It was our most uncomfortable day of 2014 today, -15 with a wind chill feeling like -45. As I write this the Pelonis heater is blasting under the desk just to keep me warm. The schools were closed, shops were closed, hubs worked from home, and I watched the Today show like I always do every morning. Often they have guest chefs whip something up and today was no different, except, I wanted to try it for dinner.
They were trying to create things that would warm you up like Italian comfort food. The chef was from New Jersey. What impressed me about him is that he constantly referred to his mentors (mom and old boss) while he was making his dish. Chef Ryan DePersio is the owner of the Fascino Italian restaurant. He made Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Breasts. Apparently this was a dish mom used to make which left a wonderful impression on the Chef.
I’ll give you the link here but tell you how I did it and I think I achieved the same results.
I’m not the kind of person that has buttermilk in the fridge. I really don’t know what to do with it. Even the idea of butter in a drink just gives me the willies. But in so many of the cooking shows you see the chefs cook with buttermilk. The way in which the chicken was roasted the buttermilk was used only as a “vessel” as Chef DePersio said. So there just wasn’t any harm, that is to say caloric overload, in using buttermilk in the roasting process. Plus, I wasn’t going to use the broiler as he suggested, I just let it bake at 350 for 40 minutes while the potatoes roasted.
After the gym I headed to Jewel to pick up chicken, broccoli, garlic and buttermilk, praying all the while Jewel had a small container of Buttermilk that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. The boneless skinless chicken was only $2.45 for two gigantic pieces of chicken. For us that’s two meals. I had pesto from Costco that I hadn’t used yet. The key to pesto in my house is not to let the hubs see it. Honest to God.
If I were to do this again, I would tenderize the chicken breast because they were really plump.
So here’s my version.
Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Breasts
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Buttermilk, not really a cup, you’ll see
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Costco Kirkland Pesto
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 2 cloves roasted garlic
- 2 tablespoons of Bertolli extra light virgin olive oil
Cover the bottom of your roasting pan with the buttermilk – in my case it wasn’t even a cup of the milk (see photo to left). You can see that the roasting pan is only 7″ x 11″, they were my grandmothers. I placed the washed chicken breasts in the buttermilk then lightly salted and peppered the chicken. Into a preheated 350 oven it went. I roasted it at the same time I was roasting the potato, sweet potato and garlic (to be used with the broccoli).
At the 30 minute mark, I removed the pan, placed a tablespoon of the pesto on each breast then put it back in the oven. On the hubs chicken I really went light with the pesto. I then roasted the chicken for 15 more minutes, or until the pink was gone.
At that 30 minute mark I also removed the garlic.
While all this roasting is going on I cleaned, cut, blanched and drained the broccoli. When the garlic was finished I heated a sauté pan, added the olive oil with the garlic and sautéed the broccoli. I put it in a dish and covered it till the rest was done.
I have to tell you the chicken was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. It’s probably something I would serve to company.
So hurray for Today, today. Dinner was fantastic.