Crispy Baked Buttermilk-Brined Chicken

There’s something so delicious about fried chicken – it’s no wonder many people find it irresistible. Unfortunately, it’s also a real pain to make. Deep frying is messy at best, dangerous at worst, and we all know we’re supposed to stay away from deep fried foods anyway. I have been on a bit of a quest to come up with a better way to enjoy all that I love about fried chicken: the crunchy exterior that yields to juicy, tender, flavourful chicken inside. I’m super happy to share this recipe with you – my husband was rendered speechless (probably because he was too busy stuffing more chicken in his mouth) when I made it the other day. You can also put the chicken pieces and buttermilk mixture into a ziplock bag and freeze the brining chicken. Thaw carefully and thoroughly before proceeding to cook the chicken per the instructions below. This is helpful if you want to have chicken on hand, ready to be cooked on shorter notice (without the lengthy but necessary brining time in the fridge). This chicken is as delicious cold as it is hot, making it an ideal dish for a picnic or pot luck.

This baked chicken is as tender and delicious as any fried chicken I've tried.

This baked chicken is as tender and delicious as any fried chicken I’ve tried.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups (375 mL) buttermilk
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) paprika
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 mL) hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank’s, etc.)
  • 8 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups (340 g – 450 g) Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs or Panko (Japanese Breadcrumbs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (60 mL) melted butter

Method

  • Combine the buttermilk, garlic, onion, Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon (5 g) each of salt and pepper, paprika, lemon juice and hot sauce in a bowl and stir until evenly combined.
  • Put the chicken in a baking dish or a large ziplock bag just large enough to hold it and pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate 12 – 24 hours, turning once.
  • If you want to freeze the chicken in the buttermilk brine; just squeeze the air out as you seal it in the ziplock bag and put in the freezer. Let it thaw safely and completely before proceeding.
  • Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Fit a wire rack inside a baking sheet and set it aside.
  • Place the Corn Flake Crumbs in a shallow dish (I use a pie plate) and season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the pieces of chicken one at a time from the buttermilk marinade, letting the excess drip off for a moment.
  • Place the chicken pieces, also one at a time, in the Corn Flake Crumbs, turning to coat completely and pressing the crumbs onto the chicken to adhere. Set the chicken aside on a large plate, folding the thin edges of the thighs back up to form the chicken into compact rolls.
  • When all the chicken is crumb-coated, drizzle the melted butter evenly over the chicken pieces and transfer them to the rack on the prepared baking sheet.
Boneless chicken thighs have great flavour, cook evenly and are super easy to serve and eat.

Boneless chicken thighs have great flavour, cook evenly and are super easy to serve and eat.

  • Bake until golden and crispy and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the largest piece of chicken registers 165°F, about 35 – 40 minutes.

Serves 3 – 4.

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About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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5 Responses to Crispy Baked Buttermilk-Brined Chicken

  1. andrea says:

    This looks amazing. Great tip about freezing it right in the buttermilk too!

  2. Pingback: Crispy Baked Buttermilk-Brined Chicken | MOMMA'S RECIPES

  3. Katrina Roy says:

    This is a fantastic recipe Paula, thank you! We loved it (including Lara, my 18 month old who sometimes proves to be a picky eater…!). I have made it twice already. Since my family doesn’t really eat that much dairy, the second time I made this recipe, I made it with unsweetened soy milk that I turned into buttermilk by adding 1tbsp of white vinaigre for each cup of soy milk. The result was great. We couldn’t even tell the difference! Thanks! 🙂

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