My Chef's Hat - Buttermilk Baked Chicken & Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic & Thyme

Buttermilk is one of those things that I don't use very often.  To be honest, I never cooked with it until probably about 2 years ago.  No real reason, I just never did.  And the biggest issue with buttermilk is they don't sell anything smaller than a quart, so when I do buy it to make a recipe, at least half goes to waste.  So lately when I've been buying it, I make a concerted effort to make several items before it goes bad.  Well, that's the other thing. Buttermilk is essentially sour milk.  So how do you know when it goes bad?  With regular milk you can do the smell test; you can't do that with buttermilk.  So I just go with my gut. And thankfully my gut hasn't revolted against me yet.

Before Pinterest, I printed recipes I wanted to try.  And had a ton of them.  Seriously, it was about 100 of them. So my project today was to pin them all so I could find them faster and actually remember to actually use them.  And I found more than a few that make again and post about I need to  Of course as I was pinning I found more recipes I wanted to try.  And I came across buttermilk baked chicken, a recipe I had pinned a long time ago but never made.  Since I had about half a quart left, I figured this was a perfect recipe for dinner tonight.  One of my favorite new side dishes is fried okra salad and I thought about making that to go with it, but I have a potato that's starting to sprout, so I needed to use it.  But I couldn't find a good recipe for potatoes with thyme, and that's one of the main ingredients in the chicken. So I kept searching.  And came across roasted mushrooms with garlic & thyme.  Yes, I realize that defeats the purpose of using up more of the buttermilk or even using the potato, but that's not the point.

Here are the official recipe photos

And here's my version

The chicken was very moist and tender, and really good.  But it was lacking something in the flavor department.  I didn't have hot sauce like the recipe called for so I put cayenne into the breading mixture.  I think it would be better with hot sauce, so I need to add it to my grocery list.  The marinade has chunks of onion and minced garlic, but I think adding onion powder to the breading mixture would help.  The recipe calls for crushed corn flakes.  All I have are corn flake crumbs.  I may buy regular corn flakes next time and try them out. I took the advice of one of the commenters, and tossed the onions into the breading and baked them for the last 15 minutes.  I really liked that. The recipe photo looks like she actually fried the chicken because of the golden brown color.  So I'm not sure if that's lighting or what.

The mushrooms were fantastic. Roasting mushrooms really concentrates the flavor.  I went heavy on the garlic, but that only added to the goodness.  And since the dish bakes for 15 minutes, most of the garlic bite is gone. I think I might have gone a little too heavy on the bread crumbs, but that's an easy fix.  I use baby portabellas so I think that's why they were a lot darker than the recipe photo.  

I will definitely make both of these again.  Soon.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken recipe found on Food Network

Roasted Mushrooms recipe found on Cakes Cottage