We wanted boneless, skinless chicken breasts tonight but looked to give another brine recipe a try for a change. I've seen buttermilk brine recipes before and wanted to see how it worked, so I got on the internet and found this recipe:
Kittencal's Buttermilk Poultry Brine
1 quart buttermilk
1 small onion, finely chopped (or use 1/2 cup chopped shallots)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic (or use 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cumin (can use up to 1 tablespoon) (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 In a large bowl mix or whisk the buttermilk, onions, garlic, salt, sugar, cumin, and black pepper until the sugar and salt is dissolved.
2 Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
3 Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture; make sure chicken is totally submerged.
4 Refrigeratefor 24 hours.
Here's the chicken ready to go into the fridge for its overnight bath. I doubled the recipe to handle all 14 chicken breasts (making extra for future dinners).
After 24 hrs, the chicken was ready for the smoker. I didn't rinse the buttermilk brine wanting to leave the garlic and other spices on the breasts. Sprinkled the breasts with Montreal Chicken Seasoning. Here they are in a pan ready to be placed onto the smoker's grates.
Set the smoker to 250*, placed 3 oz pecan (3 small chunks) into smoker box, and placed the breasts into the cooker when smoke started. When the breasts reached an internal of 155*, I removed them and placed them under the broiler for roughly 5 minutes to thoroughly dry the buttermilk and further brown the chicken. Here they are straight from the broiler.
They turned out very plump and moist. Flavorful. Maybe just a bit too much smoke flavor. Can you believe it? 3 oz of wood, and they probably could have used less smoke. Good thing I used Pecan cause 3 oz of Hickory would probably have been too overpowering. Splitting the wood into 3 pieces also created extra smoke vs 1 chunk.
All in all, very enjoyable. So far I still prefer Smokin's Holiday Brine, but this was a nice change.