Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Serves 4 to 8*
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food Magazine
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

We were just a few days from leaving for a vacation and I had buttermilk in the fridge.  I always have Parmesan cheese, garlic and fresh lemons on hand, so I whipped this up mighty quick for a delicious dinner. I froze the rest of the buttermilk for another time. By using whole grain bread and by baking instead of frying, this recipe is healthier.

1½ cups buttermilk
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (or other hot sauce)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 slices whole-grain bread (I use Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.)
2 teaspoons dried pizza seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts* (You can stretch this recipe to make 8 servings if you pound the breasts a bit to make them thinner and then cut them in half crossways.)

Place the buttermilk, the lemon juice, ¼ cup Parmesan, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Add the chicken breasts and allow them to marinate at least 15 minutes or overnight.  Tear the bread slices into pieces and put them in a small food processor.  Run the processor until the bread turns into crumbs.  Place the crumbs in a pie plate or other shallow dish.  Add the dried herbs, the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Place a rack on top of the parchment paper. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade.  (Discard the marinade.)  Place the chicken breasts in the breadcrumb mixture and press until they are coated on both sides.  Place the chicken breasts on the rack.  Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken registers 165F using an instant-read thermometer. 

Notes:  For a quick healthful dinner, make some brown rice in a rice cooker.  Put the juice of a lemon in a jar.  Add about 3 Tablespoons of olive oil to the jar.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the jar.  Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously.  Set aside.  Toss together some fresh spinach or lettuce.  Add a sliced carrot and a sliced shallot.  Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette over the salad and toss.  Place the chicken breasts over the salad.  And voila!  Dinner is served.
You can freeze buttermilk to use for other recipes in the future.

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