Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken Recipe

This Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken is the perfect recipe for your Sunday Roast. It’s not as fancy as the Indian-Style Stuffed Roast Chicken Recipe. This one’s a much simpler one but there’s no short of flavours here and I promise you it’s a juicy one.

Lemon Garlic flavour on chicken can do no wrong and is suitable to every palate. A blend of mixed spices has been used in this recipe to elevate the flavours, providing a piquant touch and letting that tart and tangy lemon-garlic flavour to really shine through. The chicken is first marinated with buttermilk and spice rub, then stuffed with lemon, onions and garlic, plus a little secret trick to keep it flavourful and extra juicy.

Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken Recipe

How to make Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Making a whole roast chicken is really not as daunting as one might think. This Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken Recipe could be a good starting point! Simply follow the steps and tips I’ve got for you below and you’d be a pro at this in no time.

Marinating the Chicken

Always, always marinate the chicken.

Generous amount of salt and black pepper is a must. Here I have created a spice rub using Paprika, Chilli Powder, Garlic Powder, and Harissa Spice Powder. Mix all of them together and rub all over the chicken.

Then place the chicken in a large bowl or large ziplock bag with Buttermilk. Let marinate overnight.

If you don’t have buttermilk, worry not. Read how to easily make your buttermilk at home below under the common FAQ section.

Stuffing the Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Onions

Stuffing the chicken cavity helps to enhance the flavours of the roast chicken. In this recipe, I have 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.

Just right before you stuff the lemon into the chicken though, I’ve got one trick here for you below.

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

How to Make a Juicy Roast Chicken – the Secret Trick

Buttermilk does part of the job but I have another secret to turn your roast chicken extra juicy, if not the juiciest.

I actually learnt this trick from Halal Girl About Town, which involves creating a compound butter and stuffing it underneath the skin! It’s a small extra step but one that’s totally worth it and a game-changer.

To make the compound butter, simply whip together butter, garlic paste, black pepper, chopped fresh coriander leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can obtain the lemon zest and lemon juice from the lemon you were going to stuff into the chicken cavity. Extra extra tip here: to add more flavour to it, substitute the olive oil with animal fat. I used duck fat and the results were dreamy.

Then it’s simply about getting your hands dirty and stuffing the butter underneath the skin. You can also use the back of a spoon to help you with it.

I also like to score the drumstick parts before marinating the chicken and also stuff some of that compound butter through the opening of the pierced skin from scoring. The drumsticks tasted absolutely ridiculously tasty and succulent.

Leave roughly half a tablespoon of the compound butter to save it for basting the chicken at latter stages of cooking. It will help you to get the perfect colour for the roast chicken.

Need proof when I say it’s going to be the juiciest roast chicken? Just take a look for yourself in this video and see how much juices ooze out of it!

Roasting the Vegetables Beneath the Chicken

Lay the roast vegetables of your choice on a roasting tin. Roughly season with salt and black pepper, and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil (or animal fat). Then place a grill rack over the tin and the chicken on top. And off they go into the oven together and let the magic happen.

Essentially, what you want to do here is to let the dripping juices from the chicken to flavour the vegetables. With this roast chicken recipe, you’re going to get a lemon-y flavour roast vegetables.

I’ve used carrots and broccoli as pictured. Why not also try out the likes of parsnips, aubergine, zucchini, etc.!

Cooking the Roast

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the roast into the middle of the oven and cook for about 50 minutes.

Then use the remaining compound butter to bast the chicken by brushing it all over the chicken. This would give the chicken a nice golden touch of colour.

Turn up the temperature to 200°C and cook for another 10 minutes to let the skin turn golden brown in colour. Check to ensure the internal temperature reaches 75°C before you remove it from the oven.

Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

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 one would be making a chicken sandwich for the next day. I made mine with shredded leftover roast chicken and some Air Fried Maple Glazed Turkey Rashers plus a spread of Kewpie mayo.

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. That could work either.

As for the remaining carcass, you can make a chicken bone broth out of it. I even took a step further and made it into a creamy Japanese Paitan Ramen Broth! Stay tuned for my recipe for it, it’s a lengthy process but it tasted so amazing.

Leftover Roast Chicken Sandwich
Leftover roast chicken & maple-glazed turkey rashers sandwich

Check out other roast chicken recipes:

Common FAQ

How do I know if the chicken is cooked?

Check the internal temperature of the chicken by using a cooking thermometer. You chicken is cooked and safe to consume when its internal temperature reaches 75°C.

How to check the temperature of the roast chicken?

Using a cooking thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the chicken without touching any bones.  Pull it slowly up through the meat and watch the display for the lowest number that it reads. 75°C is the temperature deemed safe to consume the chicken.

How do I make buttermilk?

Buttermilk can be easily made at home by mixing together regular milk and an acidic component. 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 and then simply use as required.

If you have any other questions, please leave a comment and I will answer you and include them here on this FAQ.

Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

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 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting Time 5 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine European
Servings 4 people


  • Roasting Tin
  • Grill Rack
  • Cooking Thermometer


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

Ingredients for Spice Rub and Chicken Marinade:

  • cups Buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Harissa Spice Powder
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder

Ingredients for the Compound Butter:

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


Marinating the Chicken:

  • Mix together all the spice rub dry ingredients. Rub all over the chicken.
    [Optional step]: score the drumsticks to allow the marinade the seep through.
  • Place the chicken in a large bowl or large ziplock bag with buttermilk. Let marinate overnight.

Prepping the Chicken:

  • Make the compound butter by mixing everything together until thoroughly combined.
  • Discard excessive marinade from the chicken.
  • Gently lift up the skin from the breast-side of the chicken and spread the compound butter beneath the skin.
  • Do the same for the drumsticks if it was scored beforehand (i.e. the skin's pierced with an opening). Save about ½ tbsp of compound butter for later.
  • Stuff the chicken cavity with lemon, garlic cloves, and onions.

Prepping the Roast Vegetables:

  • Place roast vegetables at the bottom of a roasting tin. Briefly toss with salt, black pepper, and olive oil/animal fat.

Cooking the Roast:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Place chicken on a grill rack and place it over the roasting tin with the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle a little bit more salt over the chicken. Then put into the oven to cook for 50 minutes.
  • Bast the chicken by brushing the remaining compound butter over the chicken.
  • Turn up the temperature to 200°C and cook for another 10 minutes until the skin is browned and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 75°C.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


  • The Preparation and Cooking Time does not include time for marinating the chicken
  • By placing the chicken on a grill rack over the roast vegetables, it allows the drippings of the chicken to flavour the vegetables underneath.
  • Stuffing the chicken cavity of 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 to the thickest part of the chicken without touching bones.
Keyword Chicken, Roast Chicken

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Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken Recipe

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