Bathing in Buttermilk

This is an informational entry. About chicken and milk.

First, check out this web page with the recipe for “Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk” to get the drift of this subject.

(Here is Jaimie Oliver’s actual web site with his Chicken-in-Milk recipe.”)

Looks darn good, huh?

I have a love/hate relationship with whole chickens. My good friend, Mz. Em, had asked me about cooking cauliflower soup. I mentioned to her that I thought that adding lemon juice instead of a lot of salt sometimes makes things more tasty and eliminates the salt in some things. She then asked me “Well, doesn’t the lemon cause the milk to curdle?” and I hadn’t thought about that because I don’t use milk in cauliflower soup. I use chicken broth and lots of veggies and lots of cauliflower and then use an immersion blender in the end. Adding the lemon juice once the soup is off the heat doesn’t curdle for me because I don’t add milk, but it’s been a while and I can’t really remember clearly.

This recipe above intrigues me because of my previous statement that I have had a love/hate relationship with cooking whole chickens. I love a well-cooked roasted chicken but every time I do it, something goes wrong. I end up telling Paul that the next time I want to try cooking one, DON’T LET ME!!! But then I get a craving for it and do it again, and I make a big mess. Carving it up is always tricky for me, but I don’t know why.

Finally, (and this is the point of this entry) I found the answer to cooking perfect chicken – and that answer is:

marinating the raw chicken in buttermilk

I don’t usually have buttermilk here in my pantry. I read you can make it by adding lemon juice to milk (cold) but I’ve never tried that. I have put buttermilk on my shopping list the last 2 weeks and have had it on hand, and I am so glad to have done this. It is amazing at marinating chicken and pork. Just stick the meat in a zip-lock baggie or in a storage bowl and add the buttermilk to cover it. Let is sit in there an hour or more (the longer the better) before cooking.

I take the chicken pieces out of the buttermilk and dip into a spiffed up flour mixture including flour, bread crumbs, salt & pepper, various herbs & spices, and then place the pieces on a sheet lined with tin foil and oiled with butter or olive oil. I drizzle a little olive oil over the floured chicken pieces and bake it at 375 F uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Wow. Paul even commented on how delicious this chicken was. And he never says stuff like that. I agreed.

So if you can get some buttermilk in the house, it works great as a marinating liquid for meats. I used it also with some rather thick pork chops and it worked great there, as well.

So that’s that. I have another entry that I may do today about a recipe I’ve tried recently and loved so stay tuned.

Be careful out there – be aware of your surroundings – the nut cases are on the loose – Harvard University is going through a major upheaval in Cambridge, MA, right now due to several bomb threats and evacuations. It’s always something lately, so just beware while you are out in the world.



It’s in every one of us to be wise;

Find your heart, open up both your eyes.

We can all know every thing without ever knowing why.

It’s in every one of us, by and bye.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gregory Alan Isakov – my new favorite musical artist

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7 Responses to Bathing in Buttermilk

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    I wonder why buttermilk makes such a difference?

    DH and I are in love with the store-type rotisserie chickens. Fortunately, I’ve found a wonderful recipe for that where we can get the flavor with very little fuss and muss.


  2. Annanotbob3 says:

    I use a timer and follow instructions as to temp and time, and just hack it to bits – never mastered carving. YD is brilliant – she worked in a pub/restaurant for a couple of years, always sharpens the knife before she starts. I don’t like chicken breasts much – they’re more expensive and have less flavour than thighs, so I’ll use them I expect. xx


  3. mz. em says:

    What a fun entry. Now that I have done the cream of cauliflower soup, I will try the soup using your method. I could have kicked myself because we did have some celery I could have put into it. Oh well, it is all a learning endeavor. Thanks for your assist. The image of you and Paul cutting up your chicken gives me a laugh.


  4. Bex says:

    Anna, I know… how can you screw up a roasted chicken, but I almost always do. Undercooked sometimes, I hate that. I like it falling off the bones but still moist, and the buttermilk does that job. I’ve put a large whole chicken on my shopping list for the end of this week. I will try it again. The problem comes in cutting it up. My hands don’t grip very well so I give the job to Paul. He fumbles around like a dorkus and just can’t get it. So between the two of us we make a big mess on the countertop with chicken flying everywhere. It always happens… we are hopeless!

    Please let me know how it works for you. Try something small like skinless breasts with the buttermilk first like I mentioned… those were really quick and easy.



  5. Annanotbob3 says:

    I’m intrigued as to what goes wrong when you try and roast a chicken as my method is heat oven, insert chicken, leave for an hour and a half, take out of oven, let sit for ten minutes, eat. Though I am a bit fussy about getting a chicken that hasn’t been fed weird stuff. I read a terrible book about the American meat industry (My Year of Meat by Ruth Ozeki) though, which might explain it. Gonna try the milk one though, you’ve persuaded me! xx


  6. Bonnie says:

    I remember years ago when I used to bake I believe I used a tablespoon of vinegar to sour the milk. To tired to go look at the cookbook.

    I wonder if you can marinate beef with buttermilk? Be a lot cheaper than the marinades we tend to buy.


  7. l'empress says:

    I saw that episode, a long time ago. The idea of putting milk products on chicken bothers me, although I understand the chemistry behind it.

    I cooked a small pheasant yesterday. I suspect that would have been improved by buttermilk.


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