It’s been a busy few weeks! My trip to Asheville was a huge success in terms of great food, fun family, loads of exploration. Then, all sorts of birthday
week month events were happening and were simply delightful. And then, my cousin’s 30th birthday festivities which took over the Napa Valley. But, amid all of these shenanigans, I’ve been meaning to share something extra tasty with you.
When I was making my favorite chocolate cake ever for my favorite dad ever, I had a ton of leftover buttermilk– two whole cups, to be exact. So, I’d been thinking of ways to use up on that day after I’d made the cake, I spotted a smitten kitchen recipe for buttermilk roast chicken across my news feed. Deb had posted her recipe way back in January of 2012, and I’m a little bit upset I hadn’t seen it before! And can I just say that I have a total blog crush?
She notes that it took a few tries to perfect her recipe, a variation of Nigella’s recipe. It makes the most amazing, tender, great for leftovers chicken you will ever have. And it’s so. freaking. easy. Like, even I couldn’t find a way to mess it up.
So, in an effort to not repeat mistakes, I’ve decided to make this fool-proof recipe all the time. Even taking Deb’s advice and tried using smoked paprika with scrumptious results.
My absolute favorite thing about this recipe (besides the deliciousness factor, obvi) is how easy it is! Mix the ingredients in a bowl, pour over the chicken, let it sit for a day or two and then bake! Easy peasy.
The recipe and directions below show how I made my version of Deb’s recipe.
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 Tablespoon table salt
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken parts (I used 7 drumsticks and 1 breast)
- Olive oil
- Flaked or coarse sea salt, to finish
- In a bowl, whisk garlic, table salt, sugar, paprika into buttermilk and add lots of freshly ground black pepper. Place chicken parts in a large Tuppeware-like container with lid (or gallon-sized freezer bag) and pour buttermilk brine over them, then shake it to drench all the pieces. Refrigerate for at least 2 but preferably 24 and up to 48 hours. (I did 24 hours)
- When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking dish with foil (not absolutely necessary, but Deb said Nigella suggested it and who doesn’t like not having to soak dishes?). Remove chicken from buttermilk brine and arrange in dish. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with additional paprika and sea salt to taste.
- Roast for 30-35 minutes (for legs; approximately 35 to 40 for breasts), until brown and a bit scorched in spots. Serve immediately.
I served this wonderful chicken with corn and cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (another first!). It was so tasty and I’m still excited about how easy the whole meal was. I did prefer the drumsticks to the chicken breast, but nothing was bad about this dish.
We shredded the leftovers into quesadillas and the roasting flavors still came through (despite being absolutely drenched in melted cheese). I’d love to try the leftovers in a soup, next time I make this roasted chicken!