Oven Braised Buttermilk Chicken - a buttermilk marinade does amazing things for this braised chicken. 6 ingredients - chicken, za'atar, garlic, salt, thyme and buttermilk are all it takes to make this tender, juicy buttermilk chicken.
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What do you think of when you hear the words buttermilk and chicken together? If you are like most people, your mind probably goes to buttermilk fried chicken. You know, the kind grandma used to make.
And with good reason, buttermilk fried chicken is amazing. Well, guess what? Oven Braised Buttermilk Chicken is just as amazing. I'm going to go so far as to say it's even more amazing because it's crazy easy and your stove doesn't get all covered in grease.
Don't take my word for it, this buttermilk chicken is so easy, you have to try it!
Oven Braised Buttermilk Chicken
Why yes, barely anything in the above photo is in focus. I was overcome with how amazing this looked and smelled. I was probably already half putting my camera away when I took the photo.
I originally found this recipe on Food52. They called for Frenching the legs and marinating it for 10 - 24 hours. Frenching was definitely not going to happen and as it turned out neither was the marinating. Mine marinated for two and half hours and it was still one of the best chicken dishes I've ever made. If you have longer go for it, but if you don't, don't let that stop you from making this.
Where to Find Za'atar
This recipe is so crazy easy. You take 4 chicken leg quarters, salt and pepper them on both sides and sprinkle with za'atar. Finding za'atar is the only hard thing about this recipe. I got mine at Amazon and last weekend I saw it at Cost Plus World Market, so it's getting easier to find.
Place some minced garlic in the bottom of a casserole dish and place the chicken on top. You'll use less buttermilk if the chicken just fits in the casserole dish. Mine was an oval 9 x 13, this rectangular version should also work.
Then you pour the buttermilk over the chicken, until it is about 3/4 covered. I, of course, just poured the buttermilk on and didn't measure it. I'm going to say four cups, but to play it safe, just start with a fresh bottle of buttermilk and pour until you come up about 3/4 of the way on the chicken.
Refrigerate the chicken for 2-24 hours, the longer the better. About a half hour before you are ready to bake the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator.
Then bake, first at 375 then 450. That's it! That's all that comes between you and this delicious chicken. The buttermilk gets all cheesy like, be sure and scoop out all the goodness!
Looking for recipes to use up that za'atar that you just bought?
This Za'atar Chicken Tenders with Vegetables is another easy chicken recipe with za'atar.
Take carrots to a whole new level with Za'atar Roasted Carrots with Labne! So good, I ate this plateful for lunch!
Buttermilk Braised Chicken
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 1 tablespoon za'atar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 4 cups buttermilk may need more or less
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- salt to taste
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and then sprinkle evenly with za'atar.
- Spread the garlic out on the bottom of a snug fitting casserole. Place the chicken on top of the garlic.
- Pour buttermilk over the chicken until they are about 3/4 covered and top with thyme sprigs.
- Refrigerate the chicken for 2-24 hours. The longer the better.
- 30 minutes before you want to bake the chicken, take it out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375.
- Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through and nicely caramelized.
- Serve, scooping up the cooked buttermilk sauce to spoon over the chicken.