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Sometimes the easiest recipes are the most delicious.
This buttermilk roast chicken is just that.
I had very low expectations for this recipe.
It came from Samin Nosrat and I saw it on the Netflix show, Salt Fat Acid Heat (if you haven’t seen the show yet, get it on your list to watch ASAP!).
She made it seem so easy and delicious and you were practically drooling watching her cut into it.
However, when I read the recipe, I was wondering how the heck the buttermilk-marinated roast chicken could be as good as she was saying.
Again, I stand corrected.
The buttermilk roast chicken was INCREDIBLE.
So juicy, so moist, and so much flavor.
And with only three ingredients!!
And BARELY any hands on time.
You literally marinate a whole chicken overnight in buttermilk then put it in the oven and 1.5 hours later, you have the most succulent buttermilk roast chicken ever.
No seasoning on the buttermilk roast chicken?
Nope, the buttermilk and salt does all the seasoning for you.
Of course, if you find it needs more, definitely season to taste but we ate it just as is and it was perfectly seasoned for our tastes.
What if I don’t have buttermilk?
Get some. This isn’t the time to make your own.
I believe you have to get store-bought/real buttermilk to get the right results because it’s cultured vs. acidified (via vinegar or lemon juice).
Milk and vinegar just doesn’t seem like it’d cut.
However, if you truly can’t find it, you can use plain yogurt!
What does the buttermilk do to the chicken?
The lactic acid in the buttermilk penetrates the chicken and helps to tenderizes it, retain moisture, and allows for added flavor to penetrate the meat more easily.
Can I have this in the fridge longer than 24 hours?
Up to 48 hours, no longer.
Can I have this in the fridge for less than 24 hours?
I highly recommend giving this a full 24 hours.
Can you freeze this mixture?
Do you have to mix/massage the chicken throughout the 24 hours?
You can if you are inclined but you don’t have to.
The liquid doesn’t cover the entire chicken when it sits in the fridge.
It’s okay. It’ll still work.
Do you have to tie the legs of the chicken?
Do you have to use a roasting pan?
No, what I did was place a wire cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet then placed the chicken on top.
I also lined my baking sheet with foil.
Omg, the temperature is so high.
Yep, but it works.
Do you have to put the chicken in on a diagonal?
Yes, Samin says: 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.
Why do you put the legs towards the back of the oven? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
People do this but then the breasts dry out because they don’t take as long to cook as the legs. So, flipping the orientation protects the breasts from overcooking.
The exterior of my buttermilk roast chicken is getting awfully brown!
You can cover it with foil for the rest of the cooking process.
Shred the buttermilk roast chicken after it has cooled and make these recipes with shredded chicken:
- Homemade chicken enchiladas
- Stovetop chicken tortilla soup
- Shredded Chicken Kale Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps
- Instant Pot jalapeño lime chicken soup
Buttermilk Roast Chicken
- 3 ½ - 4 pound whole chicken
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- The day before you want to cook the chicken, remove the wingtips by cutting through the first wing joint with a sharp knife. Season the chicken generously with salt then let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt into the buttermilk and stir until dissolved.
- After 30 minutes, place the chicken into a gallon-sized plastic bag then pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Seal, massage a bit, then place into the fridge for 24 hours.
- An hour before you want to cook the chicken, bring out the chicken and let it come to room temperature. Everything cooks more evenly that way.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top.
- Take the chicken out of the bag and wipe off the buttermilk as much as you can. Don't be obsessive about it; just as much as you can.
- Place the chicken on top of the wire rack then with butcher's twine, tie the legs together.
- Place the baking sheet diagonally on the center rack in the oven then rotate the pan so the legs are pointed towards the rear left back of the oven.
- Cook for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit then rotate the pan so the legs are pointed towards the rear right back of the oven.
- Let cook for another 30 minutes (more or less), until cooked through.
- Remove chicken from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.