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Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Sometimes the best meal is the simplest. Take this buttermilk roast chicken for example, they taste amazingly good, and all you need to recreate this at home are the commonest of pantry ingredients.

Other than buttermilk, you only need salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder (or paprika powder), and garlic.

This dish is one of the very first view dishes that I mastered back in college, simply because it’s so dirt cheap. I just needed to buy those family pack size chicken thigh, then picked up some buttermilk (more often than not, I picked up milk and yoghurt), and I’d be set for one week!

Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Buttermilk and some substitutions

Since buttermilk is even listed in the title, I highly suggest getting some. But if you really must substitute, here are my two workarounds.

If you only have milk and lemon/white vinegar at home, you can add 1 tablespoon lemon juice/white vinegar to (1 cup - 1 tablespoon) of milk to substitute for 1 cup of buttermilk.

If you have milk and yoghurt, you can mix 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 cup yoghurt to substitute for 1 cup of buttermilk.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 8-12

Print Recipe


  • 2 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk + 1 cup yoghurt)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoon chili powder (or paprika powder), depends on how spicy you want
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 8-12 pieces of chicken drumsticks (or chicken thighs, or a combo of both types)
  • olive oil, to drizzle over chicken
  • chili powder (or paprika powder), to sprinkle over chicken


  1. Whisk together buttermilk, minced garlic, salt, chili powder, sugar, and ground pepper.
  2. Place chicken pieces in a large gallon size ziplock back (or a large mixing bowl), then pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, make sure the chicken are all fully covered. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. When ready to roast, return the chicken to room temperature.
  4. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil, and preheat oven to 220 Celsius (425 Fahrenheit).
  5. Arrange chicken pieces on prepared baking dish, drizzle with some olive oil, and sprinkle with some chili powder (or paprika powder).
  6. Roast for 50-60 minutes, or until fully cooked and the skin develops some charred spots. If you wish, you can baste the chicken with more oil midway of roasting.
  7. Best when serve immediately.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Richard Benchimol Richard Benchimol says:

    For me and mine, this will be a spicy buttermilk roast, for sure!

  • Jason Jason says:

    Dear Anita,
    Happy Easter! No buttermilk sold with the current situation but thank you for telling us the substitute for it.
    I made this last nite with milk & yogurt. So easy and flavorful to mix in 1 pot.
    I put yellow onion on the bottom. It came out very tasteful too.
    Do you have any recommendation what other veggies that I can roast together?
    Thank you !

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Jason, Happy Easter to you as well.

      Aside from onion, you can also add a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and/or butternut squash. Cut all the vegetables to about 1-inch pieces, aim for about 4-5 cups of chopped vegetables.

      Place vegetables in a mixing bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Arrange the vegetables in the baking dish along with the chicken, and roast with the same amount of time.

  • Andrea Andrea says:

    What amazing sounding and looking chicken. It's perfect for a Sunday dinner.

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! Easily, a new family favorite recipe; everyone loved it!

  • Anjali Anjali says:

    This looks so delicious! Love the spices you added to the recipe too - makes it so flavorful!

  • Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Buttermilk always amazes me, adds such great flavor and texture to baked goods and is an amazing tenderizer on chicken! That being said, this was so simple and delish!

  • Cyndy Cyndy says:

    This was a great way to cook my chicken. It was so tender and flavorful. Thanks for the great recipe.

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