Thursday, March 20, 2014

Buttermilk Baked Chicken and Buttermilk-Chocolate Bundt Cake

I recently wrote a post about how to make Irish soda bread and had a lot of leftover buttermilk. "What the heck do you do with leftover buttermilk?", I asked myself. Sure, there's buttermilk pancakes but it was almost dinnertime and I didn't want breakfast for dinner. I want a hearty meal and dessert to boot! So when I found this post by TheHungryHoarder for buttermilk baked chicken and this post for chocolate-buttermilk bundt cake from a Weight Watchers cookbook, I knew my stomach was in for a treat. And if you are nervous because you saw the words "Weight Watchers", need not fret. You're either nervous because you're afraid it will taste awful and trust me, it doesn't... mainly because I made a chocolate substitution... or you're nervous because it might be hard to make, but I promise you it's not! However, lets start with dinner because we're "adults"...

To make buttermilk baked chicken, you'll need:

* 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk (I used 1 1/4 C and it was plenty)
* 1/4 cup of butter
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast thawed
* 1/4 cup of flour (though I recommend 1/2 C if your chicken is big)
* 1/2 teaspoon of salt
* 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (I didn't have any and it still tasted amazing!)
* 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
* (optional) 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley for sprinkling on top

First, preheat your oven to 425 and melt the butter in a 9x13 pan.

Next, in two bowls (or shallow plates) make the following:

Bowl #1 - 1/2 cup of buttermilk
Bowl #2 - The flour, salt, and peppers

Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the buttermilk...

...then cover it in the flour/salt/peppers mixture...

... and then finally place it in your pan to be baked for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, flip the chicken over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. While the chicken is baking, combine the rest of your buttermilk and your can of cream of mushroom soup in a bowl.

Once the 15 minutes are up, pour the mixture over the chicken and let it bake for an additional 15 minutes so the buttermilk/cream of mushroom soup turns into gravy.

Once the timer goes off, put on a plate and dinner is served!

TOTAL COSTS: Less than $20 (assuming you don't have all the ingredients - prices from Vons)
* $2.39 for buttermilk
* $.99 for butter
* $9.99 for a bag of chicken breasts
* $3.29 for flour
* $1.29 for a can of cream of mushroom soup
Salt and pepper already on hand and I didn't have any cayenne pepper. Parsley was in my spice rack.

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 1 hour, 15 minutes
15 minutes to prep the chicken
1 hour to bake

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
The only "hard" parts are not making a mess during the dredging stage and keeping an eye on the time but really, it's not difficult at all!

Ahh but lets not forget about dessert! To make this delicious chocolate-buttermilk cake, first turn down your oven to 325 and gather these ingredients:

* 2 cups of flour
* 1 1/4 cups of sugar
* 2 teaspoons of baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon of salt
* 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa
* 1 ounce of semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or, you can be like me and have leftover Ghirardelli from black and tan brownies and use that instead!)
* 1/2 cup of boiling water
* 1 cup of low-fat buttermilk
* 1/3 cup of canola oil
* 1 large egg
* 1 large egg white
* 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips

First, spray the inside of your bundt pan so the cake doesn't stick to the pan when it's done cooling. Also, start boiling your 1/2 cup of water so it's ready by the time you need it.

Next, find a small, medium, and large bowl.

1. In the large bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, egg, egg white, and vanilla.
2. In the middle bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and the chopped chocolate. Pour in the boiling water over the cocoa mixture and stir until the chocolate has completely melted.

Pour the cocoa and the flour mixtures into the large bowl until the flour is no longer visible. Add your mini chocolate chips and pour the batter into the bundt pan.

Let it bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and try not to eat it all at once!

TOTAL COSTS: About $30 (assuming you don't have all the ingredients - prices from Vons)
* $3.29 for flour
* $2.69 for sugar
* $1.99 for baking powder
* $1.59 for baking soda
* $.99 for salt
* $3.99 for unsweetened cocoa
* $2.50 for Ghirardelli chocolate
* $2.39 for buttermilk
* $2.99 for canola oil
* $2.59 for eggs
* $4.99 for vanilla extract
* $2.50 for mini semisweet chocolate chips

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 1 hour, 25 minutes
30 minutes to prep
45 minutes to bake
10 minutes to cool

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 2 out of 5
This is a very easy setup - you have your three bowls, you combine the bowls, and you pour into the bundt pan. The "hard" part might be chopping up the chocolate but that was only because I wanted to eat it right then and there!

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