Marinating a chicken overnight in buttermilk and spices is a very traditional method in the southern USA prior to frying. The buttermilk, salt, and other spices act as a brine to really infuse a tremendous amount of flavor into the chicken. Producing a very tender, juicy and delicious Buttermilk Rosemary Grilled Chicken. In the photos, I grilled half chickens, but I think until you’ve grilled with this marinade a couple of times, this recipe is better with individual pieces; breasts, thighs, legs, and wings. Wings cooked this way are by far my favorite.
This marinade is perfect for almost any method of cooking chicken where you want a crisp, delicious skin, fried, oven roasted, and grilled are all tried and true. I’m not sure I would use this for smoking chickens, I think the low temperature wouldn’t produce a crisp skin, but never say never, I may give it a try one day.
The buttermilk will burn pretty easily if cooked with direct heat. I grill the chicken with indirect heat, in a hot grill. Coals piled to one side of the grill, chicken on the other. Throw some wood chips on the coals for a little smoke and you’ve got some seriously great chicken for dinner.
This Buttermilk Rosemary Grilled Chicken pairs perfectly with my beautiful and delicious Glazed Carrots and the equally beautiful and delicious Pommes de Terre Boulangères for an elegant dinner. If this doesn’t impress, nothing will!
Here’s how I make Buttermilk Rosemary Grilled Chicken:
- 4 Pounds Chicken, Bone In, Skin On (Drum Sticks, Thighs, Breasts, Wings, All Work Great)
- 2 Cups Buttermilk
- ¼ Cup Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Penzeys Dry Rub, ‘BBQ 3000′
-Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
-Pour buttermilk marinade into a large freezer bag with the chicken and coat the chicken well
-Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, 24 hours is best
-Light charcoal grill
-Remove the chicken from the marinade, remove excess marinade from the chicken. The chicken doesn’t need to be completely dry, but not wet either.
-Strain the marinade to retrieve the rosemary, rub the rosemary on the chicken, it looks pretty and tastes great, so waste not, want not!
-Set up the grill, coals on one side
-Once the grill is hot, clean the grill grate with a wire brush and use vegetable oil on the grate so the skin doesn’t stick to it.
-Place the chicken skin side down, away from the direct heat, for about 20 minutes, cover the grill
-Gently try to turn the chicken so you don’t damage the skin
-Cover and roast the chicken, leaving the skin side up until an instant-read thermometer reads 165F (74C)