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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.
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Nice write-up Pags. I have a package of thighs in the fridge I was planning on for tonight...will give your recipe a try.

For those who may not know, buttermilk soaked chicken is commonly used for frying. The acidic nature of the BM makes for a very tender, juicy end result. Your brine would work just fine for fried chicken though I might eliminate the sugar to prevent over caramelization from higher heat from the oil.
Looks good, and we have used buttermilk marinades for fried chicken for years.It is a staple in the South.

We often set up at comps beside Byron Chism[]and he mentioned using it and being taught the use, as a CIA grad, to fry chicken.

Byron would use a simple brine on whole small chickens and pieces,but never buttermilk.

Max might have some thoughts on this.

Shouldn't have been a time element,since we would have close to 24 hrs between meat inspection and cooking.

I'm curious from our brining expert,Smokin', if the small amount of sugar and salt qualifies it as a brine,or still a marinade.

I realize that the name makes no difference-as long as the technique works. Big Grin

Just curious.

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