Best Brine Ever!

Most folks know that the first step to making the best fried chicken is to brine it in buttermilk. Now, Samin Nosrat has a celebrated recipe using the same brining technique for roast chicken. TIP: You can make your own buttermilk by adding, then stirring one tablespoon of Sicilian Lemon white balsamic into 1 cup of whole or 2% milk. 


4 chicken leg with thigh attached (not drumsticks)
1 tbsp Kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Lemon olive oil (or zest of lemon)
2 tbsp Sicilian Lemon white balsamic (or juice of 1/2 fresh lemon) plus more for drizzle
2 cups buttermilk, divided
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Toasted Sesame oil
½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
Cayenne Chili olive oil for drizzle (optional)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (robust)

    Place chicken legs in a large baking dish, then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside for 15 minutes. Spread Lemon olive oil (or zest of fresh lemon) on chicken and under skin. Add 1-1/2 cups of buttermilk and 1 tbsp sesame oil and coat on both sides. Cover and place in fridge for 3 to 12 hours, turning occasionally, and pressing into chicken. In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon Sesame oil. Add Sicilian Lemon white balsamic (or the juice of half a lemon). Season to taste with salt and pepper and whisk again to combine. Cover and place in fridge. Preheat oven to 475°. Remove chicken from fridge and bring to room temperature.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and use a baking rack if you have one. Before placing chicken skin side up on sheet/rack, remove excess marinade. Place in oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until chicken skin is a dark golden brown. To test for doneness insert a thermometer to thickest part of thigh until it registers 165°.  Remove from oven. Serve with dressing on the side and drizzle Cayenne olive oil, Sicilian Lemon or both to taste. 

    [*Adapted from Bon Appetit's Samin Nosrat buttermilk chicken recipe.]