Crispy buttermilk baked chicken

It might not be exotic or innovative, but this crispy chicken, is a tasty, simple recipe you'll return to again and again.  

The Runaway Spoon
Let your chicken marinade in the buttermilk in the fridge, the longer the better.

I spend most of my time creating and testing recipes. And I get caught in the cycle of always trying to think of something new and different. How can I add a twist to this recipe, or update an old stand-by? And I love every minute of it. 

But I realize that sometimes this means I discount or overlook wonderful recipes and ideas for standard, simple dishes because I assume there is nothing special or unique about them. I think of them as something I whip up for myself or for family. The things I no longer need to look at a recipe for, or a procedure that is etched in my mind and doesn’t need any thought. At some point though, I realize that the reason I keep returning to these dishes is because they are good. Not fancy, not innovative, just plain good. 

This is one of those recipes. Simple and quick, no fancy tricks or exotic ingredients. Just good food. I never thought to post this, because it is so simple, but the last time I made it, everyone was just plain happy to have it for dinner. And that’s the kind of recipe I want to share. Food that makes people happy. So here’s to simple and delicious!

Crispy buttermilk baked chicken
Serves 6

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2-1/2 sleeves buttery cracker (such as Ritz), about 75 crackers
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Place the chicken breasts in a bowl or a ziptop bag set on a plate. Mix the buttermilk, Worcestershire, and hot sauce together and pour over the chicken. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for several hours or overnight. The longer the better, and it can be up to 24 hours.

2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice 2 tablespoons of the butter in a baking dish that will fit all the chicken pieces and place in the oven to melt.

3. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave or a small saucepan. Place the crackers in a ziptop bag and crush finely with a rolling pin. Mix in some salt and black pepper (I like a lot of black pepper). Spread the cracker crumbs out on a plate or baking sheet. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Shake any excess buttermilk off the chicken, then roll each breast in the cracker crumbs, coating well, and set aside.

When you’ve coated all the chicken pieces, remove the hot dish from the oven and place the chicken breasts in the melted butter. Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken and return the dish to the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You can turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end to brown the tops if you would like.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Lemon Dill Chicken Salad

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