Buttermilk Chicken

by Cate on August 21, 2005

Eli was desperate to go for a car ride today, so we appeased him. Since it was too hot to leave him in the car by himself, The Husband waited in the car with him and the AC while I ran into the stores we stopped at. Eli was quite the happy camper. Note the paw carefully tucked into the door handle.

I am convinced that I angered the Humidity Gods with my post yesterday waxing rhapsodic on my loves for the Fall season, because boy, did they fight back today! Although it was only in the low- to mid-80s in temperature, the humidity was pretty atrocious for much of the day. Heavy, thick air just hanging – yuck!

It finally got a bit better in the early evening, which was perfect because our neighbors stopped by, and we got to try out my anti-gravity chairs for the first time. LOVE THEM! LOVE THEM, LOVE THEM, LOVE THEM! So, so comfortable – as long as these are available, I will never buy another type of lawn chair again, and if it wasn’t for Tami in AZ helping me out, I wouldn’t have these (thanks again!). Our neighbors came bearing Mudslides, and we had a nice relaxing time sitting in the yard, watching the kids play. A perfect evening.

Dinner tonight was very simple to pull together. For yesterday’s chicken recipe, I bought two really big packages of thighs and drumsticks (cheaper that way), and had half of the chicken leftover after making dinner last night. Instead of my usual MO of throwing the rest of the package in the freezer, I decided to be more conscientious about it, and set out to find a recipe to use up the chicken today. Conveniently the recipe I found also managed to use up the rest of the buttermilk I had bought the other day for those disastrous Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.

Southern Living has an Easy Entertaining cookbook that they put out a few months ago (limited time available), and the recipes for tonights’ meal all came from there – three new recipes: Buttermilk Chicken, Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad and Easy White Chocolate Macaroons. Two out of three will be definite repeaters, and if I can get Anna over at Cookie Madness to help me out, maybe the third recipe will become a repeater too.

OK, first the chicken. It marinates for a couple hours in an herbed buttermilk dressing. I wasn’t sure about the addition of the fresh mint in it, so cut that back a bit, but the end result was delicious nonetheless. Very flavorful, moist chicken. Instead of using chicken breasts, as the recipe called for, I used thighs and drumsticks and The Husband fired up the grill.

The Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad was another hit for us. I’ve actually never had smoked mozzarella before. When a recipe calls for it, I usually just buy the regular stuff, mostly because it’s cheaper and I wasn’t too sure about the strong smell of the smoked version. Today, I went for it. I bought the smoked stuff and am glad I did. The dish was really quick to make (longest part was boiling the pasta water) and it was quite flavorful. A perfect summertime accompaniment for the chicken.

Lastly, the cookies. Simple, simple recipe, and I had all the ingredients on hand, so that was a bonus. They taste great, but they’re really, really soft. So soft, they crumble when you hold them in your hand. Cooking a few extra minutes more than the recipe calls for might help that, and with the taste and the ease of preparation, it’s worth another shot.

All for tonight. Hitting the Farmer’s Market tomorrow, so tune in to find out what stash I come home with. Until then…

Buttermilk Chicken

Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 (8-ounce) package rotini pasta, cooked
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes*
1/2 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Cut artichokes into strips, and place in a large bowl. Add pasta and next 4 ingredients, and gently toss. Stir together reserved artichoke marinade, mayonnaise, and next 3 ingredients until blended. Add to pasta mixture, stirring to combine. Cover and chill.

*1/2 pound smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese may be substituted for smoked mozzarella, if desired.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Buttermilk Chicken
8 servings

8 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 4 lbs)(I used thighs and drumsticks)
1-1/2 cups Buttermilk-Herb Salad Dressing (see recipe below)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place chicken in a Ziploc plastic freezer bag. Pour Buttermilk-Herb Salad Dressing evenly over chicken. Seal and chill ast least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat until done. Remove chicken from grill; cover with foil and let stand ten minutes before serving.

