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.


Thank you so much to those of you who have voted for
Cheeky Kitchen in the 2010 Parent & Child Blogger Awards.
It’s going to be a close race, so if you haven’t voted please CLICK HERE and lend your support. (No need to register or log in. Just head over there, click on Cheeky Kitchen and submit your vote. It’s sooo easy! Bless those clever folks at Scholastic!) And, while you’re at it, be sure to check out the other, incredible sites up for nomination, including my Craft & Cooking competitors, the beautifully organized Make & Takes and the clever-as-can-be One Hungry Mama. So honored to be in their company!

18 Responses to “Grilled Buttermilk Chicken”

  1. Sherrie says:

    I will definitely be making this recipe. The link to the mashed potato recipe does not work (can't fine the recipe). I would LOVE to have that recipe. Thanks!

  2. cookies and cups says:

    Those mashed potatoes look amazing!

  3. Mique (as in Mickey) says:

    That all looks DELISH.
    I want to make it for Father's Day for my husband. Tried to find the mashed potatoes from the link and they weren't on that page. Can you point me to where that recipe is?

  4. Scarehaircare says:

    The Buttermilk Chicken, the cheddar potatoes, and the lemonade will be perfect for my upcoming Sunday supper with extended family. Many thanks!

  5. Becki Madsen says:

    My simple happiness? Sitting outside reading a book, hearing the shrills of joy from children playing in the background. And of course, tomatoes, you had me at tomatoes with this recipe! Looks delightful dear friend!

  6. Katherine says:

    I tried to find that mashed potato recipe but had no luck :(

    It look DELICIOUS, can you help me find it?!

  7. Cheeky Kitchen says:

    So sorry, girls! Tastebudding will get that mashed potato recipe live as soon as possible. When it's live, you can find the real-potato version. In the meantime, I'll give you the snappy version, made with instant potatoes.

    So glad you are liking the recipe! It's truly delicious!

    Snappy Cheddar Mashed Potatoes:
    Boil as much water as needed for the amount of instant potatoes you'll be preparing. In a large bowl, place potato flakes/pearls and 3-4 slices of American cheese (the cheap stuff works fine here), 4 T. of butter, and a teaspoon or two of onion powder and salt & pepper to taste. Pour boiling water into the bowl and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. Toss in 1/4 c. or so of grated sharp cheddar & 1/4 c. or so of chopped scallions. Stir to mix. Serve immediately over buttermilk chicken, topped with fresh tomatoes. Enjoy!

  8. oneordinaryday says:

    Can I please come over for dinner? It all looks delicious!

  9. I run for cake! says:

    Just voted for you! This meal looks fabulous! Chicken and cheesy potatoes, it doesn't get much better than that!

  10. Christina says:

    What a sweetie you are – mentioning other bloggers.

    I always love reading your blogs. I've tried the 30 days sugar free diet and now I am going to try loving my current situation too.

    You're changing my life for the better ;) xx

  11. Marie {Make and Takes} says:

    I felt the same way with both you and One Hungry Mama for the Scholastic award. It's going to be a tough competition. You have a fabulous site and I want to eat right through the screen, your recipes look amazing! I'm so glad I found you through these blogger awards! Good luck!

  12. Emily says:

    I'm drooling!

  13. theUngourmet says:

    I needed to read this post today! Thanks! One would feel a bit more content after eating this fine meal! :)

  14. Scarehaircare says:

    Popping back on to tell you that not only was the Grilled Buttermilk Chicken recipe a hit at my Sunday dinner, but that also the leftovers are fabulous in a Caesar-inspired chicken pasta salad. Yum!

  15. Denise @ Creative Kitchen says:

    Realizing that I had the perfect view from my living room window…many leaves, branches & trees. I'll probably never move to the country, but after 12 yrs in our "starter" home…I finally found a way to rearrange the furniture to find that I had the most AMAZING view all along. It's quite incredible…involved moving the cable outlet to another wall. To think my back has been to that view all this time.

    The shifting of furniture has really shifted my attitude. The more I live here, the more I realize how truly BLESSED we are in our home. Close to everything, but privacy not everyone here has. My grandparents in my neighborhood (as of 2 yrs ago..they are here in the winters), my mom 5 minutes down the road, a safe & beautiful neighborhood with Whole Foods 5 minutes down the road.

    I'm finding ways to see "newness" all around me even though I've been in this home longer than any home I've ever lived in throughout my life. Now I realize…it feels like HOME. Peace, security, and it's the only home my daughters have ever known. I've brought all 3 of my babies home to this house. Amazing!

    In the back of my mind…after years of struggling with contentment in this area…I now worry that now that I've found contentment, God will move us. Not true "worry" as I love a good adventure, but just a small whisper about the irony of it all.

    BTW…I can totally relate to your mountain chalet house. Mine has been many things over the years ;)

  16. Karen says:

    I’m making this tonight. It’s marinating now, and it already smells amazing! Thanks so much!

  17. […] of proteins. However it works, it’s especially good with chicken, whether grilled (as in this simple marinade from Cheeky Kitchen) or fried (like this double-dipped version from […]

  18. N7 Apparel says:

    You have shared great tips, thanks for sharing it with us!

Leave a Reply