This recipe was inspired by the Wall Street Journal. Yes, that again. (My husband wants to know if the next issue of Gourmet magazine will have articles on arbitrage and hedge funds.)
The original recipe called for cooking this on the stovetop in 4 times as much buttermilk, and throwing out the buttermilk. I thought that sounded like a waste of a perfectly dandy gravy base, so here's my version:
CHICKEN IN BUTTERMILK
4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Arrange the chicken pieces in a baking pan and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the cornstarch; when it's smooth, whisk in the buttermilk. Stir in the spices and cook until thickened. Caution: the sauce will be very, very thick. Don't worry. Pour it over the chicken in the baking pan and bake at 350 for about an hour, or until the chicken is done. The juices from cooking the chicken will have thinned the buttermilk sauce, and it should be absolutely perfect. I served this over a bed of egg noodles, but I suspect it would work quite well with rice, as well. Note: If you don't keep buttermilk in the house, and I don't, you can use 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of buttermilk powder, sold in the same supermarket aisle as the powdered milk. I promise, it's terrific; poor Thor barely got any leftovers.
And, yes, all but 2 of the big kids are home. So my recipes are a little larger in this season; sorry!