Buttermilk-Herb Salad Dressing
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (I skipped)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (I used about 1/8 cup)

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Easy White Chocolate Macaroons
Makes about 3-1/2 dozen (I got about 2 dozen)

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg white
1 (14 ounce) package sweetened shredded coconut
1 (4 ounce) bar white chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bar)

Stir together sweetened condensed milk and egg white until well blended. Stir in shredded coconut and chopped white chocolate. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoons on greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 21, 2005 at 2:35 am

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Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Jeff August 21, 2005 at 3:45 am

What a gorgeous puppy dog!!!! And he certainly looks very happy! The paw in the door handle is a hoot :)


Joe August 21, 2005 at 3:58 am

Max loves to go for car rides – he gets so excited when we take him.

We used to also use regular Mozzarella but finally caved for a recipe that called for smoked and now we know better to use it when it calls for it. I really like it!


Stephanie August 21, 2005 at 4:56 am

You really can’t go wrong with smoked mozzarella…fantastic stuff.


Stephanie August 21, 2005 at 4:57 am

By the way…I’m almost jealous your dog will ride in the car.

For some reason, my dogs just hate being in the car. Wicklow gets car sick, and Donny looks at us resentfully…goofy pups.


Jenn in CT August 21, 2005 at 11:49 am

Fond the tomato tart recipe! It’s his Caprese Tart recipe. Forgot about the “caprese” and was not searching with it. I swear you mentioned over at CLBB but maybe I’m going crazy. Let me know if you’ve made it and have a review.

Caprese Tart

Butter, for brushing pie tin
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
Pie dough (store bought, about 6 large pieces of dough)
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium-sized round vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/3-inch slices
10 basil leaves, for garnish
Special equipment: 12 individual tartlet pans with removable bottoms

Preheat oven on to 375 degrees F.
To assemble tartlets: Take the tart pans and brush with butter and liberally sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 12 individual tarts. Dough circles should be larger than the pan to fit properly.

Lay the dough rounds in the pans and press down to fill in the corners. Trim excess dough.

Brush bottoms of dough shell with olive oil and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 6 minutes until bottom is cooked but blonde.

Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt. Layer the tomato slices and mozzarella slices into the pan, overlapping the pieces in a circle, until all the ingredients are used. Season with salt and pepper. Bake tarts for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Right before serving, garnish top with torn basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Episode#: MO0411


Cate August 21, 2005 at 5:00 pm

Thanks, Jeff! He’s three-years-old and definitely still all “puppy!” He could not have done a better job posing if he tried. ;)

Joe, I gotta agree on the smoked mozzarella. I really didn’t like the smell, although I do love strong cheeses, but took a gamble and was happy when it paid off.

Stephanie – a car sick dog is no picnic, that’s for sure!

Jenn in CT — you have a fantastic memory! You’re right, I did mention the recipe, and now that the word “caprese” is there, it clicked. I did make it and it is really delicious.


joey August 21, 2005 at 5:33 pm

Sounds like a great dinner! That chicken sounds divine! I am definitely a leg and thigh kinda girl when it comes to chicken parts :-) and the marinade sounds really yummy. I don’t have a covered grill however, do you think it’ll work just as good baked?

Thanks for adding me to your links! Oh, and Eli is adorable!


Tami August 21, 2005 at 9:04 pm

Glad to hear you’re loving the chairs. I was thinking of you yesterday when we were sitting in ours after a very hot morning of attaching wire mesh to our block fence for our vines to climb on. Somehow DH’s jobs become OUR jobs. :-)

Oh, and the pooch picture is just too cute. Both of ours LIVE to go in the car. When we sold our house last December, we were in the middle of one of the rainiest periods in our city’s history. Every time a buyer called, I just loaded the fur-kids into the car and took them for a ride. After the first day, they thought they got to go for a ride every time the phone rang. Poor babies.


Jennifer August 21, 2005 at 10:37 pm

I love smoked cheese of any kind–I have some smoked gouda in the ‘frig now. Sounds like a great recipe!

Love the pooch picture. I forgot you have Berns. That’s a breed I would like to have some day. He’s a cutie!


Ingredient Sleuth August 21, 2005 at 11:08 pm

Good for you — hitting the farmers’ market, even in crummy weather! Kudos! Those small farmers need our support so that they can continue to grow REAL INGREDIENTS for us!


Anna August 26, 2005 at 4:56 pm

Yum! Those White Chocolate Macaroons sound good. Sorry to hear they were so crumbly, though. I’ll try to make some between now and Monday and see if baking them a little longer holds them together.


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