Buttermilk Brined Chicken Breast

Chicken and I have not had a good relationship. Typically I cook and worry that I’ll end up serving raw chicken so I overcook and wind up dishing out a chewy piece of dry meat. This buttermilk brine seems to offer something of a buffer. The fine folks at Fine Cooking call it your next “go to” chicken recipe. Serves 4. 


2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 Tbs. kosher salt

Four 1-pound bone-in chicken breasts

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1 Tbs. ground cumin

1 Tbs. ground coriander

1 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. granulated garlic

1 Tbs. onion powder

1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. ancho chile powder

1 tsp. chipotle chile powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground sage

Your favorite sauce for chicken, barbecue or otherwise (optional)


Pour the buttermilk into a large zip-top bag. Add the salt and the chicken breasts. Close the bag and squish the liquid around the chicken breasts. Put in the refrigerator and let sit overnight, turning the bag several times.

Combine the 11 herbs and spices in a small container with an airtight lid. You won’t use all of this mixture for this recipe, but use the extra within 6 months.

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

When the grill is hot, cut off the center or back burner and adjust your heat to medium-high.

Remove the breasts from the bag and discard the brine. Pat the breasts dry and then sprinkle about a tablespoon of the rub on each breast, gently massaging the rub into the meat.

Place the chicken breasts, skin down, over the direct heat section of your grill, close the lid, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until nicely seared. Turn and sear the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Move the chicken breasts to the indirect area, cut your burners to medium, and close the lid. You want to maintain about a 325°F temperature. Grill-roast for about 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 170°F in the thickest portion of the breast. During the last 5 minutes glaze the chicken breast with your choice of sauce on the skin side only. Remove the breasts from the grill to a platter and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve.

From: Fine Cooking



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