There sure have been a lot of recipes for roasting chicken lately, on TV shows, magazine covers and food blogs, all worthy of a look and tempting each of us to try the best, the juiciest, the most flavorful and as one put it, ‘the last recipe you will ever use.’ Well, I’m not sure about that as I have more recipes for cooking and roasting chicken than I think I will ever get around to but the ones I tend to favor are, of course, family recipes, the tried and true ones that I know work. Still, I never will be satisfied in thinking there is only one way of doing anything.
Now I am truly not a trend follower and just because everyone else is doing chicken is not the reason I am cooking one today. A good friend posted a while back a cupcake recipe and mentioned that although making cupcakes were no longer trendy, over done of late I suppose, she still was going to make a batch anyway. My reply, being the fashion trendsetter I am, was that it was high-time for me to start making cupcakes. And then yesterday, another friend made a lovely batch to celebrate her own birthday. Like them, I’ll make a batch of cupcakes or roast a chicken when ever I dag-blasted feel like it. Who cares if it’s vogue, on the covers of magazines…
Roasting a chicken is not a science experiment. All of you have your own way of doing it. I like the way Momma did it, pretty much the same as I cook my whole turkey. Make a paste of butter, herbs and seasonings, spread this under the skin, give the bird a good pat with what’s left over and bake until golden brown. Then there is Grandmother’s buttermilk brine chicken, which this recipe is based on and is also the basis for one I like to grill outside, Buttermilk Brine Grilled Chicken. Only I have modified hers by adding yogurt and a few other things and flattened the bird as I sometimes do so that it will roast evenly, quicker and in doing so, keeps it nice and juicy. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Yogurt Flattened Chicken
feel free to change out the spices to suit your taste, I like this one at times, with hints of the cumin and coriander
1 cup whole buttermilk
1 cup yogurt
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Prepare the chicken: Use kitchen or poultry sheers to remove the backbone cutting down each side. You can tell where cut once you start. Remove excess fat and wash under running water. Pat completely dry. Lay chicken down breast side up. At the neck area, bend the breastplate until you hear it snap which will make the chicken lay completely flat. Sprinkle both sides with the salt, pepper and garlic.
In a bowl, mix the buttermilk, yogurt, green onions, sugar and spices together. Pour into a 2 quart sealable bag or a large glass dish. Place the chicken in the bag, spoon the mixture under the loosened skin and press out any air in the bag while sealing. Tumble bag around to distribute mixture. Refrigerate overnight or 24 hours turning bag over at least once.
Remove bag from refrigerator. Let rest for 1 hour to reach room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from mixture and lay on a broiling pan breast side up. Tuck the wingtips under the breast. Do not wipe or shake off mixture. This forms a nice barrier that will keep the meat moist and makes a delicious crust. Spoon a little mixture under the skin on each breast and thigh. Make sure the skin covers the meat. Place in the center of the oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Place a meat thermometer in the thigh away from the bone and cook until it reads 165 degrees F.
About halfway through cooking, sprinkle the lemon juice over the chicken. When done, remove from oven and test the breast meat with thermometer to ensure it is cooked throughout. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.