We’d come home from our long weekend in Michigan to a refrigerator that was, well, not refrigerating, exactly. Stuff was COOL, but certainly not COLD – and ice had ceased to be made (horrors!).
Fortunately, for us, we had the backup fridge in the garage that was still humming along quite happily – so we had a place to stash fresh milk and half and half and stuff until we could deal with the beast in the kitchen – I could note here that we also brought Shiloh, our new puppy, home, so there was THAT bit of excitement.
Long story, ermmm, a bit less long – the nice refrigerator repairman said our defroster had frozen (my fault – I had packed that freezer section so tightly it was a challenge to get anything out), but that it could be replaced.
GOOD NEWS: the part was $60 and he had it in his van.
NOT SO GOOD NEWS: the house call and the installation would run another $250.
Make it so…
In any event, main refrigerator on the mend, it was time to deal with all those goodies stashed within that were now not so… good.
Lamb chops? Gone. Clarified pork stock from that last batch o’ ribs? History. And let us not even discuss all the condiments and salad dressings and such sent to an early disposal and recycling.
So, here I was, trusty back stock o’ food stuffs mostly gone, a new puppy runny wildly (if also adorably) around the house, and dinner to put together. What to do?
I DID have some chicken in the downstairs freezer, and makings for Catalina dressing are always on hand, as is low-sodium soy sauce. French Chicken Wings sounded PERFECT! A tasty treat after a stressful time.
The chicken in the freezer was boneless and skinless, and breasts, to boot. And the Marie’s Blue Cheese dressing I do so love to dip a chicken wing or leg into? Gone due to that naughty, naughty defroster thingy.
I had my mouth all set for some Catalina/Soy Sauce chicken of SOME sort, so I got to thinking. The breasts could work, but I’d need to change my approach a bit – grilling instead of baking, and using a spiced buttermilk marinade to keep the chicken moist on the grill.
•2 cups buttermilk
•1/2 cup canola oil
•1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp dried chives
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp paprika
•1/4 teaspoon chili powder
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
•1/4 to 1/2 a large onion, to taste
•1/4 cup cider vinegar
•1/3 cup ketchup
•1/2 cup canola oil
•1/2 cup soy sauce
•Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
First, let’s make the marinade. Whisk the buttermilk, oil, and seasonings together and pour into a flat bottomed dish of some sort. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and marinate for a few hours or (best) overnight – turning if you think about it.
Add your sugar, onion, spices, ketchup, and vinegar to a blender and pulse to combine and purée the onion. With the blender running, drizzle the oil in through the hole in the lid and continue blending until it emulsifies.
Add 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce and blend to mix. Store in a covered jar.
Once you’re ready to grill: remove the breasts from the buttermilk marinade and shake off any excess. Pour some of the Catalina/Soy Sauce over and let them rest a few minutes while the grill heats up.
Brush some olive oil on the grill grates and add the chicken. Grilling time will vary based on how hot your grill gets – I was using my kitchen grill which doesn’t get super hot, so I did these boneless breast bits for about five minutes per side, applying more of the Catalina/Soy Sauce as needed.
Worked a treat. And I ALMOST didn’t miss the Marie’s Blue Cheese.