This simple buttermilk roast chicken recipe makes juicy and flavorful whole roasted chicken with crispy skin every time! Add potatoes and carrots for a complete family dinner.
Photo by Alyssa Lang
Let me set the scene for you real quick:
It’s a crisp Sunday afternoon, you have your most comfortable sweats on and cozy slippers.
Sunday dinner is ready as you pull out the most beautiful whole roasted chicken from the oven.
The chicken has perfectly golden, crispy skin and as you cut into it, the juices just flow right out.
Your house smells AMAZING as you slice up your buttermilk roast chicken with roasted potatoes, onions, and carrots.
This was my house last Sunday, and let me tell you, I was in heaven.
Something about that change of season when it’s chilly in the morning, warmer in the afternoon, football in the background and the most delicious smelling chicken filling the house.
If you need a simple whole roasted chicken recipe, try this no-fail recipe because one time making it and I’ll never make chicken any other way :).
WHAT YOU NEED FOR BUTTERMILK ROAST CHICKEN:
- whole chicken (4 lbs)
- buttermilk (see recipe notes for quick substiute!)
- for the cavity: lemon, celery, onions, carrots, rosemary, sage, thyme
- herbed butter: rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon juice
- vegetables to cook with the chicken (optional): potatoes, carrots, onions
WHAT DOES BUTTERMILK DO TO CHICKEN?
The acid in the buttermilk tenderizes the chicken while keeping it moist and juicy when baking.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE BUTTERMILK ON HAND TRY THIS LITTLE TRICK: SUBSTITUTE 1 CUP OF BUTTERMILK FOR 1 CUP OF MILK + 1 TABLESPOON OF VINEGAR OR LEMON JUICE!
HOW DO YOU ROAST A WHOLE CHICKEN?
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. (Most of the time the neck and giblets will be bagged inside the cavity which you can simply remove.)
- Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper, then place in a large zip lock bag. Pour buttermilk over chicken, seal and refrigerate. Marinate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Remove chicken from refrigerator and pat dry. Stuff inside cavity with sliced lemon, celery, carrots, onion, apples (optional) and poultry herbs (sage, thyme & rosemary).
- Tie the two chicken legs (drumsticks) together with kitchen twine.
- In a small bowl combine butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Microwave 10 seconds or until softened but not fully melted.
- Loosen the skin on the chicken using your fingers. Gently rub butter mixture all over chicken, making sure to get it under the skin as well.
- Place breast side up on roasting pan and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes, basting every 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cover with foil and let cool 10 minutes before slicing.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST WHOLE ROASTED CHICKEN:
- Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking it. This will ensure even cooking for perfect golden skin!
- Be sure to get as much of the herbed butter under the skin as possible! Don’t be afraid to push your fingers underneath to get under the skin.
- If the skin starts to get too dark before the chicken is done cooking, cover with foil and continue baking until inside temperature reaches 165 F.
- A roasting pan is ideal for this chicken because it catches the drippings, and the rack allows air to evenly circulate. If you don’t have a roasting pan you can use a foil lined sheet pan topped with a cooling rack.