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Buttermilk soaking chicken...any evidence it actually does anything?


gfweb
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It is always possible that when somebody first decided to use buttermilk as a marinade for  chicken, the chicken could use a little tenderizing. They have not always been raised so quickly and killed so young. 

 

Samin Nosrat has a recipe for a whole chicken marinated in buttermilk and then roasted and it seems to have quite a fan club. There is nothing scientific about that though. 
 

I have a suspicion that chicken marinated in yoghurt is an improvement over the same chicken not given that treatment but I can’t prove it. So there’s nothing scientific about this either. 
 

but it’s fun to research the question!

 

 

 


 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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2 hours ago, btbyrd said:

Buttermilk and yogurt work. Kefir apparently works too, but not as well. Buttermilk and whey increase tenderness and reduce chewiness in marinated pheasant. Straight up lactic acid also tenderizes, and I'm betting that does much of the work in buttermilk and yogurt marinades.

 

For fun, you can skip to 13 minutes into the following clip to watch Heston Blumenthal convince someone to give yogurt marinated chicken a MRI. Spoiler: Yogurt appears to dramatically enhance marinade penetration. Why? Who knows!

 

 

 

 

Re: science. I recommend following @btbyrd's advice and watch that clip of Heston Blumenthal. I started at 13 minutes in but watched the rest.

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36 minutes ago, TdeV said:

 

 

Re: science. I recommend following @btbyrd's advice and watch that clip of Heston Blumenthal. I started at 13 minutes in but watched the rest.

So? I watched from the 13 minute mark. There is no doubt that the MRI proves that the yoghurt did something to the chicken but nobody seems to know exactly what that something is. I am no wiser. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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In my dotage I am getting not only lazy, but also averse to handling raw chicken. A whole bird is more than I can tolerate, but lucky for me my husband loves roast chicken and for some reason he is up to the task. He likes the Nosrat buttermilk brine mentioned above, and I am smart enough not to make a peep if someone wants to put a wing-flat or a crispy skin thigh on my plate while I do something else. I have no idea if it's the buttermilk overnight or the fact that he starts the bird upside down and then turns it breast side up for half the cooking time, but the dark meat is cooked through, the breast does not dry out and it is all around tender. If the buttermilk brine is simply a placebo then he won't hear it from me. 

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5 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

"Never change a winning ballgame." 

 

Hear, hear. I'm getting out the popcorn for this one. I thank @gfweb for stirring the pot.

 

I use buttermilk with fried chicken but I admit it's faith in things unseen. Definitely tang. Science ... uncertain. I do wish McGee hadn't frittered away 10 years on smells but had got back to the bench/stove.

Edited by FlashJack
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FWIW 

 

Annoying presentation but you might find it useful.  It tests buttermilk soaking,  just buttermilk dredging, double dredging, resting after dredging, and frying method.  I can't believe they all predicted deep-fried would be better than cast iron pan-fried.  Pan-fried rules!

 

 

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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

@Chimayo Joe

So what did they find re buttermilk? How can the chicken know what the pot is made of?

I can't watch 22 minute youtubes without breaking something.

They preferred chicken that wasn't soaked in buttermilk. They preferred chicken that was just dipped in buttermilk and dredged in flour then dipped and dredged again.  They seasoned their flour with Tony Chachere's seasoning.  They preferred chicken that was rested an hour after dredging before frying.  And they preferred pan-fried.  I think cast iron is traditional because it promotes browning when chicken is fried in oil that isn't too deep.  My mom never had trouble with browning  chicken even though she very often cooked in stainless steel (but also in cast iron.) I've never been able to match her chicken no matter what I've cooked it in.  

Edited by Chimayo Joe (log)
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1 hour ago, gfweb said:

 

I can't watch 22 minute youtubes without breaking something.

I'm with you. Sink 15-20 minutes (never mind 35 or 40) into watching/listening to something I could read in a matter of seconds? Screw that, life's too short.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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37 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I'm with you. Sink 15-20 minutes (never mind 35 or 40) into watching/listening to something I could read in a matter of seconds? Screw that, life's too short.

I had watched that video several months ago for some reason.  I'm certain that's the only Mythical Kitchen video I've ever seen.  Thankfully, I didn't need to watch it in its entirety this time.  I could skip through a lot of it.  I'm sure their style of "entertainment"  in that video was what caused me to not watch any of the others. It's agonizing.

Edited by Chimayo Joe (log)
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29 minutes ago, Chimayo Joe said:

ep.  My mom never had trouble with browning  chicken even though she very often cooked in stainless steel (but also in cast iron.) I've never been able to match her chicken no matter what I've cooked it in.  

 

Frying is weird.  I've done a lot more of it this year and without making any changes I'm aware of, everything is coming out better than it used to.  I fry in a Darto or Matfer steel pan for what its worth.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

   A recently retired sports hero had taken the position of West Coast  manager of a major supplier that I did not use.   I

 

Barry Bonds was trying to sell you steroids?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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RE: fried chicken and browning, it's important to incorporate baking soda to buttermilked chicken if you want a golden brown crust. The acid in the buttermilk shifts the pH enough to retard the Maillard, as they say. Bumping the pH back up with baking soda corrects this. Another bit of frying knowledge gleaned from Dave Arnold and Cooking Issues.

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45 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

RE: fried chicken and browning, it's important to incorporate baking soda to buttermilked chicken if you want a golden brown crust. The acid in the buttermilk shifts the pH enough to retard the Maillard, as they say. Bumping the pH back up with baking soda corrects this. Another bit of frying knowledge gleaned from Dave Arnold and Cooking Issues.

So I never use buttermilk and get browned FC without the B soda.

 

I think buttermilk is just a sticking agent, thinner than eggs so you don't get a battered product

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Buttermilk was one of those ingredients that I never used because I never had it around (you can usually only buy it by the quart, and I've needed that much).

 

Then I discovered powdered buttermilk—and now I never don't have it.

 

Does this matter for fried chicken? I still have no idea. But it has revolutionized my pancake making.

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9 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Then I discovered powdered buttermilk—and now I never don't have it.

 

Always in my pantry too -  buttermilk dressings never tasted so good (but I use real (i.e. full fat) buttermilk...AND powder).

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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as mentioned above

 

possibly by @gfweb  

 

tenderness is difficult if not possible to measure .

 

until it can be measured  ....

 

however I know what's tender and what's tough when I bite into it.

 

Ive never had fried chicken , from the same animal and cut of meat

 

fried in two ways : buttermilk soak , vs non soaked .

 

double or triple blind.

 

someone should try that .

 

and BTW  an MRI is simply a picture .

 

it's not a measurement.

 

and when I used to try chicken , I used buttermilk

 

or made my own from regular milk .

 

because I had to use something , and the tang and thickness

 

of BM  was tasty ..

 

and as also mentioned above , these were supermarket chickens 

 

and thus not old nor tough .

 

its more interesting using Yogurt or Buttermilk in Indian Cooking 

 

real Indian cooking probably starts out w tougher meat 

 

and chicken than I can get

 

still , nothing measured so far.

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