 12 hours.
  • Buttermilk is a thick, tangy cow’s-milk dairy product great for baking, salad dressings and marinades. Low-fat and nonfat versions can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Look for it in quart containers in the dairy section of the supermarket. In a pinch, you can make a substitute, mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk.
  • Once the grill is heated, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the hot rack right before placing the chicken on the grill.

Nutrition

Per serving: 206 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 117 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 1 g total sugars; 30 g protein; 0 g fiber; 275 mg sodium; 308 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 0


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