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Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Recipe

by Capri Lilly

You’ll love this easy Buttermilk Roasted Chicken recipe! The chicken is marinated in a simple, herbaceous buttermilk mixture and then roasted in the oven, giving you a perfectly golden, flavorful whole chicken!

If you love flavorful, easy poultry dishes, you will definitely want to try my Spatchcock Turkey or Herb Crusted Spatchcock Chicken next!

Marinade whole chicken overnight
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This is one of those recipes that once you try it once you will never be able to forget it and will want to make it again and again! I initially saw this buttermilk roasted chicken made years ago by Samin Nosrat on Salt, Heat, Acid, and Fat, a lovely cooking show. Since seeing it, I’ve made it dozens of times and have found ways to elevate the recipe and make it my own! 

Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Is 

  • Super easy to make
  • Tender, moist, and packed with flavor
  • Enough to feed a whole family
  • Pairs well with any side dish 
oven roasted chicken

You may be asking yourself, “Does buttermilk make chicken moist?”. The answer is a resounding yes! Because of its high acidity, buttermilk helps to tenderize the meat and keeps it nice, tender, and juicy when it is cooked.

How to Make Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

Making Buttermilk Roasted Chicken is SO EASY. This will soon become your favorite way to make a whole chicken. Buttermilk Roasted Chicken can be made in a few simple steps:

  1. Marinade the chicken using my herbaceous buttermilk recipe
  2. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 12 hours 
  3. When you are ready to enjoy it, transfer it into the oven and let the magic happen!
Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Fresh Out Of The Oven

How to Make Buttermilk Marinade

The buttermilk helps tenderize the chicken so that it is moist and tender when it is done roasting. You can easily marinade the chicken in salt and buttermilk, but why skip on adding more mouthwatering flavor to your chicken!?

I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count and have done lots of experimenting with the flavors. The addition of garlic, fresh herbs, and spices takes this chicken over the top! I’ve made it three years in a row for  Thanksgiving Dinner and each year it is devoured in less than 10 minutes with everyone asking for more!

For The Buttermilk Marinade You Will Need: 

Buttermilk: For a dairy-free substitute, use non-dairy milk with lemon or vinegar added. (see recipe notes)

Salt: Do not skip the salt. It may seem like a lot of salt, but it is not. Along with the buttermilk, the salt helps to break down the meat which further helps to tenderize the meat. Do not worry, your chicken will not taste salty. 🙂

Rosemary: My favorite herb! It adds incredible depth and flavor to the chicken. It is very subtle but the taste is undeniably good!

Garlic: And lots of it! The garlic helps to make this chicken even more rich in flavor. 

Herbs de Provence: Not much is needed because the chicken gets its flavors primarily from other ingredients used. If you do not have Herbs de Provence, you can also use Italian Seasoning. (I’ve linked my favorite brands here: Herbs de Provence and Italian Seasoning)

How Long Can You Leave Chicken In Buttermilk?

How long to soak chicken in buttermilk

The longer you leave your chicken in the buttermilk, the more tender and flavorful the chicken will be when it is cooked. Always store your chicken in the fridge. The minimum time to soak the chicken in buttermilk is at least 12 hours. You can leave the chicken marinating in the fridge for up to two days.

Can You Soak Chicken In Milk Instead Of Buttermilk?

If you do not have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk. Simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)per 8 ounces of milk.

What is a Good Non-dairy Substitute for Buttermilk?

For a non-dairy buttermilk substitution, simply use your favorite non-dairy milk and add lemon juice or vinegar. It is best to use unflavored non-dairy milk like unsweetened almond milk or soy milk. Add 1 tablespoons of Lemon Juice or Vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar) per cup of milk.

buttermilk roasted chicken

Tips To Making The Best Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

Tip 1: Once the chicken has been marinating for at least 12 hours, the chicken is ready for roasting. When you remove the chicken from the marinade take a paper towel and remove any of the excess buttermilk. Some people have asked, “Do you wash buttermilk off chicken?”, and the answer is no, it is not necessary. 

Tip 2: After removing any excess buttermilk, transfer the chicken to a wire rack. This is for 2 reasons:

  1. So that any excess buttermilk can drip off of the chicken.
  2. To give the chicken time to come to room temperature before roasting it in the oven. It is important that the chicken is room temperature so that it cooks evenly throughout the entire chicken. (Please do not take your chicken straight out of the fridge and put it in the oven.)

Tip 3: You can remove the chicken wing tips if you would like. The chicken wing tips generally stick up and burn while cooking, plus no one eats that part. I don’t generally bother with removing the wing tips, but you most certainly can! 

