I like roast chicken because, well, what’s not to like about roast chicken? It’s easy, tasty, and you can make great chicken stock with the bones. My default roast chicken recipe is the one that appears in Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook, but a few weeks ago I came across this Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken recipe by Samin Nosrat on The New York Times. The golden brown chicken in the featured photo looked so delectable that I just had to try it!
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First of all, the mere fact that aside from the chicken there are only two ingredients is great. Salt and buttermilk. Salt the chicken, rest, then mix the buttermilk with more salt, pour in a bag and let it marinate. I just loved how easy it was.
Buttermilk is one of those things where it’s not a must-have item in my fridge. The only uses for it that I can think of are buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk fried chicken, or buttermilk biscuits, but now there is one more use for it! Since this recipe only uses 2 cups, you do end up with a bit left if you buy the normal-sized carton. I ended up making buttermilk pancakes.
The pressing question is though, does the buttermilk make a difference in this roast chicken?
Yes it does! The skin was like no other roast chicken I’ve ever had or made. It made the skin almost papery but full of flavor, and the resulting brown color was amazing. The meat was juicy, and I actually didn’t miss not having black pepper on there. There was a fragrance/flavor to it that almost reminded me of biscuits. I wonder what would happen if I did the same thing with a turkey for Thanksgiving? I just might give it a try…
Update: For Thanksgiving, we made the turkey marinated in buttermilk and it came out fantastic! For a 17-pound bird the recipe was just tripled, and it was roasted on a regular roasting pan.