A buttermilk marinade is a great choice for any meat.
A buttermilk marinade is exceptional when it comes to tenderizing chicken. Buttermilk and yogurt contain less acids than many marinade ingredients and therefore don’t toughen or over marinate meat as sometimes happens with marinades that are higher in acidic levels.
A buttermilk marinade is a great choice for tougher cuts of meat such as wild game or lamb, yet does wonders on other meats as well. Southern fried chicken and catfish are two great examples where a buttermilk marinade does its job without degrading the delicate nature of the meat itself. Along with the tenderizing comes additional flavor and a nice base to hold breading.
Marinading times vary, but the texture of the meat should dictate the length. Delicate cuts, such as fish fillets require 1 to 4 hours while chicken seems best overnight. A tough cut of meat may require a 24 hour period. Many hunters soak venison for 2 to 3 days.
Because buttermilk marinades aren’t as aggressive on the meat structure, they’re quite forgiving and a great place for beginners to start. Give buttermilk marinades a try. There’s a good chance you’ll use it on a regular basis.
Try adjusting the flavors of the buttermilk marinade to suit your flavor preferences. Louisiana-style hot sauce is often added to southern fried chicken. Try some cumin or a bit of cinnamon in your experimentation.
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or per taste
- In a non-reactive bowl mix the oil and buttermilk using a whisk.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly.
- Soak meat in a resealable storage bag in the refrigerator.
Let’s put that buttermilk marinade to work. Here’s a few ideas.