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Easy Buttermilk Roast Chicken

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The best chicken you’ll ever make is buttermilk roast chicken and it’s the easiest! Creamy, tangy buttermilk is the perfect marinade for tender, flavorful meat with perfectly golden roasted skin. Perfect for company but simple enough for weeknight dinner.

buttermilk roasted chicken thigh with spinach

The easiest, no fuss, tastiest, and perfectly tender with crispy golden skin. Buttermilk marinated, oven roasted chicken is seriously the best and simplest way to eat chicken.

Looking for a weeknight dinner? This is it. Date night in? This is it. First time roasting chicken? This is it!

So simple and legit the best chicken. Take raw on-the-bone chicken, marinate it in buttermilk, throw it on a sheet pan and bake it. That’s really all it takes, well that and a sprinkle of salt. Can we rejoice in the simplicity?

sliced pieces of buttermilk roast chicken

easy marinated chicken

It’s already just a few steps to make buttermilk roast chicken and this recipe is taking it to an even easier level. Buy a chicken that’s already broken down, salt it, marinate it in buttermilk then roast. No special seasoning, no oil, just beautiful juicy chicken.


Most buttermilk roast chicken recipes call for a whole chicken, then cut after roasting. To make your life even easier, pick up a chicken that’s already broken down by the butcher.

This means that the chicken has been cut into quarters and each broken down into each of the individual cuts. You’ll have two of each cut – breast, wing, thigh and drumstick.

buttermilk marinated chicken on a roasting pan


The buttermilk contains both fat and acid making it the best tenderizer! The acid in the buttermilk breaks down the tougher parts of meat while it soaks up the creamy moisture. Buttermilk provides a natural tangy flavor which is subtle in the final roasted chicken and so delicious.


No. Sorry! You’re going to want the real deal stuff here. No milk and lemon juice combos. Just that creamy moisture bringing liquid gold.


My favorite for storing the chicken in buttermilk is using two plastic zip bags, a low shallow plastic container with a lid, or a 9×13 pan covered with plastic wrap. If going the route of using a shallow container, place the chicken skin side down so you get the most meat soaked into the buttermilk.

Marinate the chicken in buttermilk overnight or up to 24 hours. Before combining the chicken and buttermilk, remove it from the packaging, pat it dry and give it a generous seasoning with salt on all sides. This will help bring the buttermilk into the meat of the chicken and add flavor!

sliced pieces of buttermilk roast chicken

How to make buttermilk roast chicken

Preheat your oven and get the sheet pan ready because the most time consuming part of this is prepping the side dishes to go with it. Personally I’m a parsnips and spinach fan, but with this buttermilk roast chicken anything goes.

buttermilk marinated chicken on a roasting pan

The best tips for perfectly roasted, buttermilk marinated chicken are simple and effective:

  • line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil!) – the buttermilk will caramelize on the pan a little and parchment paper makes for easier clean up
  • place the two breast pieces with the thickest side facing the rim of the sheet pan
  • arrange the other thick pieces around the outside of the pan (thighs and drumsticks) and the wings in the center. The outside pieces will cook faster
  • the hottest part of the oven is the back so put the roasting pan with the two chicken breast closest to the back of the oven

After roasting, let the chicken rest a little bit before serving. It’s a great time to finish up any side dishes you want to serve.

Buttermilk roast chicken is an easy go to weeknight dinner that’s inexpensive and simple but also perfect to serve for company or a date night in!

sliced chicken breast with spinch

sliced chicken breast

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Buttermilk roast chicken is the easiest, most tender and flavorful way to serve chicken! Perfect for a simple weeknight dinner or fancy enough to serve for company.
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Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk chicken, buttermilk marinade for chicken, buttermilk roast chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 633kcal
Author: Lauren


  • 1 whole chicken cut in pieces breast, thigh, drumstick, wing (about 5 lbs)
  • 6 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon salt


  • Prep: Remove the chicken from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Season all sides generously with salt. Place in two plastic storage bags or a 9x13 pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight up to 24 hours.
  • Roast: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the thicker pieces of chicken along the outside of the baking sheet with the two breast pieces on one side, thickest side out.
  • Bake: Place the baking sheet in the oven with the side of chicken breast pieces towards the back. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 165°F.
  • Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Calories: 633kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 1674mg | Potassium: 846mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 861IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 436mg | Iron: 2mg

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