Buttermilk baked chicken is tender and juicy due to a buttermilk and honey marinade. The buttermilk adds a slight tang, while the fresh tarragon lends a faint anise flavor. If you are tired of dried out baked chicken, this is the recipe for you. However, take care not to over-cook the chicken or you will be back to square one. This could not be easier to prepare and makes a beautiful presentation on the table.
Baked Buttermilk Chicken Recipe
4 to 5 pound whole chicken
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons honey
1 ounce fresh tarragon sprigs, divided use
1 Tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Rinse chicken. Using poultry shears, cut chicken in half, lengthwise through the breast. Cut along backbone on either side, ending with two halves. (Discard backbone or freeze for chicken stock.) Rinse chicken halves and pat dry. Place chicken halves, cut sides together, in a large heavy freezer zip-top bag.
Whisk together buttermilk and honey. Pour over chicken in the bag. Push 3/4 of the tarragon sprigs in between the chicken halves and around the outside. (Reserve remaining tarragon sprigs for garnish.) Seal the bag after pressing out all of the air. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to roast, preheat oven to 375 F. Line a deep roasting pan with foil. Place a rack in the pan. Fish out the tarragon sprigs from the buttermilk bath and arrange on the rack. Discard buttermilk marinade. Place the chicken halves, skin-side up, on top of the tarragon sprigs.
Combine paprika, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly over the chicken halves, then top with freshly ground black pepper.
Roast chicken for 1 hour, until golden. The thickest part of the chicken half should reach 165 F. on a meat thermometer, and the juices should run clear when pierced. Let the chicken rest 15 minutes, then cut each half in half again for 4 servings. Garnish with reserved fresh tarragon.
Yield: 4 servings
Baked Buttermilk Chicken Recipe Photo ©2020 Peggy Filippone