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Buttermilk Brined Chicken Salad

Chicken on the grill is my nemesis.    I always seem to overcook it.    I saw this recipe on the Eating Well web site, and it just looked so delicious and easy.    I brined the chicken for about 7 hours, and it was good.   Next time I'd probably do the full 12 hrs.    I had 4 breasts in the package, and no two were the same size, so I was creative in placing them around the grill where I knew the hot and cooler spots were.     I checked to make sure they were cooked through with an instant read thermometer, pulling them each when they were 160º.   Carryover cooking took care of the rest. 

For the salad, I had some baby spinach to use up, and sliced up some red onion.   I drizzled the dressing over the chicken, took my photo and then tossed everything with the greens.     Absolutely fantastic summer meal!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                  Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Breast Salad

  2               cups  buttermilk
  2        tablespoons  sugar
  1                     shallot -- finely chopped (used Penzey's dried)
  4             cloves  garlic -- minced (used jarred)
  1         tablespoon  salt
  1         tablespoon  chopped fresh oregano (used dried)
  1 1/2      teaspoons  fresh thyme leaves (used dried)
  1 1/2      teaspoons  chopped fresh rosemary (used dried)
  1 1/2      teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
     1/2      teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  2                     boneless -- (8-ounce) skinless chicken breasts (used 4 boneless breasts, varying sizes)
  5        tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil -- divided
  2        tablespoons  red-wine vinegar
  1           teaspoon  chopped fresh oregano and/or thyme (used dried)
  1           teaspoon  minced garlic (used jarred)
  1           teaspoon  Dijon mustard
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
  1              Pinch  sugar
                        Freshly ground pepper -- to taste
  10              cups  mixed salad greens (used baby spinach and red onion)

For the brine: Combine buttermilk, sugar, shallots, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.   Place chicken in a sealable gallon-size plastic bag. Pour in the brine mixture, seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

(Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and pat dry with paper towels. Rub 1 tablespoon oil all over the chicken and let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.)-- I did not do this, I went straight from the brine, letting the excess drip off, to the preheated grill.     Next time I will follow the recipe.  

Heat grill to high, then reduce heat to medium.   Rub the grill rack down with some olive oil, or use a nonstick spray.    Grill chicken with the lid down, about 6 minutes per side.   I rotate it a quarter turn on each side for nice grill marks.   Cook until the chicken reads 160º on an instant read thermometer, then move to the serving platter and cover.    Let rest about 5 mins before slicing.

Whisk together remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon oregano and thyme, 1 teaspoon garlic, Dijon, salt and pepper.   Divide salad among plates and top each with sliced chicken.  Drizzle dressing over chicken and greens, toss to coat.


NOTES : Nutrition

Per serving: 322 calories; 21 g fat (3 g sat, 14 g mono); 64 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 4 g total sugars; 26 g protein; 3 g fiber; 631 mg sodium; 680 mg potassium.


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