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  Serves: 12


  Prep. Time: ​24 hours (ideally) 


  Cook Time: 1 hour


  Difficulty:​  Medium

Roasted Buttermilk Chicken with Baked Grits and Greens

What You Need

 

Chicken

10 cloves Garlic
1/2 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley
4 c. Buttermilk
2 tbsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Light brown sugar

4 tsp. Hungarian or smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
4 to 6 tbsp. Freshly ground black pepper
6 lb. Chicken parts (legs, thighs, etc. – bone in and skin on preferably)
Olive oil
Smoked Maldon Sea Salt flakes, to finish (Optional – you can absolutely use whatever sea salt you have around)

3 tbsp. Unsalted butter

3 tbsp. All purpose flour

 

Grits and Greens

1 1/2 c. Uncooked yellow corn grits (polenta)

3 c. Swiss chard; rinsed and dried

8 tbsp. Unsalted butter

1/2 c. Sweet yellow onion, minced finely

3 Eggs

2 c. Shredded Parmesan cheese

1 c. Buttermilk marinade (from chicken)

1 tbsp. All purpose flour

Freshly ground black pepper

What You Do


1.  Peel garlic and mince finely or put through a garlic press.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.


2.  Finely mince parsley leaves and add to bowl with garlic.  Whisk buttermilk with garlic, parsley, table salt, brown sugar, paprika and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.


3.  Place chicken parts in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or lidded container) and cover with buttermilk mixture, tossing to cover all the pieces.


4.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably 24 hours.


5.  About an hour before you want to eat, bring 6 cups of water to boil in a large sauce pot over high heat.  Stir in the grits and reduce the heat to low.  Cook grits until water is absorbed (about 10 minutes), stirring often.


6.  While grits cook, remove the stems and tough veins from the chard.  Roughly chop the remaining leaves.


7.  In a large sauté pan, melt one tablespoon of butter.  Add the onion and sauté for about 2 minutes over high heat.  Slowly add the chard, stirring until wilted (about 3 to 4 minutes).  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool.


8.  When grits are cooked remove from the heat and stir in 6 tablespoons of butter until melted.  Cover and set aside.


9.  Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking dish with foil if you have it.  Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade, reserving the marinade.  Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with additional paprika and the smoked sea salt flakes to taste.


10.  In a small sauce pan, melt another tablespoon of butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for one to two minutes, stirring constantly.  Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture from the chicken.  Cook over medium heat until thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently.


11.  In the mixing bowl with the chard and onions, add eggs, 1 1/2 cups of the parmesan cheese and thickened buttermilk mixture.  Stir and season with additional freshly ground pepper to taste.  Add cooked grits and stir until fully combined.


12.  Lightly coat a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with nonstick spray; pour grits mixture into dish and smooth out into an even layer.  Cover with foil.


13.  Place the chicken (uncovered) and grits (covered) in the oven.  Roast for 25 minutes, then remove the cover on the grits and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and chicken is brown and a bit scorched in spots.


14.  While the dishes bake, melt the remaining three tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in the flour, breaking up and clumps.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until flour begins to brown.


15.  Slowly whisk in remaining 3 cups of buttermilk mixture from the chicken.  Cook over medium heat until bubbly and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Stir frequently.


16.  When chicken and grits are done, remove from the oven and serve immediately.  Top chicken with buttermilk gravy or serve alongside for dipping.

If you’re like me, you love a good crispy piece but struggle to create the perfect breaded coating at home.  Let’s just be honest – maybe the crispy stuff should be left to folks with commercial deep fryers. (I’m looking at you, Colonel Sanders.) However, I will not give up on a home-made version of the tender, delicious chicken that hides under that crispy coating.  Turns out, there’s a trick to achieving roasted chicken nirvana – let your chicken soak overnight in buttermilk.  Sure, you can just soak for a couple of hours, but trust me. You want to wait over night.  I promise. [Disclaimer: I’m sure there are other tricks to “perfect” chicken.  This is just my favorite.]