Buttermilk Chicken

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  • 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 large shallot sliced
  • 3 pounds smallish boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • Chopped fresh chives, parsley, or scallions, for serving
  • Sea Salt and black pepper for serving


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, paprika, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the garlic and shallot. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then add it to the bowls and toss lightly to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and preferably 24 hours.
  2. When ready to grill, brush the grill grates lightly with olive oil. Prepare a charcoal fire with one layer of coals or for a gas grill, turn the burners to high, close the lid, and heat for 10 minutes, then lower the burners to medium-high heat. (You can also use a grill pan on the stove over medium-high heat.)
  3. Lift the chicken pieces from the marinade, place them on a large flat plate, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Rill for approximately 10 minutes per side until charred and cooked through. (Keep the grill lid closed so it retains more heat!)
  4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, rest for at least 10 minutes, then slice into strips if desired. Brush any juices that have accumulated on the platter onto the breasts, sprinkle with fresh herbs and sea salt, and serve.


Note: For this recipe, look for small chicken breasts and thighs. They will be more tender and will cook more evenly.