Samin's Buttermilk Roast Chicken with Mustard Green Panzanella

15 mins. active60 mins. totalServes 4
When we first had this roast chicken by our pal, advisor and go-to culinary muse, Samin Nosrat, we were instantly converted to the cult of buttermilk. With only the slightest bit of advance planning the night before, you’re guaranteed a beautifully browned and richly flavored bird the next day. We paired ours with a whole mess of mustard greens, chanterelles, shallots and hunks of country bread in homage to our other favorite roast chicken at Zuni cafe!

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 3-4 pound chicken

1 quart Buttermilk, well shaken

4 slices of Country Bread, torn into 2 inch chunks

2 bunches of Mustard Greens or Kale, de-stemmed

4 Shallots, sliced or 1 Red Onion

A handful of Sage or Rosemary leaves

6 oz. of King Trumpet Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and sliced

¼ Preserved Lemon, sliced thinly

Step 1

The day before you want to eat the chicken, season it generously with salt. (That’s probably more salt than you think you need!) Let it sit for 30 minutes. Open the quart of buttermilk and add a palmful of salt (about 3 tablespoons) into the container. Seal it up and shake to encourage the salt to dissolve. Place the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk. Seal it, squish the buttermilk all around the chicken, place on a rimmed plate, and refrigerate. If you’re so inclined, over the next 24 hours you can turn the bag so each part of the chicken gets marinated, but it’s not essential.

Step 2

Pull the chicken out of the fridge two hours before you plan to start cooking. When you’re ready to roast, preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without being obsessive. Truss the chicken by placing a 12-inch length of butcher’s twine with its center at the small of the chicken’s back. Tie the twine around each wing tightly and then flip the chicken over and use the remaining twine to tie the legs together as tight as you can. Place in a big cast iron or roasting pan with the legs pointing toward the rear left corner and close the door. You should hear the chicken sizzling pretty quickly.

Step 3

After about 15 minutes, when the chicken starts to brown, reduce the heat to 400°F/205°C and continue roasting. After another 15 minutes, add the shallots/onion, greens, herbs and chanterelles. Using tongs, mix the veggies around in the chicken drippings and put the pan back in the oven with the legs facing the rear right corner of the oven.

Step 4

Continue cooking for another 35-40 minutes, stirring the veggies with tongs once or twice so they cook evenly. The chicken is done when it’s brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh. Remove it to a platter and set it on a cutting board on your counter. Add the bread to the cast iron and toss with all of the veggies, making sure to coat the bread evenly in chicken drippings. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. When you remove the pan from the oven, add the preserved lemon to the bread and mustard greens. The chicken will be ready to carve and eat immediately!