Monthly Archives: February 2022


The last time (and probably the only time since the pandemic began) I had friends over for dinner and some games of Mah Jongg was that period around this past Thanksgiving between the time that Delta was waning and Omicron had not yet started. For the past six or seven years I have been making this amazing – and very simple – roasted chicken that has been marinated overnight in buttermilk. I don’t remember where I found the recipe but I promise you – you will never taste a moister or juicier roasted chicken and it is also a work of art when it comes out of the oven. If you make it – and really, you must! – drop me a line letting me know what you thought. OMG – everyone who has made it says the same thing to me: YUM!

Buttermilk-Marinated Roasted Chicken

4 servings

Ingredients (only three ingredients!):

1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds

Kosher salt or fine sea salt (regarding Kosher salt quantity, this recipe is written for Diamond Crystal in the red box. If you have Morton’s in the blue box, which is twice as salty by volume, you should use 1/2 as much – this 1T in this recipe instead of 2T)

2 cups buttermilk


The day before you want to cook the chicken, remove the wingtips by cutting through the first wing joint with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Reserve for stock. Season chicken generously with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Stir 2 tablespoons kosher salt or 4 teaspoons fine sea salt into the buttermilk to dissolve. Place the chicken in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk. (If the chicken won’t fit in a gallon-size bag, double up 2 plastic produce bags to prevent leaks and tie the bag with twine.)

Seal the bag, squish the buttermilk all around the chicken, place on a rimmed plate, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. If you’re so inclined, you can turn the bag periodically so every part of the chicken gets marinated, but that’s not essential.

Pull the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it. Heat the oven to 425 

degrees with a rack set in the center position.

Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without being obsessive. Tightly tie together the legs with a piece of butcher’s twine. Place the chicken in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a shallow roasting pan.

Slide the pan all the way to the back of the oven on the center rack. Rotate the pan so that the legs are pointing toward the rear left corner and the breast is pointing toward the center of the oven. (The back corners tend to be the hottest spots in the oven, so this orientation protects the breast from overcooking before the legs are done.) Pretty quickly you should hear the chicken sizzling.

After about 20 minutes, when the chicken starts to brown, reduce the heat to 400 degrees and continue roasting for 10 minutes.

Move the pan so the legs are facing the rear right corner of the oven. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes or so, until the chicken is brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh. If the skin is getting too brown before it is cooked through, use a foil tent. Remove it to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

It ALWAYS comes out looking exactly like this…perfect and gorgeous!

I’ve said it before…

…and it still holds true: Mah Jongg people are the nicest people! Case in example is dear Donna Eschen in Northern California:

Wife, mother, grandmother, great friend, Mah Jongg certified teacher and a very busy organizer totally running all of the many Mah Jongg activities at the Mussell Center in Santa Maria, CA. And, on top of all that – plus much more – Donna makes sure that the Alzheimer’s Association benefits from our beloved game by working day and night to sell the upcoming new NJML card for 2022, which resulted in the following donation this year (Donna does this every year; there is a place reserved for her in heaven):

Oh, and let’s not forget Donna’s wonderful weekly Mah Jongg newsletter (that’s where the below reminder is from!). If you’d like to subscribe, send your name and email address to Donna at

And, as a friendly reminder:

A good day for our favorite game…

Nothing like a day off to spend with our dearest friends and our dearest game! Whether you are playing online or in-person, this holiday is the perfect excuse to play Mah Jongg!

Enjoy the holiday and…may the Jokers be with you!

Abe Lincoln says: “I don’t have any Jokers…again!”

Notes from a voice from the past…

Hello to all my dear Mah Jongg friends! It has been over a year since I last published anything on this blog and I must say that I have missed you all. So much has happened since you last heard from me…I am living in beautiful Hudson, NY and teaching high school up here in Columbia County. And I am happy to say that there is a lot of Mah Jongg being played up here in the country! Of course, I’m still playing every week with some of my NYC friends – online – and I look forward to those games and staying in touch with my city peeps.

Today was the last day of school before winter break starts for all of next week. I am exhausted and am looking forward to the vacation. But when I walked into my apartment building lobby I saw a group of my neighbors sitting at a card table and I must knew they must be playing my favorite game! So I walked on over and asked if I could watch for a while and they very graciously said yes. And what a lovely group of people they are! Debbie said to me, “whatever happened to your blog? I looked forward to it and got recipes from it and loved seeing all your gifts and ideas.” Well, Debbie inspired me so HERE I AM!

Now I must say that WordPress, the host of this blog, has changed and I have a big learning curve to catch up with and try to figure out how to get back in the habit of blogging. So, I will leave you here today and hopefully will be back in the habit of blogging most days going forward. I’ve missed you all and send thanks to Debbie for inspiring me to get back on my computer and connect once again with all of you.

And if you have any questions or Mah Jongg news to share with me, I’d love to hear from you. You can always email me at

May the Jokers be with you! Ann xxo