Buttermilk-poached chicken with dressed greens is a simple, yet delicious weeknight dinner recipe option. It is loaded with flavor and nutritional value!
Poach. I know. Poach is an extremely scary word. In the past, whenever I thought about something being “poached” I immediately associated it with a negative connotation. This could be because poach has multiple meanings. To poach something gives off a negative vibe when it comes to killing off wildlife. Poaching food obviously has a completely different definition, but it can also be super scary!
Poaching meat takes some practice and some trial and error, especially when you poach in something as finicky as buttermilk. Buttermilk like most other liquid dairy products curdles when it gets too hot, which makes for an extremely unpleasant result. This is where the trial and error comes into play. You never want buttermilk to come to a simmer when you poach something. You want it to be just barely at a simmer, which takes a lot of attention and babysitting. Once you get the hang of it though, you will be poaching things left and right.
Chicken breast isn’t normally my cut of choice because it gets very dry very easily. You can get rid of this dryness by poaching it instead, which makes it much more delicious to consume. With that being said, don’t let poaching scare you. The result is well worth the wait. Trust me!
Beer I haven’t paired with a farmhouse ale or saison in a while, and I’m not really sure why! They are by far one of my favorite styles of beer. Maybe it’s because it’s the dead of winter and farmhouse ales tend to be a spring or summertime style. Who knows, but I am firm believer that you should be able to enjoy your favorite styles any time of year! The main reason I decided to go with a farmhouse ale for this pairing is because of the tang in the dressing and the tang the buttermilk gives the chicken when it is poached. Farmhouse ales can have, but not always, a sour-like quality to them. This sour-like quality pairs extremely well with ingredients like buttermilk, sour cream, and Greek yogurt.
Buttermilk-Poached Chicken with Dressed Greens
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 4 sage leaves
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp capers
- 4 sweet gherkins chopped
- zest from one lemon
- salt and black pepper
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 3 radishes thinly sliced
- handful of raddicchio
- Combine the buttermilk (reserving 1/4 cup for the dressing), sage leaves, garlic and peppercorns in a deep dutch oven set over medium-low heat. Add the chicken and poach the chicken, turning it every couple of minutes, until completely cooked through. Be careful as you poach the chicken. You DO NOT want the buttermilk to curdle and if it comes to a simmer, you will run the risk of curdling. It is OK if you find that the buttermilk is separating a tad. This is normal. Adjust the heat as necessary if you find the mixture is reaching a simmer. It will take between 25-30 minutes for the chicken to cook fully.
- While the chicken is poaching, prepared your dressing.
- In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk, Greek yogurt, sour cream, capers, chopped gherkins, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. If you are looking for a thinner dressing, add a tad more buttermilk, whole milk, or lemon juice.
- At this point, you may toss the mixed greens, radishes, and radicchio with the dressing or serve it on the side. Serve both with sliced buttermilk-poached chicken and enjoy!