Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken Recipe

Need a classic & simple roast chicken recipe to impress? Then make sure you save/bookmark this Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken recipe! Lemon, garlic, and a touch of smoky spices together are a flavour combo that can do no wrong on a roast chicken as it is suitable for every palate. It’s not as fancy as the Indian-Style Stuffed Roast Chicken Recipe, but it’s not any less enjoyable!

By first marinating the chicken in buttermilk & spices, then stuffing the chicken with lemon & aromatics, and filling the chicken with compound butter, I guarantee you that this roast chicken will turn out extra flavoursome and juicy. You can have some roasted vegetables at the bottom of the tray as you roast the chicken. Or why not try serving it with these Air Fryer Gunpowder Potatoes!

A plate of Whole Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

How to make Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken


  • Whole Chicken – I used a medium-sized whole chicken (around 1.4-1.6kg)
  • Buttermilk – for marinating the chicken. See the recipe notes below on making your own buttermilk at home
  • Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Chilli Powder, Garlic Powder – the spices for marinating the chicken
  • Garlic cloves, Onion, Lemon
  • Butter, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Coriander Leaves – for the compound butter

Recipe Notes

How to make buttermilk at home

Buttermilk is one of the best marinades for chicken. For every cup of milk, mix with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until tiny curdles begin to form. Et voilà! That’s your homemade buttermilk and can be used as required.

Stuff the chicken for extra flavours

Stuffing the chicken cavity helps to enhance the flavours of the roast chicken. In this recipe, I stuffed the chicken with lemon, onions, and garlic. The flavours of these ingredients will then infuse into the chicken throughout the cooking process and help to spread the flavours through the meat. Not only does the lemon plays the role of a flavour enhancer, but it also helps to moisten the chicken, keeping the meat juicy. You can also add in a handful of fresh herbs to the stuffing as well.

Compound butter is the secret trick to making the juiciest roast chicken

You do not want to miss out on this one simple step. It is a real game-changer in making the juiciest roast chicken. Feel free to try different flavour combos but I went with a classic lemon garlic compound butter and stuff it underneath the chicken skin. You’ll have to get your hands dirty for this but it’d be so worth it!

Other than stuffing the compound butter under the skin, you can also use it to brush all over the chicken mid-way through the cooking process. This helps to get the perfect golden touch of colour for the roast chicken!

Make sure the internal temperature reaches 75°C

Check the internal temperature of the chicken by using a cooking thermometer. Simply insert it into the thickest part of the chicken, without touching the bones, to check whether your chicken is fully cooked or not. The chicken is safe to consume when its internal temperature reaches 75°C.

A plate of Whole Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

What to Do with Leftover Roast Chicken

There are lots of ideas to play around with for any leftover chicken, including the carcass! The most straightforward leftover idea would be making a chicken sandwich for the next day. You can also turn it into a comforting bowl of Lemon Chicken Pasta Soup – something light and healthy, or toss it with your regular pasta dishes.

As for the remaining carcass, you can make a lovely chicken broth out of it. If you’re up for a challenge, you can even turn it into a creamy Japanese Paitan Ramen Broth (this involves cooking the carcass & bones till softened and blending them all into a rich broth)!

Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

ET Food Voyage
The perfect Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken recipe, featuring a tangy and piquant flavour, and a secret tip to make the chicken extra juicy!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 5 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine European
Servings 4 people
Calories 665 kcal


  • Roasting Tin
  • Grill Rack
  • Cooking Thermometer


  • 1 Medium Whole Chicken (1.4-1.6kg)
  • ½ Onion
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1 Lemon used also for the compound butter

For the marinade

  • 1 cup Buttermilk* see notes for homemade buttermilk recipe
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 heaped tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder

For the compound butter

  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 5 g Fresh Coriander Leaves chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice


  • Mix together all the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken for 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
    1 Medium Whole Chicken, 1 cup Buttermilk*, 3 tbsp Salt, 1½ tbsp Black Pepper, 1 heaped tbsp Garlic Powder, 1 heaped tbsp Smoked Paprika, 1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Discard excessive marinade from the chicken. Stuff the chicken cavity with lemon, garlic cloves, and onions.
    ½ Onion, 2-3 cloves Garlic, 1 Lemon
  • Make the compound butter by mixing all the compound butter ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Set aside about ½ tbsp of compound butter for later.
    4 tbsp Butter, 5 g Fresh Coriander Leaves, 1 tsp Garlic, 1 tsp Black Pepper, 1 tbsp Olive Oil, Zest of 1 Lemon, 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Gently lift up the skin from the breast side of the chicken and spread the compound butter beneath the skin. Sprinkle a little bit more salt over the chicken
  • Place chicken into a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 50 minutes.
  • Brush the remaining compound butter over the chicken and also bast the chicken with its own juices.
  • Turn up the temperature to 200°C and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the skin is browned and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 75°C.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.


  • The Preparation and Cooking Time does not include time for marinating the chicken
  • To make your own buttermilk: mix 1 tbsp Lemon Juice or Vinegar with 1 cup of Milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until tiny curdles begin to form – and that’s your homemade buttermilk and ready to use!
  • Stuffing the chicken cavity with lemon, garlic and onions help to infuse flavours into the chicken and also keeps the meat juicy. 
  • Spreading a layer of compound butter underneath the skin helps to keep the chicken breast extra moist and adds an extra boost of flavour as well. 
  • Make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75°C before removing it from the oven. You can check the temperature by using a cooking thermometer and inserting it into the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bones.
Keyword Chicken, Roast Chicken

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