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Monday, March 26, 2012

Zesty Buttermilk Baked Chicken & Local Restaurant Review

I had a little buttermilk left after making my Irish Soda Bread so I decided that I wanted buttermilk fried chicken (without the frying, greasy part!). You can purchase your chicken whole and cut it yourself, or buy it already cut up. Whichever way works best for you and is more economical. By adding in the Italian dressing mix, it really gave it a nice, zesty flavor and this chicken was extremely moist. You can't get any easier than this and the taste was superb! 

*Tip: If you don't have buttermilk, simply mix together 1 cup of milk +1 tbsp. lemon juice and let it rest for about 5 minutes. It won't be exact, but it should be close and get thick upon standing. 

Zesty Buttermilk Baked Chicken1 Whole Roaster Chicken, cut up
1 c. Low Fat Buttermilk
1 package Good Seasons® Zesty Italian Dressing Mix
1 1/2 c. Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Cooking Spray

Prepare two bowls. In one bowl, add the buttermilk and Italian dressing mix and combine. In another bowl, add the bread crumbs. Dip the chicken first into the buttermilk mixture, then into the bread crumbs. Place on an oven safe baking pan, spray with cooking spray, then bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until proper internal temperature is reached. Serves 6. 


And now for the restaurant review...Amore Cucina in Wayne, NJ

This past weekend, my husband and I had the opportunity to go out to dinner alone (sans children). We had to bring our oldest daughter to a party and needed 4 hours to kill so we figured we'd go to this local restaurant for a leisurely dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We had received a gift certificate for Christmas and heard good things about it since it had changed hands within the last year. Here is how our dinner went...

Once seated, we could not even hear ourselves think, let alone speak. Though there are still two separate rooms for dining, there is no rhyme or reason to how people are seated. Hence, noisy all over. We had an entire fiasco regarding the wine selection, but I wound up with a good one and pressed on. 

I reviewed the menu and there weren't many items that caught my eye so I was hoping that the specials were good. Nope. 90% seafood, one beef selection (a steak) and one veal selection(I don't eat veal either). So back to the menu. I decide on Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms as an appetizer (after making sure they didn't have any seafood stuffing) and Chicken Giambotta for my meal. While we're waiting, the waiter brings over bread. I couldn't tell if it was stale or they just put it in the oven too long to heat it. In any event, we didn't have any oil, butter, salt or pepper on our table so we had to wait for him to come back to bring them. The comical part of the evening was when the table next to us had oil but no butter and the the table behind them had butter but no salt and pepper, so we all started swapping the items we needed because the waiter was taking too long. 

Next, the appetizer comes, and on the plate are two portobello mushrooms (the size of large white button mushrooms) on top a HEAPING mound of broccoli rabe (which I don't like). Odd for a garnish I thought but ok, I'll give these mushrooms a try. The stuffing was supposed to be sausage, but it was ground up so fine, it resembled baby food and keep oozing out on the plate making it very difficult to eat with the mushroom cap itself. They also just threw a slice of cheese over the top so that it was melted. (I wish I would have taken a picture of this!)

Photo courtesy of We Can Eat
Patience wearing thinner now, I wait for my main meal to come. In my mind, I'm envisioning chicken and sausage, mixed with potatoes, peppers and onions in a white wine broth (similar to this image I found online). It is my go-to menu item when there is nothing else I like on the menu because it's usually consistent no matter where you go.

It finally comes and THIS is what I'm served (looks like slop on a plate right?!). Not even any garnish, I think my kids school cafeteria could make this look more appetizing! I tried it and I could barely chew it. The chicken and sausage were so over cooked it was like eating shoe leather (if I could have spit it out I would have). I still don't know where the peppers and potatoes where but you can see some onions. At this point, I didn't even want to send it back because I just couldn't wait to get out of there. The waiter never came back over to see how our food was and when  the busboy came to clear our plates, he asked if I wanted it wrapped three times. "Do you want it wrapped?" Me: "No thank you." BB: "Really, there is a lot left". Me: "I know, but no thank you." BB: "Are you sure?" Me: "No thank you, it really wasn't very good." BB: "Oh", then left with our plates. Then, we didn't see our waiter for another 10+ minutes, where we finally just asked him for the check. 
My meal

So, overall, this was probably one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had and I don't recommend this restaurant if you're looking for a nice quiet evening alone with your sweetie. I was very disappointed as the previous owner made sure that you were catered to as his guest and no matter how crowded it was, it always seemed quiet. It reminded me of a diner with higher priced menu items for the same quality of food. 


  1. Oh, wow. So sorry to hear your date went like that.

    I've been in that situation before. It's bad all the way around. I always go for the underdog and give chance after chance for things to improve on my visit...but there's been times it just doesn't.

    And what's it seems the establishment just doesn't even care.

    I see people like you and Joan and others who have such a talent with food and it makes me wonder why those without that talent, pursue that business.

    You're a first class lady and I can only imagine the first class treatment around your table.

    Love. =)

    1. Thanks Carrie! No, I don't think they do and the others must not care enough. We'll see how long they last. :)

  2. That buttermilk chicken looks and sounds delicious! I love baking chicken...

    Too bad that restaurant experience was so bad for you! I hate when that happens :( I guess they better pull their socks up or they'll be out of business soon!

    1. Thank you and you're right, I don't think they'll last long! :)


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