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.
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)