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Square front shot of chef holding a pan of buttermilk marinated chicken
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5 from 4 votes

Roasted Buttermilk Marinated Chicken

Crisp and juicy buttermilk marinated chicken is roasted to golden brown perfection!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword buttermilk chicken, buttermilk marinated chicken, chicken marinade, roast buttermilk chicken, roasted buttermilk chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 237kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 4 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I used a combination of chicken breasts and chicken thighs)
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk, well shaken
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (or 1 teaspoon dried chives)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • Optional garnish: additional chopped fresh herbs


  • In a large bowl or Ziploc bag, combine the buttermilk, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and hot sauce. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate the chicken in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting any excess marinade drain from the chicken. Discard the buttermilk marinade.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken skin-side up in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each piece of chicken with olive oil; season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • Roast the chicken, uncovered, until it’s golden brown on top and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat (not touching the bone), about 40-45 minutes for chicken thighs and smaller pieces, and about 55-60 minutes for larger chicken breasts. Tent the chicken loosely with foil if the skin starts to get too dark before the meat is cooked through.
  • Let the chicken pieces rest for at least 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs just before serving, if desired.


  • Use any chicken pieces that you prefer. For instance, instead of cooking the parts from a whole chicken, you can just roast chicken breasts or chicken thighs. You'll want about 4 lbs. of chicken pieces in total.
  • Make sure that you allow plenty of time to soak the chicken in buttermilk. At least 4-8 hours (or overnight) is ideal; however, in a pinch you can shorten this time to about 30 minutes.
  • Allow the chicken to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for about 30-60 minutes before roasting.
  • Pat the chicken dry before brushing with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Removing the extra moisture will help the skin get nice and crispy in the oven.
  • Use a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. A lot of fat and juices will drip off of the chicken as it roasts, so the foil-lined sheet catches those drips and makes cleanup easy.
  • The total cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken and on the temperature of the meat when it goes into the oven. As a result, a meat thermometer is always the best way to know when your chicken is done. It will be perfectly tender and juicy when it reaches 165°F.


Serving: 1/6 of the chicken | Calories: 237kcal | Protein: 27g | Fat: 13.4g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 87.3mg | Sodium: 81.3mg | Potassium: 221.4mg