Guardian Reader Recipe Swap: Buttermilk

Guardian reader recipe swap

Buttermilk has long been a favourite ingredient of mine. I use it liberally in marinades, dressings and cakes, and particularly like it to tenderise meat and chicken. I was so thrilled to be included in last weekend’s Guardian Reader Recipe Swap in their Cook Supplement on Saturday, along with loads of other gorgeous sounding recipes. I was tempted to send in my mother’s recipe for Buttermilk Rusks- one of my most favourite things to eat, ever. South Africans are great rusk eaters, and I know that you may be thinking of the baby-type rusks when I use that word, but what I in fact mean are a sort of vanilla, plain biscotti type of large biscuit- roughly cube shaped, and consumed in vast quantities by almost all South African households. The Afrikaans word for Rusks is Beskuit: and the most famous Brand name is Ouma- which in Afrikaans means “Granny”. Ouma Buttermilk Rusks, in my opinion, are just wonderful, but my mum’s were better. She used to make them in such vast quantities that she mixed them in a huge bucket, and had to call my father to help her mix the dough- and even he would struggle with the volume. Once the dough was baked, you would turn the baked tray out , break up the soft cooked dough into rough cubes, place them back on trays, and allow them to dry out in a low oven overnight. Then, once completely dry, they would of course be dunked into large cups of tea and coffee. The tins of rusks never lasted long in our house as my father was a fiend with them, and still is.

Anyway, I digress. Today’s recipe is a reminder of that one I posted months back- the Buttermilk Oregano Chicken Wings. I made them again last weekend and they were just a good as I remember. I’ve posted The Guardian Link below, and also my recipe again for you. Enjoy!

Guardian Reader Recipe Swap: Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius


1kg chicken wings

1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp Maldon salt

Good grinding black pepper

1 clove garlic, microplaned

Handful fresh parsley, chopped

Zest and juice of ½ a lemon

To finish the sauce off:

30g salted butter

Small handful chopped parsley


Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Massage the marinade into the meat. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight, if you can.

When ready to roast, allow the wings to come up to room temperature. Place, with all of the marinade, into a medium sized ovenproof dish and roast for 45 minutes. You want them to be snug; you don’t want them too spread out. If you have a fan oven, ensure they don’t dry out, and cover with a tin foil lid or similar.

You will, however, in all ovens, need to turn the wings regularly so that they brown evenly. Once cooked, remove the wings from the dish, and keep warm. Scrape all of the sauce from the dish into a small saucepan, and add the salted butter. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, whisking every now and then. The sauce will have reduced by this time. Add the extra chopped parsley to the sauce and stir well. Pour the sauce over the wings, and serve immediately.

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