Try something different and you’ll be so rewarded…this Buttermilk Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Brown Sugar is rich and wonderful and the meat brined in buttermilk is so tender and delicious.
As much as I fight the change of seasons once we start to feel Fall in the air, I have to admit that I might have forgotten just how wonderful it is to have a home filled with the intoxicating scent of a meal roasting in the oven. This past weekend was no exception. I had a couple of friends heading over for dinner and I knew they would just love this dish as much as I do…and I was right.
I do love chicken; on the grill, fried, baked…you name it and I’ll eat it. It is so versatile; just a change in seasoning and you can travel the world with your palate all with the simple chicken. I know people who are not so enamored but I will tell you it’s because they are probably still eating pieces of dry, over-cooked chicken!
The secret to this Buttermilk Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Brown Sugar is the brining in buttermilk. Just like with turkey, a daylong or overnight brine can do wonders to keep poultry especially moist during baking. Brining it in a flavorful mix of buttermilk, garlic, paprika, and brown sugar just increases the flavor even more and the end result was outstanding.
Now about that buttermilk…you’ll notice the recipe doesn’t actually call for buttermilk but instead combines regular milk with lemon juice to achieve my version. Why? Well, first of all, real buttermilk is not easy to find and quite honestly the vast majority in the grocery store is cultured too…so why make a special trip for a special item when we can culture it ourselves with an acid. You can use lemon juice or vinegar but I’ve always preferred lemon juice and I’ve found real lemon juice does a much better job than the bottled stuff too.
As much as I love the ease of skinless and boneless chicken thighs; they don’t come out of the oven as pretty as meat that has skin that can brown. So I always finish them under the broiler to give them a browner look; watch carefully though, you don’t want them to burn, just brown a bit.
I don’t always make gravy for a baked chicken dish but this night I made a white gravy using chicken drippings. I LOVE White Milk Gravy. It’s what I make for Thanksgiving too…the brown stuff has never done it for me. It does give the chicken a nice finish and it tastes so good…it’s a win win if you ask me!
Speaking of Thanksgiving, if you’re having a small gathering and don’t want to spend the day in the kitchen; make this dish instead…honestly my guests raved about it. I’m not sure my turkey has ever received that much love!
PIN ‘Buttermilk Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Brown Sugar’
- 3 pounds chicken parts; I used boneless thighs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp paprika
- Olive oil
For White Chicken Gravy
- 4 tablespoons fat from baked chicken (supplement with butter if necessary)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley, chopped
- Put the chicken into a large container just enough for the chicken to fit; either a flat container or a large freezer bag.
- Measure the milk into a measuring cup and add the lemon juice to create buttermilk. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes while it thickens.
- Add the garlic, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and paprika to the measuring cup with the milk and mix well. Pour the ingredients into the container or freezer bag holding the chicken. Make sure everything is covered and then refrigerate overnight. (If making same day, leave the mixture at room temperature for up to 2 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil, and take the chicken pieces out of their container, shaking off excess buttermilk marinade and put them in the baking dish in a single layer.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and then roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken measures 160 degrees on a food thermometer.
- If not brown, place under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice and serve with white gravy.
- Garnish with paprika and chopped parsley (optional).
For the Gravy
- Spoon about 4 tablespoons of fat from chicken (or butter) into a medium skillet. Over medium heat, sprinkle in the flour and cook while whisking, until the flour is browned, about 1 minute.
- Slowly stir in the milk and cook until the gravy thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the chicken.
I used boneless, skinless thighs; you can use any variety of pieces but thighs and legs with bone-in take about 10 minutes longer in the oven.