Grilled Rosemary Buttermilk Chicken

Every summer I seem to run into a recipe that I just simply can’t stop making over and over again. In the past it has been the Silver Palate’s pasta with tomatoes and brie cheese, and fabulous “Way Life Should Be” lobster recipe from New York Times, and one summer many moons ago I made this super-simple raspberry sherbet recipe almost every day. This summer I am fixated on this buttermilk grilled chicken recipe.

It must be something about the buttermilk that makes it taste so wonderful. Buttermilk is a scary, scary thing to me (have you ever taken a really close look at this stuff?), but I have to say that anything I make with it, from this chicken, to fresh ricotta cheese, to my all-time favorite buttermilk fried chicken recipe, turns out great. This recipe calls for mixing up buttermilk, paprika, lots of garlic and some fresh herbs and letting the chicken soak in it all day before grilling it up. It comes out with a delicious flavor that is even better when you eat the leftovers cold for lunch the next day.

One trick that I always use when it comes to grilling chicken: I use kitchen shears to cut the chicken breast halves in half again, so you are left with breast quarters. Much more manageable in terms of picking up and eating…which is what you are going to do with scrumptious summertime grilled chicken, right? Right!¬†

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 bone-in chicken halves, cut into quarters
  • 8 large stalks fresh rosemary
  1. Stir the buttermilk, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl.,
  2. Place the chicken in a zippered plastic bag and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Now take the rosemary and roll it between the palms of your hands (this releases the oils) and drop it into the bag. Seal up the bag and let it marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bags occasionally, for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Heat grill to medium high. Remove the chicken from the marinade (throw the marinade out) and grill until cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over a few times as you grill. This chicken is terrific hot off the grill or chilled!



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  1. oh gosh, I didn't even save this chicken recipe when it crossed my mailbox, but now I'm convinced, I have to overcome my fear of buttermilk (you aren't alone, the stuff is freaky) and make this chicken!

  2. Federica says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmm…..che invitante!!!

  3. I am going to try this when we go camping in two weeks. It sounds fabulous! And thanks to your post on the blueberry cheesecake bars, I went to Stonewall Kitchen and placed an order :-)

  4. I have them marinating and will be grilling them as soon as the family gets home. I googled buttermilk chicken breasts and you came up…..

  5. This sounds very delicious! I'm going to try it tomorrow :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Looks good!

  7. I love this recipe. We did it all last summer while vacationing on France’s Atlantic coast. When we ran out of buttermilk we used milk mixed with vinegar instead, which also worked deliciously.

    • Great idea – I’m going to try that if I ever find myself needing this without buttermilk. And that sounds like one glorious summer!!

      • Indian cuisine marinates chicken in yoghurt for a couple things (at least), Tandoori? Tikka Masala?? Anyway, yoghurt is just a little thicker and smoother, but basically the same stuff.

        I think something in them tenderizes the meat as well as giving it a lighter, brighter flavor. Of course, the grill works its magic, too. I need to break in my baby kettle grill before I take it on the road, and this recipe may be it’s maiden voyage. ūüėČ

        • The buttermilk DEFINITELY makes the chicken an amazing amount of tender. This is a great inaugural recipe for your new grill!

  8. Denise says:

    Made this chicken recipe using bone in skin on breast & thighs. Absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be making regularly!


  1. […] but they are a wonderful thing to make when you want something festive on your plate next to your grilled buttermilk chicken, or your grilled steak with chimichurri sauce, or whatever it is you are grilling. ¬†And this side […]

  2. […] of adding a new chicken salad to my towering pile of chicken salad recipes. ¬†For one thing, I make my beloved buttermilk rosemary grilled chicken so dang much that I always have leftover chicken hanging around. ¬†And in the case of this recipe, […]

  3. […] it’s so scrumptiously beloved that it distracts me from my pile. ¬† Such is the case with my buttermilk rosemary grilled chicken…and aside from being tender and delicious, it always means I have leftover chicken. ¬†So I […]

  4. […] do love a good chicken dinner in my house. ¬†We love it grilled, slow-cooked, soupified, saladified, and stuffed into taco potatoes. ¬†We loved it stacked, […]

  5. […] all there is too it. ¬†This would be great with just about anything you cook on the grill…Buttermilk Chicken, for example…but for those early spring days that are still just chilly enough to make you […]

  6. […] the Southern husband is grilling up chicken, we ALWAYS make sure to toss a few extra pieces on, just so that we have extra to make things like […]

  7. […] tack by using the grill for every possible meal until the snow flies…I’m talking grilled buttermilk chicken. ¬†I’m talking grilled bacon and rosemary pizza. ¬†And yes, I am talking creamy, dreamy […]

  8. […] Maybe twice.¬† Maybe three times if I have sent the Southern husband out to the grill to make buttermilk rosemary grilled chicken, which we grill in giant batches because it is addictively good. The point is that I am forever on […]

  9. […] of my favorite, favorite, favorite recipes on this here site is the one for buttermilk grilled chicken, and I’ve gotten lots of emails from folks telling them that it is their favorite way to make […]

  10. […] of anything that pairs chicken with rosemary, purely because of my love and devotion to my beloved buttermilk and rosemary grilled chicken recipe.¬† But as glorious as that recipe is, it does involve marinating and it does involve sending […]

  11. […] And of course days and evenings full of barbecue lunches and suppers.¬† Steaks and burgers and chicken on the grill, with potato salad and green salad on the side.¬† The only thing that could possibly make things […]

  12. […] good sized chicken breast halves worth of chicken.¬† If you have leftover chicken (say from making my favorite buttermilk rosemary grilled chicken lately…hint hint) that will work just fine, otherwise you can saute some chicken specifically […]

  13. […] and make and make. ¬†There was the summer of grilled pizza in all forms. ¬†There was the summer of buttermilk grilled chicken. ¬†Last summer was the summer of grilled sandwiches made on the actual grill. ¬†But I think this […]

  14. […] it’s not the same.¬† And along with this summer’s favorite grill recipe, which is Buttermilk Grilled Chicken, one of my top choices for the grill is grilled […]

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