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Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken

Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken

It’s such a comforting aroma – the scent of a roasted chicken wafting through the house!

Roasting is very a common method for cooking chicken and there are so, so many approaches. And though the method of roasting is a critical step, prepping the bird is just as important. Which leads me to brining. I seldom cook poultry without brining it first. Brining is one of the best ways to ensure your poultry is full of flavor, moist and tender. Using buttermilk as the base for the brine is an age-old method.

Mom taught me that buttermilk helps to tenderize the meat and she used it not only for chicken but also for wild game. Her fried chicken never hit the skillet without hanging out overnight in a buttermilk bath seasoned with spices.

The recipe for this simple brine starts with buttermilk plus kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and paprika. Toss in a wonderful honey chipotle spice to add a bit more savory spice to the mix. After soaking all night we’re ready to roast.

Roasting methods vary from slow with low heat to fast using a high heat. Roasting at a higher temperature yields a very crispy outer skin but you run the risk of a tougher bird. I’ve tried both options and tend to lean toward the lower heat with a bit longer roasting time. The result is a chicken that’s juicy and succulent.

You can roast the chicken on a rack but there’s another great option. Fill your roasting pan with vegetables and place the chicken on top. The vegetables will catch the drippings and roast alongside the bird.

And if you’re set on a crispier skin there’s a quick fix when using the low heat roasting method. After roasting the chicken let it rest for 20 minutes, then carve it into large pieces. Pop the pieces back into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes and you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Whip up a velvety Marsala Gravy and you’ve got dinner!

Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken with Marsala Gravy

For the chicken:

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, giblets removed and bird trussed*

4 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons kosher salt

1-3/4 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, divided

2 teaspoons honey chipotle spice

2 teaspoon paprika

To roast on a rack you’ll need:

1 cup of chicken stock

To roast with vegetables you’ll need:

4-5 potatoes, Yukon gold or red, quartered – peeling optional

1 large sweet onion, cut into pieces

4 carrots, scraped and cut into pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

¼ teaspoon honey chipotle spice

¼ teaspoon paprika

Marsala Gravy:

3 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons Marsala wine

Place the trussed chicken inside a 2-gallon food storage or brining bag. Combine the buttermilk with the kosher salt, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the black pepper, the paprika and honey chipotle spice.

Pour the buttermilk over the chicken, seal the bag and place it in a baking dish in the event it leaks. Refrigerate overnight.

About 45 minutes before you’re ready to roast, remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels – do not rinse! Sprinkle the remaining pepper over the top of the chicken.

To Roast:

Roasting on a rack:

Place a rack in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan and spray both the rack and the pan with a cooking spray. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan and place the chicken on the rack. Let the bird rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the skin to dry and the internal temperature to rise a bit.

Place the chicken on the lowest rack and roast at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165-degrees. The juices should run clear. Remove the chicken and let it rest loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes before carving. (If you’ve inserted a meat thermometer leave it intact while it rests.)

Roasting with vegetables:

Place the vegetables in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray. Toss with the olive oil then sprinkle with the kosher salt, black pepper, paprika and honey chipotle spice.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Let it rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the skin to dry and the internal temperature to rise a bit.

Roast the chicken and vegetables on the lowest rack at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes per pound. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165-degrees and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken and let it rest loosely covered for 20 minutes before carving. (If you’ve inserted a meat thermometer leave it intact while it rests.)

If you want crispier skin on the chicken, after the chicken rests carve it into larger pieces. Place the chicken back on top of the vegetables and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Marsala Gravy:

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it is well blended into the butter. Whisk in the kosher salt and the pepper then cook for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Pour in the chicken stock and the Marsala wine. Continue cooking until the gravy thickens, stirring frequently to keep it smooth.

Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 6, 2018
: Serves four

Buttermilk brining along with a slow roast will yield a moist, succulent bird full of flavor - serve with a velvety Marsala gravy!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, giblets removed and bird trussed*
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey chipotle spice
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • To roast on a rack you’ll need:
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • To roast with vegetables you’ll need:
  • 4-5 potatoes, Yukon gold or red, quartered – peeling optional
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into pieces
  • 4 carrots, scraped and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon honey chipotle spice
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Marsala Gravy:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine
Directions
  • Step 1 Place the trussed chicken inside a 2-gallon food storage or brining bag.
  • Step 2 Combine the buttermilk with the kosher salt, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the black pepper, the paprika and honey chipotle spice. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken, seal the bag, place it in a baking dish in the event it leaks! Refrigerate overnight.
  • Step 3 About 45 minutes before you’re ready to roast, remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels – do not rinse! Sprinkle the remaining pepper over the top of the chicken.
  • Step 4 To Roast:
  • Step 5 Roasting on a rack:
  • Step 6 Place a rack in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan and spray both the rack and the pan with a cooking spray. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan and place the chicken on the rack.
  • Step 7 Let the bird rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the skin to dry and the internal temperature to rise a bit.
  • Step 8 Place the chicken on the lowest rack and roast at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165-degrees. The juices should run clear.
  • Step 9 Remove the chicken and let it rest loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes before carving. (If you’ve inserted a meat thermometer leave it intact while it rests.)
  • Step 10 Roasting with vegetables:
  • Step 11 Place the vegetables in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray. Toss with the olive oil then sprinkle with the kosher salt, black pepper, paprika and honey chipotle spice.
  • Step 12 Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Let it rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the skin to dry and the internal temperature to rise a bit.
  • Step 13 Roast the chicken and vegetables on the lowest rack at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes per pound. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165-degrees and the juices run clear.
  • Step 14 Remove the chicken and let it rest loosely covered for 20 minutes before carving. (If you’ve inserted a meat thermometer leave it intact while it rests.)
  • Step 15 If you want crispier skin on the chicken, after the chicken rests carve it into larger pieces. Place the chicken back on top of the vegetables and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 16 Marsala Gravy:
  • Step 17 Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it is well blended into the butter.
  • Step 18 Whisk in the kosher salt and the pepper then cook for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  • Step 19 Pour in the chicken stock and the Marsala wine. Continue cooking until the gravy thickens, stirring frequently to keep it smooth.


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