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Chicken, Buttermilk

Posted by dcarch (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 4, 12 at 7:29

There have been a few threads about chicken breasts, cooking temperature, and buttermilk.

I decided to do a little test.

I got a whole chicken, boned it, and took out two pieces of breast meat with skin removed. One piece was marinated in buttermilk for 24 hours, and the other nothing.

In separate bags, at the same time both were in the sous vide cooker for 90 minutes set at 150 F.

At the end of 90 minutes, both were quick seared on a cast iron skillet, buttermilk was washed off. No seasonings were used, just salt and pepper.

Taste test:

Mouth feel - Both were very tender, and juicy, pretty much identical, couldn't detect any difference.

Flavor - cooked at 150F, both were delicious with just salt and pepper, pretty much identical. I was unable to tell the difference between the two.

Chicken at $0.99 a lb and buttermilk at $2.95 a quart, I don't think I will bother with using the buttermilk for my cooking.

May be buttermilk will be good if you cook chciken to 212F. I am not about to do that test.

However, as with any experiment, nothing is confirmed until the same results are duplicated by others.

dcarch



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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

The 'scientific" principle behind brining chicken in buttermilk is that buttermilk contains specific natural enzymes which break down the cell walls and tenderize the chicken, much like using meat tenderizer on tough beef.

My chicken isn't normally tough and I don't use meat tenderizer either, so my purpose in making buttermilk chicken is to serve as the "wet wash" which causes the flour/seasoning coating to stick to the chicken. I like the flavor, which does stay in the coating.

I find the ubiquitous boneless/skinless chicken breast to be bland and easily overcooked so that it is also dry and tough. I seldom cook it, I generally opt for a whole chicken so that the breast meat can be used in something else. Like tofu, it seems to take on the flavor of the other ingredients used.

Other people may have other reasons or opinions, but that's mine. I know Ann T also did a side by side comparison of plain roast chicken and the ever popular "beer can" chicken and found no difference in taste or texture, much to my relief since I seldom have beer and always manage to make a mess with that process. Others swear there's a huge difference.

To each their own. My buttermilk mostly gets used for biscuits and it's $1.69 a quart from the local organic dairy.

Annie


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

I use buttermilk sometimes when I fry chicken, but I dredge it in flour. I fry mushrooms and onion rings the same way. I like buttermilk for making pancakes, biscuits and drop dumplings.

I agree about boneless/skinless chicken being bland.


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

I also use buttermilk for chicken in the same way Annie described as the wet wash before dredging in seasoned flour (or other coating). I like the flavor of buttermilk although don't drink it by the glassful.

I use the most buttermilk in baking. I often substitute buttermilk in place of regular milk for cakes, pancakes, waffles, muffins, & certainly biscuits.

My grocery log says I last paid $18.95 for #10 cans of powdered buttermilk. It reconstitutes beautifully by just whisking with a fork and the can says the ingredients are "Dried sweet cream buttermilk". The #10 can makes 82 1-cup servings. So, if my math is correct that's roughly 20 quarts or $.95/quart.

dcarch, I don't recall seeing you cook much with dairy.

/tricia


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

When I plan ahead enough, I like to soak my chicken in butter milk before breading and frying or even "oven frying".
The chicken is good, and I like it better when I remember to soak the chicken. hqave not done a side by side, but buttermilk is $.35 for an 8 oz carton....oh and my chicken breasts are a lot more than $.99 a pound.
I'm not much for chicken breast in a plastic bag in warm water....but I do poach the chicken I use to make chicken salad....but don't soak it in buttermilk first....that's only for fried chicken. not only does it make the chicken taste good but it also makes the breading stick.


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

"-----I use the most buttermilk in baking. I often substitute buttermilk in place of regular milk for cakes, pancakes, waffles, muffins, & certainly biscuits. ---"

I do the same, including crepes, and Naan bread and pizza dough sometimes.

"--------- The #10 can makes 82 1-cup servings. So, if my math is correct that's roughly 20 quarts or $.95/quart. ---"

Buttermilk is not very popular around here (NY). Not very easy to find. I also use powdered buttermilk.

"-----dcarch, I don't recall seeing you cook much with dairy. "

I like butter, cream, and cheese, but somehow I don't have a habit of cooking with them. Only once in a while. I cook with them mostly when I have company.

"-----I'm not much for chicken breast in a plastic bag in warm water...."

