Thursday, February 21, 2013

Month-of-Chicken: Buttermilk Chicken

You know, I hate buttermilk. I can’t stand the way the glass looks after someone drinks it. Since Big Mama’s been visiting, however, we keep it in the fridge for her. She likes it. Go figure! The things you do for your parents!

What surprises me is how much I love to cook with buttermilk. This chicken dish. Oatmeal muffins. My corn bread is to die for! (She says, not at all modestly.) So it’s really no hardship to have it in the house for her. In fact, I’m going to cut her back because we’re low on muffins.

When Big Mama cooks buttermilk chicken, she soaks it overnight and into the next day. I think it is an old farm trick to tenderize tough old chickens for dinner eating. The acid in the buttermilk does a number on the meat fibers, and the meat is infused with a level of moistness most chicken dishes can only dream of!

This chicken recipe adds a bit of sugar to tame the buttermilk. This is one of my company dishes. I can get this in the oven two hours before we eat and clean the kitchen so no one even knows there is dinner to be served. Except for the aroma, of course. Delectable odors emanate from this baked chicken dish.

Buttermilk Chicken (Serves 6)

1 c buttermilk
½ t salt
½ t pepper
1 T sugar
6 chicken thighs
1 T dried tarragon

In a zipper gallon bag, thoroughly mix the buttermilk, salt, pepper, and sugar. Let sit while you wash and pat dry the chicken.

Mush the buttermilk mixture again and add the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Turn the bag over a few times so the mixture coats all sides evenly.

Preheat oven to 250°. Remove chicken from buttermilk and rinse off the mixture thoroughly. Pat dry and place in baking dish. Sprinkle tarragon over the top.

Bake for 2 hours uncovered. This is a forgiving dish with time. If you leave it in for 2½ hours, it will be just as good.

When you remove it from the oven, spoon some of the au jus over the top to moisten the herbs. Serve with fruited rice.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up! This is a family favorite dish. There’s not one thing he’d change about it! Big Mama almost licked her plate!


  1. Oh, I love a good make-ahead-before-company-gets-there recipe! I also love chicken thighs - so much better than the boobs! :)

    1. Ha! Eat for the part you need? I do use a lot of breasts, but for full flavor, you can't beat thighs.

      Jackie, your guests will enjoy this, I can guarantee. My Cocoa Chili Chicken is another thigh make-ahead that I serve company. I, too, love having the mess cleaned up before people arrive!