Buttermilk Roast Chicken

This week, I made yet another winner from Smitten Kitchenbuttermilk roast chicken, adapted from Nigella Lawson’s original recipe. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by the many recipes I’ve used from that blog! This one’s going into my regular rotation. It’s a super easy, tasty way to prepare chicken. It requires at least 24 hours of marinating time, but the hands-on time is less than 15 minutes, and the resulting chicken is incredibly juicy, tender and flavorful. As Deb from Smitten Kitchen writes in her original post, it tastes like the meat of fried chicken, without the greasy skin (I know I’m probably in the minority, but I always discard the skin on fried chicken. I love the meat but really don’t like the fried skin).

All you need to make this dish are chicken pieces (I used all drumsticks), buttermilk, some garlic, paprika, and a little sugar, salt and pepper. The boys gobbled this up, and they’re sometimes iffy with meat, so you know it’s good!

Buttermilk Roast Chicken


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper (don’t skimp!)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken parts (I used drumsticks)

Drizzle of olive oil
Sea salt


In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, garlic, salt, sugar, paprika and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Place the chicken in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or a food storage container with a lid) and pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken. Shake the bag or swish the container so that all of the chicken is covered. Refrigerate the bag or container for at least two hours, but preferably 24 to 48 hours.

When you’re ready to roast the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange in dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with additional paprika and sea salt to taste.

Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until brown and a bit scorched in spots.

While the chicken’s roasting, you can prepare a vegetable and a side, and there you have it — dinner! Enjoy!

About Saucy Mommy

I'm Beverly, a mom of two who loves to cook and write. Check out my blog at for family-friendly (but tasty) meal ideas and pictures of bento box lunches.


5 thoughts on “Buttermilk Roast Chicken

  1. Can’t wait to try,Looks Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Sandie | June 3, 2012, 4:34 pm
  2. OMG! You blog too!!!! I only blog once a month…. Bawahhhhh! I was searching for spam and found your spam sushi! So perfect for my spam lovers. Spam Egg McMuffin is a big hit here. Like I need more reasons to eat spam… :p P/S The girls’ birthday is today and they so want Bento dinners tonight…. thanks, Bev, thanks….. *winks*

    Posted by Genevieve | June 5, 2012, 12:19 pm
  3. I share your feelings on fried chicken. Love the meat – not so much the skin. Will definitely have to try this sometime!

    Posted by Marci | June 5, 2012, 1:41 pm

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