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Chicken Breast Poached in Buttermilk

You can use your favorite salad greens in place of the escarole. The dressing can be made four days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2014


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 7 ounces each)
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4 sprigs sage
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cornichons or small dill gherkins
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 small head escarole (about 6 ounces), shredded
  • 4 radishes, very thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), for serving
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted, for serving


  1. Let chicken stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons buttermilk for dressing; place the rest in a large Dutch oven with sage and garlic.

  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and submerge in a single layer in buttermilk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid is shimmering but not simmering, about 170 degrees on a thermometer. (Buttermilk will curdle slightly, so stir occasionally and adjust heat as necessary to maintain temperature.) Poach chicken, turning occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of each breast registers 150 degrees, about 15 minutes (once liquid reaches temperature; chicken will continue to cook after poaching). Transfer to a dish and let cool; discard liquid. Slice chicken.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, shallot, cornichons, capers, lemon zest and juice, and reserved buttermilk. Season with salt. Arrange escarole on a platter; top with chicken slices, radishes, and almonds. Serve with dressing on the side.

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