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Cooking for busy weeknights takes planning and a few tricks of the trade. Here is one chef’s hack you may not know: try marinating your chicken before you freeze it as we do in this buttermilk and herb chicken recipe.
A clever freezer hack
Most of us freeze our chicken right after purchase, perhaps in smaller servings, to extend its freshness and have protein at the ready. But with a little extra effort the day you come home from the grocery store, you can completely prep your chicken for a smoother weekday meal.
Simply make the buttermilk marinade, add the chicken and then instead of popping it into the fridge, put it directly in the freezer where it can stay for a couple of months. Just remember, when you’re ready to eat it, you’ll want to defrost it the day before in the fridge, then bake to a temperature of 165℉ right before dinner.
In this recipe, we marinate the chicken in buttermilk to help keep it juicy. We’ve also added a ton of flavor boosters like Dijon, garlic and fresh herbs including rosemary, chives and thyme. Surprisingly, fresh herbs retain much of their flavor in the freezer, meaning your chicken will stay vibrant after a deep freeze. All of this translates into a not-so-ordinary chicken recipe that you can have at the ready for busy weeknights.
A versatile meal
There are so many ways to use this easy buttermilk chicken recipe, and here are a few of our favorites:
- Pair this chicken with mashed potatoes for a quick comfort meal.
- Slice and top over a veggie-packed salad for a protein boost.
- Shred and use it to top a flatbread with veggies.
- Chop it and stir it into a creamy pasta dish.
- Shred it and stir into a veggie-rich soup.
Buttermilk and Herb Chicken Breasts
- In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken. Transfer marinade to a large zip-top freezer bag or glass container and add chicken. Massage chicken mixture to evenly distribute marinade. Seal bag or container (if using a bag, remove as much air as possible). Freeze for up to 2 months.
- To cook: Transfer frozen chicken from freezer to fridge and thaw for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet; discard remaining marinade. Bake chicken until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken reads 165°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
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- Serving Size 1 breast
- Calories 159
- Carbohydrate Content 1 g
- Cholesterol Content 79 mg
- Fat Content 4 g
- Fiber Content 0 g
- Protein Content 29 g
- Saturated Fat Content 1 g
- Sodium Content 114 mg
- Sugar Content 0 g