On Thursday of this week, I began my buttermilk experiments. Chicken breasts will be placed in containers with buttermilk for a 72 hour, 48 hour, 24 hour and 2 hour marinade, and then will be dredged in all purpose flour once and fried. I am hoping to do a double blind test to verify if there is any noticeable difference in the chicken texture, such that I will be able to identify which had a longer time in the buttermilk bath. Results to follow. I will be frying on Sunday.
Update: A 72 hour marinade in buttermilk has no significant, noticeable impact on the texture of the chicken. It tasted just fine when dipped in seasoned flour and fried. I will now go for 96 hours.
Update: At 96 hours the fried chicken is still not mushy. And it is very moist. I think I've confirmed for good that a long soak in buttermilk can be done without problems.