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Marinate chicken in buttermilk dressing

Published Sep. 29, 2005

This quick and easy buttermilk dressing can be served on mixed green salads, cold pasta salads, cabbage slaws, shredded carrot salads or on sliced tomatoes, avocados or cucumbers.

It is also a good marinade for fish and chicken, especially when the fish or chicken is to be dredged with flour or other coating.

Almond-Crusted Marinated Chicken uses the lemon-buttermilk dressing to tenderize the meat. Almonds and Asiago cheese give the dish a roasted, nutty flavor.

There is a common misconception that buttermilk is high in fat content, but it typically is made with skim or low-fat milk. Buttermilk does not actually have contact with butter.

Instead, its buttery flavor is derived from diacetyl, a compound characteristic of butter flavor and a byproduct in the fermentation process.

Garlicky Lemon Buttermilk Dressing

} cup canola or safflower oil

{ cup fresh lemon juice

{ cup mayonnaise

cup buttermilk

4-5 large garlic cloves, pressed

1{ teaspoons dillweed, dried

1{ teaspoons sugar

1{ teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well or whisk thoroughly. Keep refrigerated. Shake well or whisk before using. Spoon over salad and toss; do not drench. Makes about 2 cups and will keep, refrigerated, for 10 days.

Makes 10 servings. Per 1.6-ounce serving: 238 calories, 0.5 gm protein, 8 mg cholesterol, 3 gm carbohydrates, 179 mg sodium, 0.2 gm fiber, 25 gm total fat.

Source: California Milk Advisory Board.

Almond-Crusted Marinated Chicken

4 chicken legs with thighs

cup Garlicky Lemon Buttermilk Dressing (recipe above)

1 cup roasted, unsalted whole almonds

2 ounces Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Skin chicken pieces carefully. Wipe with a damp cloth and dry well. Lay in a shallow dish in 1 layer.

Shake or whisk dressing well and pour over chicken pieces, turning several times. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes; turn in marinade 2-3 times.

Meanwhile, put almonds and cheese in a food processor or blender and grind into coarse meal; transfer to a shallow bowl.

Lift chicken pieces from marinade, roll in almond mixture and lay in a lightly greased or sprayed shallow baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until juices run clear.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 633 calories, 39 gm protein, 115 mg cholesterol, 9 gm carbohydrates, 427 mg sodium, 4 gm fiber, 49 gm total fat.

Source: California Milk Advisory Board.