Guest Post: Tami’s Barbequed Buttermilk Chicken and Wedge Salad
I get a certain fiendish joy from creatively repurposing ingredients so that what works for one dish, might be folded into others to create a thread throughout the meal. (It’s partly inspired by thriftiness, but mostly an aesthetic preference for a coherence to the plate.) Tami served us this meal in Cape Cod, and the theme here was buttermilk. The ingredient that made the chicken incredibly juicy and tender, also added a creamy brightness to the blue cheese on the wedge salad. Smart ingredient usage and a really delicious meal!
I came pretty late to cooking, having been raised by a woman who believed making two weeks’ worth of tuna fish sandwiches for her two daughters, freezing them, and doling them out on lunch day to serve as both main course and ice pack was an appropriate way to feed her children. It is not. It is, in a word, gross. I learned at an early age how to boil water, toast bread, and spread stuff on it – that opened up a whole culinary world previously unknown to me. Pasta! Raisin bread toast with jam! Hard-cooked eggs! Peanut butter sandwiches! That got me through the next 20 years – well that and having a great sister (who cooks), great friends (who cook), and an amazing wife (who cooks, and sizzles). I tried my hand at baking, and found it fit well with my love of measuring cups and cake-eating. But cooking, well, cooking is for people who are comfortable with improvisation, and who are willing to eat the mistakes. Not me (or so I thought) until I discovered the two greatest cooking resources for lazy, precision-loving, relatively-uncreative people – Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and Real Simple magazine. The below recipe is derived from the latter, and is a favorite resource of mine because it combines two wonderful concepts: Real food and easy-to-follow (e.g., simple) instructions. And it tastes good. Better, even, than the revelation that was my first hard-cooked egg, and unquestionably more delicious than a tuna sandwich ice cube.
Adapted from Real Simple
2 c. buttermilk
8 cloves garlic, finely crushed
salt and pepper
2 tsp. paprika
6 to 8 pieces of bone-in chicken, mixed cuts as desired
In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk and garlic, then add the salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Soak the chicken, making sure it’s coated, for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Store in ziplock bags or a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
Grill each side of the chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. blue cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
1 head of iceberg lettuce, quartered to make the wedge
5 strips of bacon, cooked and cut into chunks
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Mix the sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, and salt and pepper together. Position the wedges of lettuce on a plate and drizzle the blue cheese dressing over each. Sprinkle the chunks of bacon, and garnish, if desired, with tomatoes.