Today, a short lesson from Sam’s Kitchen.
If you Google any combination of the words “chicken” and “buttermilk” chances are that at some point you will find yourself at a recipe for Southern Fried Chicken. You can relax; this is not a lesson on Southern Fried Chicken so stay with me for a moment.
In general you will notice that most of the recipes you find for this type of chicken will call for you to marinade the raw chicken in buttermilk overnight for one simple reason. It is the best, the very best way to get tender, tangy and juicy fried chicken.
Here comes the lesson part: Milk, especially fermented milk products such as buttermilk or yoghurt, contain acids and enzymes which help to tenderize chicken. Basically the lactic acid in the dairy products trigger “aging” enzymes within the meat, which loosen the proteins that bind muscle fibers together and breaks them down.
Hoorah for science or biology – whoever figured that out – hoorah!!
We are an altogether different type of Southern around here; we Southern Africans much prefer to braai than to fry, but then I thought to myself, “We too deserve tender, tangy and juicy chicken.”
After testing those dairy enzymes and acids multiple times on multiple chicken dishes, I can tell you with the authority of one who has become greatly accustomed to the pleasure of tender, juicy BRAAIED chicken, that after trying this recipe, I firmly believe you will never go back to preparing chicken any other way.
In this recipe for the Buttermilk Chicken Sliders I have used chicken breast fillets, but the marinade is fabulous for chicken on the bone too. Often I leave the chicken in the marinade overnight but I have also prepared it in a hurry. And by “in a hurry” I mean I would consider nothing less than one hour to be the very minimum. But, because it’s your kitchen, you can make your own rules.
This recipe also calls for coleslaw as the bun filler. Newsletter subscribers may recognize that for my sliders I have used a trimmed down version of the Crunchy Asian Salad from the March Newsletter. Speaking of which, this month’s newsletter will go out later this week, so keep an eye on your in-boxes.
Ahead lies another short week, another long weekend and some decidedly great news; yet another week out of school.
A better reason for Buttermilk Chicken Sliders off the braai have I not.
- 4 chicken breast fillets
- 250 ml (1 C) buttermilk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 5 ml (1 t) ground paprika
- 30 ml (2 T) coriander leaves, chopped
- juice and grated rind of one lemon
- salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 fresh baps or soft bread rolls
- soft butter for spreading
- 500 ml (2 C) coleslaw or salad greens
- Place the chicken fillets, skin side up on a chopping board and cover with a layer of cling film.
- Use a meat mallet or a rolling pin to batter out the fillets ever so slightly so that they are evenly thick.
- Place the buttermilk, garlic, paprika, coriander, and lemon juice and lemon rind into a bowl and mix well.
- Season the marinade well to taste.
- Add the fillets to the bowl and make sure that each fillet is well covered by the marinade.
- Leave the buttermilk marinated chicken in the refrigerator overnight or for at least one hour.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake gently to remove excess marinade. Place on a braai grid and grill over medium hot coals for about 10 to 15 minutes turning occasionally and basting with extra marinade until cooked through.
- To assemble: slice the baps in half and smear with the butter. Place a portion of coleslaw on the bottom half of each bap. Place a cooked chicken breast fillet on the top of each bap, close with the top slice of the bap and serve immediately.
Assemble as per recipe.