I had some buttermilk left over from making cornbread, so I decided to try this Buttermilk Roast Chicken recipe from the blog Smitten Kitchen. It is inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe. Chicken parts are marinated in a brine of buttermilk, garlic, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. If you have never brined a chicken, I highly recommend it. The brine infuses and seasons the meat, making it tender, moist and full of flavour. This is a very easy recipe and it yields terrific results. I brined the chicken for 24 hours; we used drumsticks and thighs, because we prefer dark meat, but you can use whatever chicken parts you like best.

Sprinkle brined chicken with paprika, oil and salt

Roast until cooked through and well browned

I served Buttermilk Roasted Chicken with roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans


2 cups buttermilk

5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 tablespoon table salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons paprika, plus extra for sprinkling

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

2 ½ to 3 pounds chicken parts

Drizzle of olive oil

Flaked or coarse sea salt, to finish


Whisk buttermilk with garlic, table salt, sugar, paprika and lots of freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Place chicken parts in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or lidded container) and pour buttermilk brine over them, then swish it around so that all parts are covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 but preferably 24 and up to 48 hours.

When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil. Remove chicken from buttermilk brine and arrange in dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with additional paprika and sea salt to taste. Roast for 30 minutes (for legs; approximately 35 to 40 for breasts), until brown and a bit scorched in spots. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

From the Smitten Kitchen blog