Culinary writer Samin Nosrat knows what’s good. But what if she had to choose from all her favorite dishes? Fried chicken. And she has the ultimate cooking tip for that. According to Samin, you should first marinate the chicken in buttermilk – similar to buttermilk.
The dairy contains both fat and acid: two factors that make the meat softer. But there is another magical effect that dairy has: it prevents you from overcooking the chicken. If you leave it in the oven for 5 or 10 minutes too long, the dairy will absorb the blows. So the risk of your chicken becoming too dry is reduced by using a dairy marinade.
Even if you’ve never cooked grilled chicken before, this is the recipe to start with, says Samin.
This cooking tip doesn’t just work for fried chicken: it is also a well-known method for fried chicken to marinate the chicken for a while in buttermilk or buttermilk.
Also interesting: everything about buttermilk
Marinating chicken in buttermilk: this is how you do it
Samin therefore uses buttermilk: unfortunately not available in the Netherlands. But buttermilk is a good alternative. Also a good alternative is yogurt or even labneh. These types of dairy are high in fat and have enough acids to make for a perfect, juicy chicken with a golden brown crust.
You need a whole chicken of about 1.5 kilos, 475 ml of buttermilk (or labneh) and a good pinch of salt.
Let the chicken come to room temperature for half an hour. Sprinkle it with salt (also on the inside). Then put the chicken in a sealable bag and pour in the dairy. Sprinkle with more salt. Seal the bag and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours – but no longer than that (it could cause the meat to fall apart).
Perfect grilled chicken à la Samin
If you want to grill the chicken, take it out of the fridge at least an hour in advance. If you put chicken that is too cold in the oven, the skin will tear and the chicken will become dry and burnt. Not what we’re going for here !
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and remove the chicken from the marinade. Scrape off most of the marinade from the chicken and place the chicken in a roasting tin. Tie the legs together with butcher twine.
Put the chicken in the hot oven and after 20 minutes lower the temperature of your oven to 200 degrees. Let the chicken cook for about 40 minutes and check in between to see if you need to turn it a quarter turn every now and then to let it brown evenly. After cooking, let the chicken rest for 30 minutes before slicing it.