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Published July 01, 2009, 12:00 AM

FINGER FOOD RECIPES: Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Breasts . . . Jamaican Jerk Chicken

By: Herald Wire Reports,

Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Breasts

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon kosher salt

4 1-pound bone-in chicken breasts

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground sage

Your favorite sauce for chicken, barbecue or otherwise.

Pour the buttermilk into a large zip-top bag. Add the salt and the chicken breasts. Close the bag and squish the liquid around the chicken breasts. Put in the refrigerator and let sit overnight, turning the bag several times.

Combine the 11 herbs and spices in a small container with an airtight lid. You won’t use all of this mixture for this recipe, but use the extra within 6 months.

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

When the grill is hot, cut off the center or back burner and adjust your heat to medium-high.

Remove the breasts from the bag and discard the brine. Pat the breasts dry and then sprinkle about a tablespoon of the rub on each breast, gently messaging the rub into the meat.

Place the chicken breasts, skin down, over the direct heat section of your grill, close the lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until nicely seared. Turn and sear the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Move the chicken breasts to the indirect area, cut your burners to medium, and close the lid.

You want to maintain about a 325-degree temperature. Grill-roast for about 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 170 degrees in the thickest portion of the breast.

During the last 5 minutes, glaze the chicken with your choice of sauce on the skin side only. Remove the breasts from the grill to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

Yield: Serves 4.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 tablespoon jerk seasoning

2 teaspoons canola oil

Remove visible fat from chicken. Sprinkle chicken with jerk seasoning, pressing it into the flesh. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute 5 minutes. Turn and saute 4 to 5 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees.

Yield: Serves 2.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 234 calories (26 percent from fat), 6.7 grams fat (0.9 grams saturated, 3.4 grams monounsaturated), 96 milligrams cholesterol, 39.7 grams protein, 2.0 grams carbohydrates, 0.9 grams fiber, 110 milligrams sodium.

Pigeon Peas and Rice

2 teaspoons canola oil

¼ cup diced/chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons tomato sauce

1 cup rinsed and drained pigeon peas

½ cup long-grain white rice

1 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and tomato sauce and mix well. Add the peas, rice and water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Rice will be cooked and the liquid absorbed.

Yield: Serves 2.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 333 calories (14 percent from fat), 5.3 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated, 3 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 9.8 grams protein, 61.6 grams carbohydrates, 7.2 grams fiber, 13 milligrams sodium.

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