A Marinade is Like a Commitment

Recipe (s) of the month

I can’t believe it’s the last day of August – I simply cannot believe it. What’s more, I can’t believe it’s the last day of August and it is this cold…woke up this morning to a high in the low fifties. Autumn has definitely arrived early this year and while I imagine we’ll see the temperature jump around some like it always does, all of the heat I mentioned just a few posts ago has seeped from the walls and this morning I wrapped myself tightly in my robe to protect myself against the morning chill. Only two more ice cream sandwiches left in the fridge – I don’t think they will be replaced. I am glad I made the dinner I did last night instead of waiting a couple of weeks – it was a perfect end-of-summer meal, even if it didn’t require a grill.

Last night we feasted on oven-fried chicken, broccoli salad and horseradish potato salad. The meal ended up having a higher fat content than one I would normally make but it was delicious and, as I told S. the night before as I was stirring the marinade for the chicken, it had to be significantly better for us than going to a restaurant. The dishes all came together beautifully, but eaten together it was a bit of an odd meal. No worries, though – we will be eating the leftovers the next couple of days anyway! I think each recipe was more than successful enough to share here, and since I make LOTS of things I can’t fathom admitting to or sharing on this blog, that it and of itself is a triumph.

Best Oven-Fried Chicken, from Chowhound

S and I both really enjoyed this recipe from Chowhound.com, especially the way the heat of the Tabasco came through the chicken after marinating for almost twenty-four hours. That said, I don’t imagine I’ll make this again until I have kids to feed – it definitely felt like “kid” food to me – something a person makes that tastes good and feeds a LOT of people easily. I would maybe make it for a church potluck – it also seems like church potluck food. Oven-fried chicken is just not something I crave on a regular enough basis to think I’ll make this regularly. That said, it’s definitely replacing the old oven-fried chicken recipe in my recipe box, which if I remember correctly used saltines as the coating…hey, don’t judge – a good Southern woman gave me that recipe when I lived in North Carolina!

Best Oven-Fried Chicken
What to buy: Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs are the perfect size for coating chicken. If you can’t find them, you can use 5 cups of corn flakes cereal and process it in the food processor until finely ground or place it in a plastic bag and crush the flakes with a rolling pin.

Game plan: If you cook the chicken just before leaving on your picnic, transport it warm, uncovered, in a basket lined with paper towels and foil. If you make it a day ahead, let it cool, then refrigerate it overnight. Pack the cold chicken in a covered plastic container lined with parchment paper.

The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so start this recipe a day in advance.

This recipe was featured as part of our Mother’s Day Picnic.

Total Time: 50 mins, plus marinating time
Active Time: 15 mins
Makes: 4 servings

2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 skinless chicken thighs
4 skinless chicken drumsticks
1 1/4 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted


  1. Combine buttermilk, garlic, hot sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne in a large bowl and stir until evenly combined. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels, then transfer to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour buttermilk mixture over chicken, cover, and refrigerate 12 hours, turning once.
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a metal cooling rack inside a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Place Corn Flake Crumbs in a shallow dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip off, and place in Corn Flake Crumbs, turning to coat completely and pressing crumbs onto chicken. Transfer to the rack-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle melted butter over chicken pieces.
  4. Bake until golden and crispy and internal temperature is 160°F, about 35 minutes.

To accompany the chicken I made horseradish potato salad, which I’ve had my eye on ever since I found it on the amazing Smitten Kitchen’s site. I am not, generally, a fan of traditionally potato salad, what with the eggs and the mayo and the just general yuck of the whole gloppy concoction, but this, with the horseradish, seemed right up my alley. I really loved this combination of flavors, and I believe S. did to, although he said he didn’t think we have yet found our “perfect” potato salad, which he claims will contain the following ingredients: hardboiled eggs – mustard – bacon. Anyway, I will definitley be making this again, but next time I will serve it with sausage or kielbasa or some sort of Eastern European dish.

Horseradish Potato Salad

3 pounds small (2-inch) potatoes, your choice of variety (I found a rainbow-colored pack, and couldn’t resist, clearly)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream (or 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup yogurt)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (frustratingly, couldn’t find these)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the potatoes until fork tender, cool them to room temperature and quarter them. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and fold over the potatoes. Adjust seasoning to taste — you might add another tablespoon of vinegar if you feel it needs more ‘zing’ — and prepare to wow the Eastern Europeans in your life! (Courtesy of the Smitten Kitchen)

Lastly, I made a family favorite – Broccoli Salad. I will be the first to admit this is probably the worst way to eat broccoli, unless you’ve actually attempted deep-frying it. That said, the flavors of this salad come together beautifully and this dish always makes S. very, very happy and so it’s probably worth the stent you’ll eventually need to make this once or twice a summer.


1 head broccoli

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup chopped onion

8 ounces Cheddar cheese, cut in small chunks

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar (S and I are going to reduce this next time – it definitely needs a bit of sugar but this was a tiny bit too sweet for us this go around)

1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (which we picked from our garden. I’m just saying)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Trim off large leaves of broccoli. Remove tough stalks at end an wash broccoli thoroughly. Cut flowerets and stems into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add crumbled bacon and onions and cheese. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

I hope you have time left in your summer to enjoy at least one or more of these recipes! It’s a bit hard to tell what kind of recipes the end of September will bring to this site – whether the temperature will steadily decline and I’ll find myself making early batches of chilis, soups and stews, or if summer will hang on a bit longer and more vegetables will be ruined with addition of cheese and mayonnaise. As we say at work, stay tuned!

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7 Responses to A Marinade is Like a Commitment

  1. appellationmountain says:

    Yum – that sounds delicious. I think I’m going to try all three. I’ve been meaning to try to make a broccoli salad for a while. It might not be healthy, but hey – there is BROCCOLI involved. Points for that, right?

  2. litlove says:

    Wow – these all sound lovely, particularly the broccoli salad, which I’m now dying to try. And I’ve also been meaning to experiment with marinades (too lazy and disorganised usually). Thank you, Courtney!

  3. Smithereens says:

    Sounds really great and yummy, but as a non-US reader, I tried to see if I could do it over here and I feel amazed that you can go in a shop and actually buy crumbs from Kellogs Corn flakes. Can you? Sorry, it’s the culture shock, it makes me laugh!

  4. Stefanie says:

    Sounds like a lovely meal. It was about the same temperature in Minneapolis as it was where you were. Some of our trees are already starting to get a blush of fall. Where did summer go?

  5. Courtney says:

    A – yes, true, the broccoli salad has broccoli. And cheese has calcium. And cherry tomatoes fight cancer so, really, this is a health food! Hurrah!
    Smithereens – LOL – actually I didn’t even look for them, just bashed up a bunch of corn flakes, but I am sure you could find them somewhere over here!
    Litlove – no problem! I think the broccoli salad would fit in nicely with your food restrictions, too!
    Stefani – I know, I am very much mourning summer. This weekend looks a bit promising -figners crossed.

  6. Cam says:

    Like Smithereens, I didn’t know you could buy corn flake crumbs — wow! Why would one bother when it is so easy to crush them — and good therapy at the end of a hectic day.

    I’ve been sending recipes to my son who is having to cook for the first time ever (I think he misses his female roomates from last year). This one will definitely be sent, and although it marinates for a long time, the actual prep isn’t much and easy to do at the end of a long day.

  7. Emily Barton says:

    Sounds delicious to me. All 3 (says the expert) are good church recipes.

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