Thursday, 8 May 2014

Wednesday Weekly: Buttermilk Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash

I am very excited to say that this recipe provided me with new and innovative ways to assist in the destruction of my kitchen! My photos, although taken with an actual camera and not my phone, are also of exceptionally dodgy quality, with them turning out to be blurrier than I thought. However, onto dinner!

This didn't come out exactly perfect, but I will definitely be making it again, if only to play around with it a bit until I do get it perfect. The chicken is being coated with panko breadcrumbs as opposed to ye olde regular variety, which is supposed to give a lighter, crispier coating. However, my chicken pieces became schnitzelised (technical term) and didn't really match the golden coating shown in the picture. I think this comes down to two reasons: the first, that some of my chicken tenderloins were maybe a little thicker than they should have been. This means that they'll take longer to cook, so the breadcrumbs will go brown. I also think that I may have let my oil get a little too hot throughout the cooking process. Towards the end of the chicken batch, I started adding more olive oil to the pan and on the chicken itself; these pieces stayed a really appealing yellowy-golden colour.

You'll make the batter with these three ingredients: buttermilk, garlic and lemon rind. The recipe calls for crushed garlic, but I find that minced works just as well. I made a double batch of this recipe, so I only needed a cup of buttermilk -- much less than this carton. We don't often use buttermilk, so I might come up with a recipe to use the rest of this up.

I don't know much sweet potato this was, but it could have been about 1.5kg. I knew we'd need a lot for my family, so I used everything in the fridge. You want to peel this and chop it into chunks, because you'll mash it. They don't have to be massive chunks either -- the smaller they are, the quicker they'll cook in the pot. That being said, you don't really want them to be so small that they're practically finely chopped. That's just weird and takes up too much time.

The hell happened here?!
I mentioned new ways of destroying my kitchen, didn't I? So, picture this: you take a pot out to boil the sweet potato, you fill it with water. Then you realise that a little water got on the bottom of the pan, but it's really bad for the cooktop to leave it like that, so you'll need to wipe it off. So you grab the tea towel, turn the pot over so you can wipe it aaaand send a small flood of water all over your kitchen stovetop and floor.

Somehow I forgot I'd put water in the pot moments after filling it up.
I'm not sure if you can see the amount of water on the floor in the photo above, but there was a lot of water. I tried to clean it up with a tea towel but I realised that no number of them would help, so I had to grab a bath towel. Buuut at least I can definitely say that the kitchen floor is clean!

Before I go at the potato with my mashy thing.
You can see that my sweet potato chunks weren't too big, so they became really soft and tender very quickly. I took my hand blitzy thing and blitzed it through.

After I went through it with my mashy thing.
You might decide to season the sweet potato at this point. This is purely potato, there's no milk or butter in it, and despite it being sweet potato, it was a little bland. Feel free to put it out this way if you like it!

Your panko coating.
You're supposed to mix parsley through the breadcrumbs but I only had the fresh tubed paste, which is not idea for mixing through something dry. I decided to use mixed herbs and it smelled amazing. By this stage, the chicken has probably been marinating in the fridge for close to an hour (I forgot to take a picture of it, oops!), so when it's done you'll need to take it out then Hokey Pokey it with the breadcrumbs (y'know, you put the left side in, take the left side out, you put the right side in, take the right side out... No? Just me? Okay then.)

Our Hokey Pokey'd chicken.
Scary, scary frypan.
I decided to go with the frypan for this, despite it being one of the scariest things I've ever had to cook with. This time it wasn't too bad, so either we got a new expensive frypan or my skills have gotten better.

This batch fried up nicely!
This was one of the last batches of chicken that I did, so by this stage I was a little better at getting the hang of trying to cook the chicken but have the panko golden and crispy at the same time. I had lowered the heat a bit by this stage and I was using more oil, so it might not have been the healthiest option -- but that's the fun of being able to play about with it! I really think if I'd maybe cut up the pieces to be smaller, it would've worked out a bit better.

Dinner is served!
I chose to serve up my chicken and mash with peas and corn. I often choose peas and corn if I need to add vegetables to something, they're the most delicious vegetable combination in the world. You don't necessarily need peas and corn, of course -- you could do a summer/winter vegetable mix, you could just have the chicken in a sandwich.

This recipe came from the April 2013 edition of Australian Good Taste magazine. You can read the original online here, but of course I've included it below!

Buttermilk Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash

Serves 4.


  • 125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 8 (about 500g) chicken tenderloins
  • 700g sweet potato, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 60g (1 cup) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh continental parsley
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Steamed green vegetable, to serve


  1. Combine buttermilk, lemon rind and garlic in a glass or ceramic dish. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour to develop the flavours.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain. Return to the pan. Mash until smooth. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and parsley on a plate. Drain chicken pieces, one at a time, from marinade. Press into breadcrumbs mixture to evenly coat. Transfer to a lined baking tray.
  4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, in 2 batches, for 2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Serve with the mash and vegetables.
Would you try this out? What would you use the rest of the buttermilk for?

Sarah xo

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