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Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars

"Buttermilk is a very popular marinade for fried chicken, but for whatever reason, it isn't often used with other chicken cooking methods. Which is kind of surprising, especially when you taste just how effective it is for something like this beautiful barbecued chicken. Yogurt, a very similar product, is quite popular in grilled chicken marinades. So, why not use buttermilk? This goes great with coleslaw, potato salad, and a squeeze of lemon."
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7 h 5 m servings 323
Original recipe yields 6 servings (1 whole chicken)


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  1. Whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, cider vinegar, garlic, thyme, pepper, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and salt together in a bowl. Watch Now
  2. Trim wing flats from the chicken. Cut along both sides of the backbone from the tail to the neck; remove backbone. Make a 1/4-inch-deep cut through the piece of cartilage in the center. Open up both sides to reveal breastbone; lift out. Cut chicken in half through the center line. Watch Now
  3. Place both halves in a resealable zip-top bag and pour in the buttermilk marinade. Place the bag in a bowl to catch any leaks. Press air out and seal. Marinate in the fridge for 6 to 18 hours. Watch Now
  4. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove chicken from marinade and transfer onto a paper towel-lined plate. Blot off excess marinade. Watch Now
  5. Place chicken on the grill cut-side down, skin-side up; cover and cook for 20 minutes. Watch Now
  6. Flip chicken over and continue grilling for 7 to 10 minutes. Flip once more and grill until no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Watch Now


  • Chef's Note:
  • If you can't find buttermilk, just used some thinned-out yogurt.
  • Editor's Note:
  • Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 323 calories; 10.5 15.4 40.2 117 2120 Full nutrition

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I made this two weekends in a row, it's very good. The only thing I changed was I added barbecue mesquite seasoning and five spice powder and cooked it over coals with mesquite wood. But he's ...