Tip 4: Make sure to follow the recipe instructions and rotate the chicken to ensure even cooking and a beautiful, uniform golden crust.

whole buttermilk roasted chicken on a plate with a wedge of lemon

Recipe Variations

  • You can roast a whole chicken, or any other parts of the chicken. I find bone-in chicken works best for this buttermilk roasted chicken recipe. However, you can also roast chicken breast or tenders if you’d like! 
  • If you dont want to roast your chicken, you can always coat the chicken with flour and fry the chicken to make classic buttermilk fried chicken. 
  • If you want to make this dairy-free, simply create your own non-dairy buttermilk by mixing non-dairy milk with an acid, like lemon or vinegar. 
  • You can roast your chicken with vegetables and potatoes to easily create an entire meal!

I hope you enjoy this Buttermilk Roasted Chicken Recipe!

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

Side Dishes To Serve With Your Chicken:

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Butternut Squash

Instant Pot Creamy Parsnip Mash

Dairy-Free Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Vegan

3-Ingredient Orange Cranberry Sauce

Gluten Free Sourdough Stuffing

Marinade whole chicken overnight

Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

You’ll love this easy flavorful Buttermilk Roasted Chicken recipe! The chicken marinates in a simple, herbaceous buttermilk mixture and then is roasted in the oven giving you a perfectly golden, flavorful whole chicken!
5 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 453kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken, 3 1/2 -4 pounds
  • 4 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 2.5 cups Buttermilk
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

Instructions

  • Season the chicken generously with salt, about 2 tbsp per side, and let it sit for 30 minutes. (The salt helps the chicken absorb the flavor and retain the moisture)
  • Stir 2 tablespoons sea salt into the buttermilk to dissolve. Place the chicken in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk.
  • Close the bag, massage the buttermilk all around the chicken, place on a rimmed plate, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Rotate the bag periodically (every 4-6 hours) to ensure every part of the chicken gets marinated.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it. Take the chicken out of the plastic bag and wipe off any excess buttermilk with a paper towel. Tightly tie together the legs with a piece of butcher’s twine (or string). Place the chicken on a wire rack and allow the chicken to come to room temperature while any excess buttermilk drips off the chicken.
  • Heat the oven to 425°F degrees with a rack set in the center position.
  • Transfer the chicken into a cast iron or shallow roasting pan. If you want to add potatoes and vegetables, arrange them around the chicken.
  • Slide the pan to the back of the oven on the center rack. Rotate the pan so that the legs are facing the back left corner and the breast is pointing toward the center of the oven. Roast for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, the chicken should begin to brown. Lower the heat to 400°F and roast the chicken for an additional 10 minutes. Then, rotate the pan so the legs point towards the right corner of the oven and roast for 30 more minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown. The chicken is done when the juices run clear when cutting into the leg and an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

Notes

  • For non-dairy buttermilk, mix 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) per cup of non-dairy milk. (use unsweetened almond milk, hemp milk, or soy milk)
  • If you do not have buttermilk, you can make it by adding 1 tbsp white vinegar per 1 cup of whole milk. Let the mixture curdle at the top, then use. 
  • Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
  • You can also freeze any leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 2 months. (slice the chicken first)

Nutrition

Calories: 453kcal

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49 comments

Genevieve October 28, 2020 - 3:56 am

5 stars
This buttermilk roast chicken looks absolutely delicious! I can just imagine it being super juicy from the buttermilk marinade. YUM

Reply
Capri Lilly October 28, 2020 - 5:16 am

Yes, indeed! It’s so tender and juicy!

Reply
Sara October 28, 2020 - 8:22 pm

5 stars
Looks amazing! Love how simple it is too. A good roasted chicken is definitely underrated

Reply
FOODHEAL October 28, 2020 - 8:50 pm

Oh heavens, I like the color. I am sure this would be the talk at a dining table…

Reply
Terra October 28, 2020 - 11:21 pm

5 stars
This is such a genius way to make a moist and tender roasted chicken. I’m a huge fan of the herbs and spices, and the way the buttermilk makes them all work together.~

Reply
Capri Lilly October 29, 2020 - 12:53 am

Hi Terra! Thank you! I think the buttermilk does a fantastic job of bringing the ingredients together as well!

Reply
Connie October 30, 2020 - 8:24 am

5 stars
Such a great way to tenderize chicken. The sound of buttermilk added sounds delicious! My family is going to LOVE this!

Reply
Capri Lilly October 31, 2020 - 6:30 pm

Most definitely! This chicken is so tender and flavorful! I hope you and your family enjoy!

Reply
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Reply
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[…] Buttermilk Roasted Chicken […]

Reply
Tracee Schultz January 29, 2021 - 7:17 am

Can’t wait to try this over the weekend! Question! When do you to the herbs/seasonings? Is this all added to the buttermilk brine or rubbed on/in the bird after brining? Recipe doesn’t say.

Reply
Capri Lilly January 29, 2021 - 10:07 am

Hi Tracee! Thank you for letting me know! The seasonings go in with the brine. 🙂

Reply
Kristin August 17, 2021 - 8:58 pm

excellent, because I was searching the recipe for instructions on the seasonings and couldn’t fine them.

