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Three Compound Butter Recipes

Grilled Fresh Corn on the Cob with Compound Butter // Karista's Kitchen

Have you ever grilled a piece of fish or chicken and then wish you had a little something to dollop on top – just for a little extra flavor and fun?

Compound butter is perfect for grilled, pan seared or roasted meat, fish and veggies.  

Just make a few of these compound butters and keep them in the fridge.  They will hold for several months and when you’re ready to use them just slice a coin of  compound butter and dollop it on your “hot off the grill” fish, meat or veggies.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Garlic Lemon & Thyme Compound Butter // Karista's Kitchen

Compound butter is simply butter that has been mixed with a few ingredients of your choice; like garlic & herbs or anchovies and capers or lemon zest and cumin…  and most often used to enhance a simple pan seared or grilled fish, meat and veggies.   I typically make my compound butters savory, but during grilling season I also make a sweet compound butter spiked with spices and vanilla beans to use over grilled fruit or cake.

You’re going to love these three compound butter recipes but feel free to experiment and make your own.  It’s a great way to use up the excess fresh herbs from the herb garden or citrus that might have seen better days. I also like to use finely chopped toasted nuts or cheese in my compound butters.

Summer is in full swing and using compound butter to enhance the flavor of our grilled meals makes a delicious ending to a busy day.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Three Compound Butter Recipes

Each recipe makes 8 tablespoons

Three Compound Butter Recipes


    Chipotle Orange Butter
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
  • One canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
    Garlic Lemon Thyme Butter
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
    Cilantro Lime Butter
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


  • Compound butter can either be mixed by hand or in a food processor. If mixing by hand, add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a fork until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • If you are using a food processor, add the ingredients to the food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface and spoon the butter onto the plastic wrap forming a log. Fold the plastic wrap over the butter and twist the ends. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  • Notes

    I created this recipe originally for the beautiful Home By Design Magazine June/July 2015

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    Chicken Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More

    Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Brandy Butter Sauce

    Roasted Chicken Leg Quarter with Brandy Butter

    Cross country skiing is my sport of choice during the winter months.  You’re probably wondering what this has to do with roasted chicken leg quarters.

    Skiing in the Cascades

    There is a story here.  I promise.  After a day of skiing, Ranger Craig and I are usually famished.  So on the way home, we stop at our local Brewhouse for a pint and some fish tacos.  Mmmm… sounds good doesn’t it?

    My Mountain Man

    I could go home and prepare the fish tacos and pull a pint out of the frig.  But Ranger Craig and I tried that once.  By the time the tacos were done, we had snacked on everything in the pantry and then we weren’t hungry for dinner. 🙁

    So we usually skip the cooking and go right to the Brewhouse.  Except today.

    Cross Country Skiing

    There was leftover chicken leg quarters with brandy butter in the frig.  And to top it off, leftover roasted baby red potatoes with fresh basil and lemon.  All I had to do was roast the green beans and dinner would be ready.  Ok, I could live with this.

    Cross Country Skiing in the Cascades

    It didn’t take long and the leftover chicken was gone.   As soon as the last bite touched my lips, my two sassy gals walked through the front door… looking for, you guessed it, leftover chicken.

    What’s a Mom to do?  I really wanted to say “order a pizza”.  But I didn’t.  Yep, I made more chicken.

    Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Brandy Butter Sauce

    The brandy butter sauce is a lovely pan sauce taught by my favorite Chef Instructor during a poultry class.  I thought it a brilliant idea and I’ve used it ever since. If you don’t use wine when cooking, just substitute the brandy with some chicken broth and a splash of white wine vinegar and your sauce will be delish!

    Serves 4 to 6


    4 or 6 chicken leg quarters, bone in and skin on or trimmed (if you can’t find quarters substitute with 4-6 bone in chicken thighs and 4-6 chicken legs)

    Grapeseed oil, safflower or sunflower oil (any high heat oil will be great)

    Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

    Large oven proof skillet and/or baking dish

    For the sauce:

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

    3/4 cup brandy

    Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)


    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Paper towel dry the chicken and season the chicken with salt and pepper.

    In a large oven proof skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of high heat oil over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot add the chicken leg quarters.

    Brown the chicken, and then when they easily lift off the pan, flip over and brown the other side.  You are looking for a nice and toasty color.  It adds a lot of flavor to the chicken.

    Once the chicken pieces are browned, put them in a pre-heated oven to finish roasting.  If using a baking dish, transfer the browned chicken pieces to the baking dish and place in the oven to finish roasting.  This should take about 20 minutes or so, but it’s best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

    The chicken will be done when the internal temperature reaches 160F.  Remove from the oven and let the chicken sit for about 5-10 minutes.

    Transfer the chicken to a platter.  Put all the chicken juices in a saute pan, or the oven proof skillet, and heat the 2 tablespoons of butter with the juices.  Once the butter is melted and frothy, Whisk in the brandy (If using a gas stove, turn off the gas add the brandy, then turn the gas back on.  We don’t want to risk a fire.)

    Let the brandy simmer and reduce by one half.  Remove the saute pan (or skillet) from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.  Taste for salt and pepper and then pour over the chicken leg quarters.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves if desired.