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Buttermilk marinated roast chicken in a cast iron pan next to the book Salt, Fat, Acid Heat.
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Samin takes all the guess work out of making roast chicken in this super easy, succulent and all round delicious buttermilk marinated roast chicken recipe.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinating Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 3-4 lb. chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)


  1. The night before pat chicken dry and salt liberally, rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. In a plastic bag mix together the buttermilk and 2 tbsp. of salt. Add the chicken, seal and coat. Marinate in the fridge for at least 18 hours (you can turn it over a couple of times but it is not necessary).

  3. An hour before cooking, remove chicken from the fridge. Preheat oven to 425F with the rack set at the center of the oven.

  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade removing excess liquid. Tightly tie the legs together with butcher's twine. Place the chicken in a cast-iron skillet with the legs opposite to the handle or on a rimmed baking sheet equipped with a wire rack with the legs facing a corner.

  5. Place the skillet or baking sheet at the back of the oven so that the legs are facing the back corner while the breasts are facing the center of the oven.

  6. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes, at that point the skin should start to brown. Reduce the temperature to 400F and roast for 10 minutes more and then move the chicken so that the legs face the opposite back corner.

  7. Continue cooking the chicken for 30 minutes more or until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the thigh reads 165F.

  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carving and serving.