First of all, let’s get an understanding of what exactly is buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is basically the liquid that’s left over from churning butter; as it sits for a period of time, the milk separates from the cream, allowing naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria in the milk to ferment. Alas, buttermilk.
Buttermilk is a magical ingredient that when infused with chicken, transforms the poultry into melt-in-your-mouth goodness. It also adds tang to dressings and ice creams, and it’s the not-so-secret ingredient in fluffy pancakes.
When used as a chicken marinade, buttermilk infuses itself into the chicken, providing added flavor and moisture. Because buttermilk is slightly acidic, it naturally tenderizes by breaking down the protein in the chicken, resulting in tender, flavorful pieces of poultry.
Once marinated, the chicken can either be breaded and deep fried or baked in its juices and more buttermilk.
Enjoy your juicy, tangy, full-flavored chicken with red beans & rice, dirty rice, mashed potatoes or even your favorite vegetable medley or salad!
Cajun Buttermilk Baked Chicken
Extremely moist and spicy with crispy skin, these will be the most flavorful baked chicken thighs of your life!
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cup buttermilk (1 cup for cooking, 2 cups for marinade)
- Cajun Seasoning, to taste
- Italian seasoning, to taste,
- Garlic Powder, to taste
- Onion Powder, to taste
- 1tbs paprika
- Marinate chicken thighs in two cups of the buttermilk and 1/4 cup of Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon of salt for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and set chicken out until room temperature.
- Remove chicken from marinade and thoroughly coat chicken thighs with all seasonings.
- Melt butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining cup of buttermilk.
- Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
- Pair with your choice of side dish.