An Easier Alternative to Turkey: Buttermilk Whole Roasted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

Are you hosting friendsgiving or hosting your family on Thanksgiving day this year and are in need of a show stopping main protein!? Look no further! This is the easiest buttermilk whole roasted chicken that only requires 3 ingredients to make! When it gets cooked to perfection it will have the crispiest golden skin on the outside and the most moist tender juicy meat on the inside, just like a turkey!

When it comes to Thanksgiving and holidays, to say I love hosting is an understatement. You could say that it’s my thing. I’ve hosted Friendsgiving every year and there are so many reasons I love it. For one, I love bringing all of my friends and family together and having all of my favorite people in one place. The energy that radiates through out our home during this time seriously brings me so much joy and warms my heart. Second, the food of course! I love eating it, cooking it, serving it, etc. Last, it makes me realize how lucky and grateful I am for the friends, family and food overall.

When hosting friendsgivings, I always hosted them ahead of time (before Thanksgiving day) as most people do. I knew that all of my friends and family would be having turkey with their families on Thanksgiving day, so I always wanted to serve something else for the main protein and main attraction. In addition, cooking a whole turkey seemed so intimidating and such a process. So, I thought that a whole chicken would be a great substitute. This buttermilk chicken is the perfect solution! It looks like a mini turkey, but doesn’t taste like one. Plus, it is 10 times easier to make than an actual turkey and requires less ingredients!

While this buttermilk whole roasted chicken requires a longer prep process, it is worth it! It needs to be marinated in the buttermilk brine at least a day ahead of time. Once it is done marinating for a minimum of 12 hours, it needs to sit out at room temperature for an hour before cooking. Then, it gets cooked in the oven for an hour. However! It is still very minimal effort on your part with the brine requires only three ingredients, you place in the fridge, remove from the fridge then place in the oven. It truly is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

I recommend serving this buttermilk chicken over a bed of garlic herb fingerling potatoes. If you are serving over the fingerling potatoes, you can cook these the last 20-30 minutes before the chicken is done so these will be done around the same time. But, if you would like you nix the potatoes, you can absolutely just serve the chicken on its own. When this chicken gets baked, it has the crispiest golden skin on the outside and the most moist, juicy, tender meat on the inside. It will not disappoint and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

A NOTE about the chicken: you will want to make sure that the legs and wings are tied with twine before you even begin marinating. It will help keep the chicken tight and together from start to finish. If the chicken does not already come tied and you are unsure how to do this, you can easily ask someone at the store to tie it for you before you purchase.

Did you impress your family and friends with this main attraction alternative!? Show it off by tagging @prettyplatebymichelle or #prettyplatebymichelle on instagram.

Serves 8-12, INGREDIENTS: For the Buttermilk Whole Roasted Chicken

1 4 pound whole chicken (I got mine from Whole Foods)

1 Qt. Buttermilk

3 TBSP Pink himalayan salt

1 TBSP black peppercorns

Fresh thyme sprigs, optional for garnish

Dried parsley flakes, optional for garnish

DIRECTIONS: ** NOTE: Cast Iron is not needed to make this recipe **

  1. Remove chicken from packaging. Place one ziploc bag In a rectangle pan.

  2. Fill ziploc bag with 1 Qt. Buttermilk. Add 3 TBSP salt and 1 TBSP black peppercorns.

  3. Add whole chicken. Close the ziploc bag and shake to mix well. Turn chicken and make sure salt and peppercorns have distributed evenly.

  4. Place in the fridge at a minimum of 12 hours, but marinate as long as you can. Up to 24 hours is best.

  5. Prepare a sheet pan with foil and place a rack on top. When it is done marinating, remove the chicken from a ziploc bag and shake any excess buttermilk off. Place on the rack. Let it sit at room temperature on the rack for an hour.

  6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. When the hour is up, place your chicken with the rack on the sheet pan (so as is), in the oven. IMPORTANT NOTE: when you place the chicken in the oven make sure to place the drum sticks/legs to the back. You want the head of the chicken to the front. You will keep it in this position the whole time. Bake at 400 for 50-55 minutes.

  7. Once done, the skin should be golden brown and crispy all the way around. Remove from heat and let sit out to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting.

  8. Cut and serve right away with potatoes and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Eat alone as is, serve with gravy or fingerling potatoes.

Serves 5+, INGREDIENTS: For the Garlic Herb Fingerling Potatoes

1 Lb fingerling potatoes

1 TSP salt

1/4 TSP pepper

1/2 TBSP Italian seasoning

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP minced garlic


  1. Wash your potatoes and pat dry. Slice them in half lengthwise and place in a bowl.

  2. Pour 2 TBSP olive oil over your sliced potatoes. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and minced garlic. Mix well.

  3. Heat a pan over medium heat add your potatoes and begin to cook. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. When done, remove from heat and serve right away as a side dish or with buttermilk roasted chicken.


  1. Cast Iron Skillet

  2. Calphalon Knife Set

  3. Marble Salt Bowl

  4. Black Matte Measuring Cups

  5. Sheet Pan Set

  6. Glass Prep Bowl Set

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