Buttermilk Baked Chicken
We added salt and ranch seasoning mix to the brine for our Buttermilk Baked Chicken to up the tanginess factor. Adding ranch dressing mix to the bread crumbs further enhanced the buttermilk flavor. We stirred the sour cream into the buttermilk mixture rather than slathering it directly on the chicken. The thicker liquid held on to the bread crumbs without turning the coating gummy.
- Use any combination of white and dark meat. For even cooking, halve breasts crosswise and separate leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks.
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 (1-ounce) envelope ranch seasoning mix
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (see note), skin and excess fat removed
- 5 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1. BRINE CHICKEN Adjust oven racks to lowest and middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk buttermilk, sour cream, 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, and salt in large bowl until salt dissolves. Add chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
2. MAKE COATING Meanwhile, pulse bread and remaining ranch seasoning mix in food processor until finely ground. Bake bread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet on middle rack, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to shallow dish.
3. COAT CHICKEN Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bowl (allowing excess brine to drip back into bowl) and dredge in bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Transfer coated chicken to prepared baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.
4. BAKE CHICKEN Bake on lowest rack until bottom of chicken is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Move baking sheet to middle rack and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until chicken is golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (or dark meat registers 175 degrees), 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.
Most recipes simply dip the chicken in buttermilk—which adds no discernible buttermilk flavor. We soaked the chicken in a highly seasoned buttermilk brine, which flavored the chicken deeply.
This combo spelled success for juicy, flavorful chicken.