If you like juicy roast chicken, you will love this recipe. It produces the juiciest, tenderest chicken we’ve ever tried. All you have to do is brine the chicken in salted buttermilk overnight or for at least 12 hours. You will love the results! This recipe is based on one in the New York Times, originally by Samin Nosrat, and it is well worth the little extra effort.
You can apply this recipe to smaller chickens (3.4-4.5 lbs), roasting chicken (7 lbs or more) or smaller turkeys (say 16 lbs). The only limiting factor is a plastic bag nig enough to hold the buttermilk without leaking in your fridge.
For the two of us, we often roast a chicken for dinner, eating the legs and saving the chicken breasts for sandwiches. And what moist sandwiches this recipe makes!
- One moderate chicken (around 4lbs)
- Around 2-3 cups buttermilk
- Kosher salt
To prepare the chicken,
- Cut off the wing tips with shears and remove any giblet packages. Run the chicken with kosher salt and let it sit for 30 minutes or so.
- Put the chicken in a zip lock plastic bag and add the buttermilk: enough to pretty much cover the chicken.
- Stir in 2 Tb kosher salt and mix the liquid a bit.
- Then seal the bag and put it in an outer plastic bag to avoid leaks, and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before roasting.
- Preheat the oven to 425 ˚ F. Scrape excess buttermilk off the chicken and place it on a rack in a cast iron pan. Tie the legs together with twine.
- Roast for 20 minutes with the legs pointed toward a rear corner (which is a hot spot), or using the Convection Bake setting at 400˚ F.
- After that 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 400 (or 375 if convection). Rotate the pan to point towards the other back corner. The skin should be starting to brown.
- If the skin darkens too much, put a foil tent over the bird.
- Continue to roast until a meat thermometer registers about 160˚ F, which will probably take no more than 30 more minutes, but be careful not to overcook it. Remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes, during which the temperature will rise a bit more.
- Serve at once. It will be really moist and juicy because of the brining. Enjoy it!
The breast meat from this juicy chicken makes absolutely terrific chicken sandwiches. You will note that they aren’t dry and don’t shred, but cut easily into slices. These sandwiches are the second payoff for this delicious recipe!