Buttermilk brining is a practice that yields a juicy and flavourful roasted chicken. With its gentle acidic and calcium properties that help to tenderize meats, the fat from the buttermilk promotes some of the most perfect and evenly browned skin you will ever encounter. We recommend you brine the chicken for a minimum of 6 hours and up to 24 hours. Roasting the chicken on a bed of sliced lemons and thyme sprigs allows the chicken to absorb all of those citrus and herb notes produced during cooking. A real classic recipe, a roasted whole chicken is low fuss if you take the time to brine and prep beforehand.
Buttermilk Brined and Roasted Chicken 7 Steps
Zest the lemon and then slice it approximately 1/3 cm thick, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, honey, kosher salt, smashed garlic cloves, half of the thyme sprigs, lemon zest and fresh cracked pepper, whisk to combine.
Place the chicken into a heavy duty Ziploc bag, pour over the buttermilk brine and use your hands to massage into the chicken. Squeeze out any excess air and seal tightly. Allow the chicken to brine for a minimum of 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
When getting ready to cook the chicken, remove from the brine and pat dry to remove excess brine (do not worry about rubbing off the lemon zest or thyme leaves that remain on the chicken) allow the chicken to come up to room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then spread the lemon slices on parchment paper and top with the remaining thyme sprigs.
Once the chicken has come up to room temperature, brush the olive oil on the skin and season the exterior lightly with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes until cooked (an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165°F).
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.