Reply
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Reply
Raquel July 19, 2021 - 9:41 pm

5 stars
I am always looking for ways to use buttermilk! Thank you for the recipe!

Reply
Jamie July 19, 2021 - 9:45 pm

5 stars
This will be great for dinner!

Reply
Amanda Scarlati July 19, 2021 - 11:40 pm

5 stars
The buttermilk makes this chicken so tender and juicy!

Reply
Capri Lilly July 20, 2021 - 4:37 pm

Doesn’t it! I am glad you liked the recipe! 🙂

Reply
Alexa July 19, 2021 - 11:46 pm

5 stars
This buttermilk chicken was juicy, tender and crispy! Absolutely delicious! We all loved it.

Reply
Oscar July 20, 2021 - 12:37 am

5 stars
This chicken was so juicy and succulent. Great recipe and loved using the buttermilk for this. My whole family loved it.

Reply
Capri Lilly July 20, 2021 - 4:29 pm

Hi Oscar! I am so happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for leaving a review!

Reply
Alexandra July 20, 2021 - 4:44 am

5 stars
This chicken was delicious – it cooked up to perfection!

Reply
Capri Lilly July 20, 2021 - 4:27 pm

I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!

Reply
Leslie July 20, 2021 - 2:17 pm

5 stars
Great recipe for Roasted Chicken!

Reply
Capri Lilly July 20, 2021 - 4:27 pm

Thank you!

Reply
Jessica Formicola July 20, 2021 - 6:36 pm

5 stars
Roasted chicken is my absolute favorite! And this buttermilk version is the best version I’ve tried. Thanks so much for sharing it!

Reply
Swathi July 22, 2021 - 4:23 am

5 stars
This buttermilk roasted chicken looks yum.

Reply
Rainbow August 23, 2021 - 4:18 am

5 stars
We made this today and it was so flavorful, juicy, and tender. Thank you for the recipe and video!

Reply
Capri Lilly August 24, 2021 - 8:11 pm

You’re welcome! I am glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Reply
Marta September 23, 2021 - 10:33 am

5 stars
Tender & moist chicken, full of flavor. Great dinner meal.

Reply
Jeri September 27, 2021 - 2:24 am

5 stars
So much flavor, SO tender! My husband and I loved it! Loved your take on using Italian seasoning–delicious!

Reply
Capri Lilly September 27, 2021 - 8:20 pm

Hi Jeri! I am so happy you and your husband enjoyed the recipe!

Reply
Robin September 27, 2021 - 4:09 am

5 stars
The buttermilk made this chicken so moist. Winner, winner!

Reply
Capri Lilly September 27, 2021 - 8:20 pm

Winner Winner Indeed! 🙂

Reply
Karla September 27, 2021 - 12:37 pm

5 stars
Juicy and tender! This was so good! That buttermilk does the trick!

Reply
Capri Lilly September 27, 2021 - 8:20 pm

It works every time! I am glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

Reply
Tamara Johnson September 28, 2021 - 2:04 pm

5 stars
Wow! This was some of the most delicious chicken I have ever made! It is insane what a difference that buttermilk made in creating such a juicy and tender piece of chicken. Thanks for all of these great tips!

Reply
Capri Lilly October 1, 2021 - 6:13 pm

You’re welcome, Tamara!

Reply
TKY September 28, 2021 - 4:49 pm

Hi, this looks amazing. Can I use dry spices instead as I’m incapable of going to the store for fresh herbs? If I can when do I add?

Reply
Capri Lilly September 28, 2021 - 5:13 pm

Hi! Fresh herbs is my preference but you most certainly can use dried herbs. Try adding a tablespoon of each to the marinade: dried parsley, dried thyme, dried oregano, herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning.

Reply
Chenée September 29, 2021 - 6:50 am

5 stars
My new go-to method for roasting chicken! It came out SO moist and tender. I marinated mine for about 24 hours.

Reply
Capri Lilly October 1, 2021 - 6:12 pm

Yumm! The longer the better! I am glad it turned out delish! Thanks for leaving a review.

Reply
Jazz September 29, 2021 - 5:33 pm

5 stars
My whole family enjoyed this buttermilk chicken and it was so easy to make. Thank you!

Reply
Capri Lilly October 1, 2021 - 6:10 pm

Hi Jazz! I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe!

Reply
Britney Brown October 15, 2021 - 11:19 pm

5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this chicken, The skin was so crisp and the meat was super tender. Thanks for giving us an awesome way to make chicken!

Reply
Capri Lilly October 16, 2021 - 1:10 am

You’re so welcome, Britney! I am glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Reply
Lavinia February 26, 2022 - 5:39 pm

5 stars
Thank you for this recipe; the chicken was so moist and flavorful. Will definitely do this again!

Reply
Capri Lilly February 27, 2022 - 8:59 pm

Hi Lavinia! I am glad you liked the recie! Thanks for leaving a review 🙂

Reply

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