Roasted Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

I’ve moved my blog! For the updated Roasted Buttermilk Chicken Thighs Recipe, please visit my new blog atJan’s Food Steps“.

When I first saw the recipe for buttermilk roasted chicken on Smitten Kitchen, I wanted to try it out immediately because it looked so simple AND that you can marinate the chicken ahead of time, making this a fantastic recipe for meal prep. The chicken marinated in buttermilk was so juicy and while there are not a lot of seasoning, the paprika and pepper gave the chicken great flavours. I’ve made this recipe many times and have tweaked it a bit to suit our taste. We love roasted garlic so I use a whole head of garlic and roast them along with the chicken. I always use smoked paprika and added slightly more than the original recipe. Lastly, since I prefer dark meat, I usually use all chicken thighs but you can use drumsticks or other chicken parts. I always trim off as much fat and skin from the chicken thighs as I can sold it’s “healthier”.

Recipe adapted from smitten kitchen
Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 2.5-3 lbs of chicken thighs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp table salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp smoked paprika, plus extras for sprinkling (other types of paprika works too)
  • lots of freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • flaked or coarse sea salt


  1. Trim off excess fat and skin from the chicken thighs. Clean, pat dry and place the chicken thighs into a large zipper lock bag.
  2. In a bowl, combine together the buttermilk, smashed garlic, salt, sugar, smoked paprika and fresh ground pepper.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs and zip up the bag, removing as much air as you can. Shake and gently massage the chicken in the marinade. Place the bag in a shallow dish or bowl and let the chicken marinate in the fridge between 8 to 48 hours. Turn or shake the bag once or twice during the marinating time to ensure that the chicken thighs are always submerged in the buttermilk mixture.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking tray with foil. Remove the chicken thighs from the bag, shake off excess buttermilk and place them on the tray skin side up. Lightly drizzle olive oil on the chicken and sprinkle with extra paprika and flaked or coarse sea salt. Fish out the garlic pieces from the marinade and place them in between the chicken thighs so they can roast at the same time. Roast the chicken thighs for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.

Cooking Tips:

  1. Leftover buttermilk can be frozen.
  2. I found smoked paprika from Bulk Barn.

Roasted Buttermilk Chicken Thighs Recipe

Roasted Buttermilk Chicken Thighs Recipe


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