Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Buttermilk" Roast Chicken

Buttermilk and chicken are a classic combination.  In fact, when I hear the words buttermilk and chicken together in the same sentence, I automatically think moist, tender, and flavorful.  Buttermilk marinades are often used for fried chicken, which is delicious, but also unhealthy, not to mention a nuisance to make at home (it's messy and  makes the whole house smell like oil).  So how can we get both delectable crispy skin and moist and tender meat at the same time without frying?  Well, with the recipe I'm about to give you.

Besides having incredibly tasty results, this recipe is great if you're busy because it requires no special attention.  The chicken has a long marinating time during which you can leave it in the fridge and forget about it for a day or two, and then while it is roasting, you don't have to worry about checking on the chicken constantly either.

And, to make this recipe even easier, it requires no special ingredients.  This is why "buttermilk" is in quotations; this recipe doesn't actually use buttermilk.  Why?  Because let's be honest, how many people out there normally have buttermilk in their fridge?  I know I don't.  I do, however, almost always have milk and yogurt on hand.  So that is what I used.  This combination is a great substitute, and it tastes every bit as delicious as the buttermilk version.

The end result is a very healthy meal of moist and tender chicken with lightly browned, crispy skin.  Serve it with a side of rice and some asparagus or green beans and you have a fast and delicious dinner, no sweat.

A busy life doesn't mean you can't eat good food.

"Buttermilk" Roast Chicken
loosely based on Nigella Lawson's recipe

3-4lbs chicken drumsticks and/or thighs
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 cup milk
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon kosher/sea salt
2 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
freshly ground black pepper

Wash the chicken and put into a lidded container (a pot works really well) or gallon-sized freezer bag. Add the yogurt, milk, garlic, salt, honey, curry powder and black pepper. Swish/swirl so that all parts are covered. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours. The longer the marinating time, the better.

When ready to roast, line a rimmed baking sheet or dish with aluminum foil. Arrange the chicken in a single layer. Bake in an oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how crispy/brown you want the skin to be.  I leave my chicken in for an hour.

The chicken will be moist and tender, and the skin will be beautifully brown and crisp. Serve immediately.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.


  1. this looks great and sounds so healthy! I wonder if it will work with chicken breast?

  2. I haven't tried it with chicken breast, but I imagine it would work just fine. I would recommend using chicken breast with the skin (it's really not *that* unhealthy) and adjusting the cooking time. Let me know how it turns out if you do try this out!