Buttermilk-brined roast chicken

Buttermilk-brined roast chicken

By
From
Man Food
Serves
2-4
Photographer
Billy Law

I love making a roast chicken on the weekend as it’s not only delicious but it’s so easy to prepare — and the last thing I want is to spend a whole day in the kitchen. Brining the chicken in a salt and buttermilk marinade beforehand ensures your roast chicken stays moist, tender and full of flavour after roasting.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre buttermilk
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
1.5kg free-range chicken
5-6 thyme sprigs
5-6 marjoram sprigs
1 whole garlic bulb, crushed with the palm of your hand, extra
25g butter, softened
olive oil, to drizzle
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch baby carrots, trimmed
8-10 small potatoes, halved
6 french shallots, halved
2 tablespoons plain flour
100ml chicken stock or water

Method

  1. Place a large ziplock bag in a large bowl so it doesn’t spill, pour the buttermilk into the bag, add the crushed garlic, lemon and salt then place the chicken inside. Press all the air out of the bag then zip to seal securely. Give the bag a few shakes, rubs, jiggles and massages so the chicken is fully coated in the marinade. Refrigerate and marinate the chicken for 6–8 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place on a chopping board and stuff the cavity with the thyme, marjoram and half the garlic cloves. Truss the chicken to close the cavity and tuck the wing tips under.
  3. Rub the butter all over the chicken and give it a good massage. Place the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, or until it begins to brown, then reduce the oven temperature to 200ºC.
  4. Place the carrots, potatoes, shallots and the remaining garlic cloves in another roasting tin, season with salt and drizzle olive oil all over. Put the dish on the top rack in the oven and roast them together with the chicken for another 45 minutes, or until the juice comes out clear when a knife is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken, and the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  6. To make a gravy, skim off the layer of chicken fat in the roasting tin. Heat the pan juice over a medium heat until bubbling, then add the flour and whisk to cook the flour taste out, about 2–3 minutes. A little bit at a time, add the stock to the tin and keep whisking until it forms a smooth gravy. Keep simmering until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a jug. Serve the chicken with the roasted vegetables and gravy.
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