150F based on the time chart is very safe. If you cook chicken for 90 minutes, 135F is safe. As temperature approaches 160F chicken gets dry and tough. At 150F with ultra high temperature pan searing, the internal temperature probably reaches to 155F.

dcarch


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

When I think of chicken and buttermilk in concert, I'm thinking fried chicken. Doesn't surprise me much that there was no noticable difference in plain or "marinated" fried chicken, when prepared sous vide. The method, by nature is going to produce moist, tender meat.

I also think of buttermilk as an expensive ingredient, even though it's slightly cheaper here than what dcarch paid. Chicken breast is 99 cents a pound if you're cutting it off a whole chicken that's on sale.

This thread reminded me of a blueberry corn cakes recipe that was a favorite but I haven't made in a long time. I know what's for breakfast one day this weekend! I do recall trying powdered buttermilk to save cost, and being disappointed with the results.

160 degree chicken breast is dry and tough? To quote our long lost friend Lou, "I guess I'm doing it wrong."


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

FOAS "----160 degree chicken breast is dry and tough? To quote our long lost friend Lou, "I guess I'm doing it wrong." "

Not wrong at all. 160F chicken is infinitely better than 212F chickens most people make.

This is from another WEB site:

"160F (Cooking Time -- 45 minutes)

Weight of Chicken: before -84 grams after 64 grams weight loss =23.8%

This is the recommended temperature since pasteurization occurs very quickly, however meat was very bland tasting, dry with a chewy consistency not found at lower temperatures."

dcarch


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

FOAS,

"I do recall trying powdered buttermilk to save cost, and being disappointed with the results."

I believe they sell dried buttermilk of some sort in small tubs in the grocery stores. If that product is what you tried...I'm not surprised you were disappointed with the results. First, I believe the recommendation is to not reconstitute but just use the product dry in baking. That alone would make me disappointed. Also, that product clumps and turns into hard rocks like concrete. Also, not good. And I have no idea what the actual ingredients are in that product. Like everything else, quality of product make a large difference. Raisins is a good comparison for dried products that everybody is familar with - if all you've had are Sunmaid raisins from the tub, well, they are pretty awful. If, however, you get raisins direct from Sunmaid while they are still fresh they are so different as to almost be a different product. I order raisins direct from the plant in Kingsburg, CA (Raisin Capital of the US because 90% of the country's raisins are grown within a 100 miles of Sunmaid's plant) and I order quality powdered buttermilk. Not all products are created equal.

/tricia


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

Yes, Tricia, it was Saco. The funny thing is that they claim that theirs is the real stuff. "Today's liquid buttermilk is merely cultured skim milk and contains no real buttermilk." And that it's a unique product: "It is the only product of its kind available on the retail market today."


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

FOAS,

Well, Saco is for sure not the only dried buttermilk available to the retail consumer. There are many including organic.

/t


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

Buttermilk is so thick that I never understood how any of it could permeate the meat to make any difference so using it as a brine always seemed like a waste of product. However, I do use b'milk like others, as a wet wash for breading chicken. Sometimes I'll use a thin pancake batter as the wash for chicken and always use pancake batter for country/ chicken fried steak.


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

There are Indian recipes which marinate chicken in yogurt....which is even thicker than butter milk...but the same concept...an acedic milk product.


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

Regarding powdered buttermilk, SACO is available at all my local grocery stores. So is Bob's Red Mill buttermilk powder. Is the Bob's a better quality product? I haven't purchased the Bob's powder yet, but I may do so when I finish my tub of SACO. Can anyone recommend a better powdered version than SACO and direct me to a source for purchase? Thanks!


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

I wouldn't ever marinate chicken in just buttermilk. I always had a few shots of hot sauce (Tobasco, Texas Pete, Crystal Sauce, etc.) which does add some flavor and a little kick.

Teresa


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RE: Chicken, Buttermilk

Teresa, I don't add hot sauce to the buttermilk, I add cayenne to the flour mixture. It's probably all the same, and that's the way Grandma taught me.

It's also the way we did it at the chicken joint/sub shop I worked at through high school. Two hours in buttermilk, then a mix of "secret" seasonings, which were mostly salt, pepper, sage and a little cayenne, LOL. There might have been onion powder in there, but definitely not garlic. Dump the flour mix into the chicken breader and let it go, then into the cooler until we needed a batch for the pressure fryer. A tub of buttermilk got used for a days worth of chicken, so 4 or 5 batches, at least, the big gray plastic tub of buttermilk stayed in the cooler though the daily batches of chicken, and was dumped at night. A new batch was started the next day.

Actually, adding to the buttermlk is probably more efficient and easier to mix thoroughly than dry ingedients...

Annie


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