One of my favorite dishes at Bahama Breeze is the buttermilk fried chicken. I've only had it once, but it was amazing. It is not your typical fried chicken; there is so much going on in this dish. Since we hardly ever go to Bahama Breeze, I decided I really wanted to try to recreate this meal. It is a bit complicated and will give you a huge grocery list, but it's so worth it. See the bottom of this post for the inspiration photo and link to Bahama Breeze's menu. I think my version came out pretty close, even though it is baked instead of fried.
I didn't measure out everything when I was cooking, so this multi-part recipe is just to give you the basic guidelines. Please read through everything before you begin as there are so many steps, it is easy to miss something. Seriously, I completely forgot about the spinach, tomatoes, and cheese until the chicken was already cooked, but luckily that only took a couple minutes.
Hope you enjoy!
*** Basic Dinner Steps
- Marinate the chicken the night before or morning of.
- Prepare the salsa the night before or morning of.
Order of preparation for dinner:
- Start the chicken.
- Start the potatoes.
- Make the lemon butter.
- Sautee garlic for the potatoes and mash/season them.
- Prepare the spinach/tomato/cheeses for the chicken.
- When chicken is done, sandwich 2 pieces with the spinach/tomato/cheeses mixture.
- Plate the mashed potatoes, top with sandwiched chicken, heat if needed.
- Garnish with the salsa and lemon butter and eat.
Approximate recipes follow. Prepare yours according to taste, or for more exact recipes, see the inspiration recipes at the bottom of the post.
Roasted Corn, Roasted Triple Pepper, and Black Bean Salsa
Note: This recipe makes a huge amount - more than enough for 4 chicken breasts and leftovers.
11 ounce can corn (or frozen or fresh)
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half vertically
1/2 small red bell pepper
1/2 small green bell pepper
1/4 small onion, diced
1 green onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium ripe tomato, diced
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste)
dash oregano, salt, pepper, cumin
- Spray a skillet lightly with oil and heat on medium-high.
- Cook corn in the skillet until lightly roasted (brown/black spots on parts of the corn). This will work best with fresh but can work with canned.
- Remove corn to a separate dish.
- Add a bit more oil to the skillet.
- Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium a couple of minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the onions and garlic to the corn and allow to cool while preparing the rest of the salsa.
- Put the bell peppers and jalapeno halves on a foiled baking sheet and broil in toaster oven or oven until skins are mostly black.
- Put peppers in a sealed ziplock to steam for 10 minutes, then peel off the skins. Chop the peppers and add to the corn mixture.
- Add the tomato, green onion, lime juice, cilantro, and seasonings as desired to the salsa and chill for a few hours so the flavors can blend.
- Pull out to warm up somewhat when you're preheating the oven for the chicken, unless you want to serve it cold or heat it up, either way works.
Buttermilk Marinated Crispy Baked Chicken
boneless skinless chicken breasts
Panko Crumbs (optional)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder for example)
- Marinate the chicken overnight in just enough buttermilk to coat chicken (I used a ziplock bag).
- Pound the chicken the next morning, then cut each breast in half (this could be done before initial marinating).
- Add desired seasonings and sprinkle with lemon juice and massage into chicken.
- Add chicken back to the buttermilk (I added a little more fresh buttermilk to the bag) to continue marinating.
When ready to cook:
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Get out a baking sheet and a wire baking rack that will fit inside the pan.
- Spray the rack with oil (and foil the pan if you want to cut back on some of the mess).
- Crush corn flakes (I put in a ziplock and use a rolling pin).
- Mix corn flakes with some panko crumbs (I used about twice as many corn flake crumbs as panko) and throw in some more of your seasonings and parmesan cheese.
- Put crumbs in a bowl for dipping.
- Get out a second bowl for initial dipping and pour some of the buttermilk marinade in. Add a bit of egg white (probably optional) and some flour and mix well until you have a thin paste. It should be able to stick to the chicken somewhat but not be too thick. If you don't want to do this step, you can probably just put the lightly buttermilked chicken straight into the crumbs.
- Dip the chicken in the buttermilk batter, then dip it in the corn flake coating. Arrange the chicken on the wire rack.
- Bake the chicken until cooked through or 165 degrees. It took mine 30-35 minutes, but it will depend on the thickness of the chicken after you pound it.
Lemon Butter Sauce
1 whole clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion, bottom half, whole
1 tbsp white wine
1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp honey
- Add the wine, lemon juice, garlic, and green onion to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high until liquid has reduced by about half.
- Discard green onion and garlic.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in the butter until fully melted and blended.
- Taste the sauce. If it is too sour, add a little honey or more butter to mellow it out.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Baking potatoes, peeled and diced
Butter to taste
Milk to taste
Salt and Pepper
- Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes, then drain.
- In a skillet, add a little butter and cook the garlic for a minute on medium (if making the salsa the same day, you can do this after you cook the corn/onions for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to make the potatoes).
- Add the garlic and butter to the potatoes and mash.
- Add milk to thin mashed potatoes to desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish/Assembly for Chicken
Fresh Spinach, chopped
Shredded cheese (I used monterrey jack and medium cheddar)
Salt and Pepper
Spray Butter (optional)
- Wilt the spinach in a bowl, heated in the microwave for about 30 seconds. You will need a lot more than you'll think you'd need because it cooks down so much.
- Add the tomatoes to the spinach.
- Season with salt and pepper and spritz a little lite butter spray on it if desired.
- When chicken is cooked, top one patty with some of the spinach/tomato mixture and add cheese, then add another patty on top.
- You can heat this up if the cheese isn't melting. I used plates that are oven safe, and went ahead and put the mashed potatoes and the stuffed chicken on it (leaving off the salsa) and heated it until the cheese was melted.
- Then add the corn/bean salsa to your plate and drizzle the lemon butter on.
- Finally, serve this amazing dish and enjoy!
*** The Inspiration Restaurant Dish
*** The Inspiration Recipes
These are the recipes I used as guidelines for what to do. I am sure you could do well using these recipes as is, along with any garlic mashed potato recipe.
A combo of: