Grilled Buttermilk Chicken


For three months last year, I sobbed to my husband that we needed to sell our wood-paneled house in suburbia and move to a teensy, turquoise mountain chalet that I’d found on Craigslist. The home had such character, I told him, and would make for lovely blog photos and a much, much happier life. He reacted as he often does to my whimiscal, romantic notions. He smiled lovingly, tucked a stray hair gently into place, and kissed me quiet.
But, quiet I could not stay. I’d found a perfectly quirky little place, I’d conjured a dream life, and I do not do well with letting my dreams die. So, I’d sneak myself onto the computer and stare at the picture of our mountain chalet, imagining the bliss we would live within it’s treelined wilderness. Pining away for this perfect life, I became a tad bit bothersome. I complained only just twice a minute about our nasty winters, our plain neighborhood, our lack of an organic farmers market with in walking distance, the absence of a sparkling stream cascading across acorn-strewn acreage, a head of hair too short to braid and fling from a doorless tower. I was being a real pill. Could you tell?
Then, one day two weeks ago, I got content. It was Friday and the day was gray and bitter and peppered with snow. I woke early and pulled on long underwear and a brown, puffy vest. I walked my kids to school, kissed their pink noses and chilled fingers and sent them off to classes. On the way home, I stopped to talk to a few folks working busily in their driveways, preparing tables of wares for our neighborhood garage sale. I folded some laundry. I petted the chihuahua. I filmed a recipe for Real Women of Philadelphia. I toted lunch to the neighbors, talked with my sister on the phone, stood inside my kitchen and looked outside, marveling at a sky full of falling snowflakes. That was it. That’s what I did. I did our plain old, regular routine and I suddenly fell deeply in love with this crazy-simple life of ours. I felt perfectly at peace with our cookie-cutter home, our tight budget, our single lilac bush, our snow-spotted city.
One honest John Tompkins, A hedger and ditcher
All though he was poor, didn’t want to be richer.
For all such vain wishes in him were prevented
By the fortunate habit of being contented.
Out went my romantic notions {for now} and in came an adoration for our current reality. Who knew there was such peace in choosing to be at peace? It was good timing, too. Because somebody snatched up that mountain chalet last month. And, I’ll bet after last weeks snowstorm they’re having a heck of a time getting the minivan up the muddy driveway.
What simple happinesses keep you content?


Grilled Buttermilk Chicken
Whenever I grab a bowl and start adding ingredients for our dinner, the meal inevitably comes out as some sort of ethnic fare. If our ground beef doesn’t turn into Thai Sloppy Joes, then our sweet potatoes get curried and coconuted, or our fish becomes French or Mexican. So, on a certain Sunday afternoon, I set out to change the habit. I needed to throw together something quick for my hubby. He was minutes away from a meeting and I wanted to please his simple palate preferences with a good, simple, American-flavored meal. Something that looked like a basic hunk of chicken, and tasted like the juice, marinated sandwiches at our favorite chicken sandwich joint. Sure enough, this wonderful recipe delivered. It was done in 15 minutes and tasted so good with a spoonful of cheddar mashed potatoes and a green salad drizzled with buttermilk ranch. So.darned.good.
1 T. minced garlic (the canned, prechopped sort)
3 T. worchestchire sauce
2 T. melted butter
¼ c. buttermilk
4 chicken breasts, sliced in half

15-20 minutes before grilling, remove chicken from fridge. Pour all ingredients over the top of the chicken, making sure all sides of the chicken are fully covered. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with buttermilk chicken rub. Cover and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes. Grill. Serve with American & Cheddar Mashed Potatoes (recipe can be found HERE) and fresh tomato slices.

Buttermilk Chicken Rub
A little of this rub goes a long way. This recipe makes enough rub for at least 6 batches of Buttermilk chicken. Because of the high celery-salt content, go easy on it. But, not too easy. Because, gosh. It makes that chicken taste amazing.
1 ½ T. celery salt
1 t. fresh-ground pepper
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ t. ground yellow mustard
¼ t. dill weed

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Sprinkle on Grilled Buttermilk Chicken. Store in a small plastic container or ziploc bag.


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