Buttermilk Brined Roasted Chicken

The Perfect Sunday Supper

When Samin Nosrat made her debut in the Netflix documentary series Salt Fat Acid Heat, we were glued to the television. Her down-to-earth, no nonsense cooking style was, admittedly, a breath of fresh air after Netflix’s exotic and glossy Chef’s Table. Her buttermilk roasted chicken was so perfectly browned and simple, we couldn’t resist experimenting with her recipe.

Our version is similar, but we’ve added garlic, thyme, and rosemary to the brine to lend a little more depth of flavor and, for us, it’s really all about harmonizing with the foresty-herbal tones of our pinot noirs. Chardonnay will work nicely with this dish, too.

Homemade Rotisserie Chicken with Herbs and Lemons



1         3-4 lb whole roasting chicken

1/4     cup kosher salt, plus more for the cavity of the bird

2         cups buttermilk

8         cloves garlic smashed and quartered

3         sprigs thyme, leaves removed from stems

1         sprig rosemary, needles removed from the stem

lemon wedges, rosemary, and thyme for garnish, if desired


Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Pour a generous amount of kosher salt into the palm of your hand, then rub the salt into the cavity of the bird. Set aside.

Combine the buttermilk, salt, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Place the brining bag in a large metal bowl, add the chicken, then pour the brine over the top. Seal the bag, massage the brining mixture into the bird, then refrigerate it for six to twelve hours. (We left ours overnight).

Preheat the oven to 425° and place a rack in the center of the oven. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the breasts, truss the legs if desired, then place it in a roasting pan.

Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350°. Continue roasting until the juices run clear or an instant read thermometer inserted between the breast and thigh reads 165°.

Garnish with lemon wedges, rosemary, and thyme sprigs.

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