Not a fan of turkey? No worries, I’ve got you covered! This buttermilk roasted chicken with a delicious, savory herb butter rub will be the star of your Thanksgiving table. Juicy and flavorful, the chicken is a perfect main course or can be shredded and added to other dishes. Truly a simple recipe that will become your go-to!
Buttermilk Roasted Chicken – Why the Buttermilk?
I first made a version of this recipe for Lunar New Year and it was a huge hit, so I have worked on it and truly perfected the herb butter rub that pairs perfectly with the buttermilk soak. The buttermilk is used basically as a marinade for the chicken. You soak the bird in buttermilk overnight, and the acid of the buttermilk tenderizes the chicken while keeping it juicy whilst roasting. It is definitely necessary to refrigerate the bird while it is soaking in the buttermilk and the longer you soak, the more tender the chicken will be when cooked. You can soak for up to 2 days, but I usually keep it around 24-36 hours.
As a side note, you can get creative and make your own buttermilk substitute. It’ll be a 1:1 swap with regular milk, or even non-dairy milk, but then you’ll add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of milk. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you could also soak the chicken in plain kefir for the same, delicious result.
How to Use a Whole Chicken
Whole chickens can be used for so many things! Of course, the chicken can be served as the main course – slice and serve. For example, serving as the main protein for Thanksgiving with gravy and delicious sides. However, a whole chicken is also perfect for meal prepping. The chicken can be divided up for salads, sandwiches, soup, and so many other lunch and dinner ideas. Get creative with it!
Let’s Make Buttermilk Roasted Chicken
- Gallon storage bag
- Baking sheet
- Paper towels
- Kitchen twine
- Microwave safe bowl
- Shallow roasting pan or large cast iron
- Aluminum foil as needed
- 4 to 5 pound roasting chicken
- 1 qt buttermilk
- 1 small yellow onion peeled and diced into 4 chunks
- .5 oz fresh rosemary
- .5 oz fresh thyme
- .5 oz fresh sage
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter- softened
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Make sure chicken is not at all frozen and that any bag removed from cavity, if applicable. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Season with pepper and place raw bird in a gallon storage bag. Pour in 1 qt of buttermilk and seal bag. Place the bag in a deep baking sheet and place in refrigerator for 12-48 hours. You can rotate the bag, if desired, to ensure all parts of the bird submerged in buttermilk.
Once chicken has soaked in buttermilk for 12-48 hours, remove from fridge and preheat oven to 425F. While oven preheating, remove chicken from bag and drain buttermilk. Place chicken in deep baking sheet or cake pan and use paper towels to absorb and dry off bird. Stuff inside cavity with onion and 1/2 of the fresh herbs. Tie the two chicken legs – drumsticks – together with kitchen twine.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine butter with the remaining herbs and minced garlic. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until butter softened but not completely melted. Use fingers to loosen chicken skin. Drizzle olive oil and rub over bird. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Rub the herb butter mixture all over the chicken and ensure you are getting it under the skin.
Place the bird breast up in a shallow roasting pan or in a large cast iron and cook on the middle rack until internal temperature reaches 165F, approximately 90 minutes. Remove the bird from the oven every 25-30 minutes and baste. If the bird begins to overly brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the bird and continue roasting until internal temperature reached.
Remove from oven and allow bird to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator covered securely with aluminum foil for up to 4 days.
This delicious roasted chicken would be delicious served along with my quick and easy reduced sugar cranberry relish!Print