Buttermilk Grilled Chicken and My Culinary Girl-Crush

Roast Chicken

A few of my friends and family know that my biggest culinary “man-crush” of all time is Aguste Escoffier and Gordon Ramsay (I love it when he yells at people!).  But my culinary “girl-crush?” It’s Nigella Lawson.  She’s not even a chef—in fact, she has never claimed to be one.  But regardless of that, her passion for food and her love for the kitchen deeply resonate with me.

The first time I saw Lawson was on one of her cooking shows back in the early 2000’s.  I think it was Nigella Express, and I was completely captivated by her effortless beauty, confidence, and wit.  There’s also this air of authenticity about her,  a personality that’s so magnetic–no facade.  She’s just her down-to-earth, practical self that never settled for fuss while she cooked on her shows, and that is why I love her.


At the end of each episode, there would be scenes of her sneaking back into the kitchen, late at night where she’d open her refrigerator with abandon. She’d then either stick her fingers in frosting (or was it chocolate pudding?), fork off a hunk of cake, or tear into a buttermilk roasted chicken drumstick.  And off she’d sachet back to her bedroom in her silk robe, munching away as the credits came on. What is not to love about that?

I’ve made this chicken time and time again, exactly as the recipe is written. It comes out perfect every time. Today, I used the grill since the weather was to die for, and it tasted just as great, if not better than roasting it in the oven. Lawson’s recipe is available here.



The marinade consists of buttermilk, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, and maple syrup.  The maple syrup cuts the tang out of the buttermilk while the buttermilk helps the chicken tenderize.

While Marinating

I find that marinating this chicken overnight is best. Today, I only had about 2 hours of marinating time. Draining the marinade off the chicken is key, as it will ensure a nice crispy skin while grilling.

On the grill

I really, really need to get a new grill. Grilling on foil over the grill is just awful.  I also ended up moving the drumsticks to the edges of the grill since I put too many charcoal briquets on it. Woops! But, it still turned out great. This is delicious fresh off the grill (naturally) at room temperature, and even cold.  It’s great to take along in a cooler for a picnic with coleslaw too.

Lots and lots and lots of love,



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