Buttermilk Chicken Marinade: Simple American Magic for Juicy, Flavorful Grilled Chicken

Well, folks, I swallowed my pride and attended this uber-artsy exhibition the other day. Honestly, I felt like a pigeon in a room full of peacocks! But, surprisingly, it made me ponder the art of fusion, like a visual representation of salsa dancing its way onto my taste buds. Genius idea? You bet!

So, I sprinted back to my home, New York’s master lab of culinary theatrics, where I concocted a little experiment of my own, inspired by the “artsy-ness” I witnessed. A marinade so profoundly different, it shook me out of my culinary doldrums, all the while giving me a reason to shimmy in my kitchen (with jazz hands, of course): Behold, the Buttermilk Chicken Marinade extravaganza!

Now, don’t go rolling your eyes like I initially did at that artsy event; this marinade is a game-changer! Think of it as the culinary equivalent of a Broadway production, where blockbuster flavors steal the show. Your taste buds? They’ll reward you with a standing ovation and demand an encore (just wait until you try it, #NoFOMO).

So, join me in this adventure, where we push the boundaries of humdrum chicken dishes and transform them into a work of art, making Picasso envious! After adopting this zippy and bold marinade, you’ll be ready to tackle life’s unexpected twists and bring your A-game to the dinner table. So without further ado, let’s turn the hum drum into a Broadway masterpiece, full of flavor, wit, and zest!


  1. Buttermilk – A tangy and creamy flavor that perfectly complements chicken, also helps to tenderize the meat.

  2. Olive oil – Adds richness and depth of flavor, helps to coat and lock in the flavors.

  3. Garlic, minced – A delicious aroma with a slight bite that brings out the flavor of the meat.

  4. Black pepper – A nice spiciness to balance the flavors.

  5. Sea salt – A marinade essential for bringing out the flavors and seasoning the chicken.

  6. Ground cumin – A smoky and earthy flavor that pairs well with buttermilk and garlic.

  7. Maple syrup – A touch of sweetness to balance the tanginess of buttermilk, and gives the chicken a beautiful glaze when cooked.


  1. It’s time to marinate your chicken in the most delicious way possible! First things first, grab a large sealable plastic bag. This will be your new best friend for the next 10 minutes. In the bag, add garlic, salt, cumin, black pepper, and olive oil.
  2. Seal the bag, then use your hands to crush the garlic cloves from the outside, being careful not to break the bag. Now, pour in the buttermilk and add the chicken. Seal the bag again and move everything around from the outside to make sure all parts of the chicken are covered with the liquid.
  3. Rest the bag in a deep plate or pan to catch anything that might leak, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. You can switch up the buttermilk with yogurt if you’re feeling adventurous, or even coconut milk if you’re looking for a vegan alternative. Let the chicken marinate for at least 8 hours for the best flavor and texture. And that’s it, folks! You’ll have the most flavorful, juicy, and tender chicken ever.

Serving Suggestions for buttermilk marinade

Grill it up! After marinating your chicken overnight, fire up the grill and cook your chicken to a juicy, delicious finish. Serve it with corn on the cob and a baked potato for a classic summer barbecue meal.

Bake it in the oven. If grilling isn’t your thing, try baking your chicken in the oven. Place the chicken in a baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F. Serve it with roasted vegetables for a complete and flavorful meal.

Fry it up! For a crispy and crunchy exterior, try pan-frying your chicken. Simply heat up some oil in a pan and cook your chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy for a comforting meal.

And don’t forget to save that extra marinade! You can use it as a dipping sauce, or even drizzle it over your cooked chicken for added flavor. So, go ahead and enjoy this buttermilk marinade in all its tangy, savory goodness!


How long do I need to marinate the chicken in this recipe?

The recipe recommends marinating the chicken overnight in the refrigerator.

Can I use a different type of milk in this recipe?

This recipe specifically calls for buttermilk, but you could try using a different type of milk, like sour cream or yogurt, just note that it may alter the taste and texture of your final dish.

Can I use a different oil in this recipe?

The recipe calls for using ¼ cup of olive oil, but you could try using a different oil, such as avocado or coconut oil, to give your dish a unique flavor.

Can I use this marinade for other types of meat?

Sure thing! This marinade would work great with pork or beef. Just make sure the meat is cut into similar sized pieces, so they all marinate evenly.

Can I use this marinade for vegetables?

Absolutely! This marinade would be delicious on vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini. Just make sure to adjust the marinating time, as vegetables usually don’t need as long to marinate.

Can I use a different sweetener instead of maple syrup?

You can definitely experiment with different sweeteners in this recipe, like honey or agave nectar. You can also adjust the amount of sweetener you use to suit your taste. Just keep in mind that the flavor of the final dish may be slightly different from the recipe.

Buttermilk Chicken Marinade

A rich and creamy buttermilk marinade infused with bold spices and a touch of sweetness. Perfect for tenderizing and adding flavor to your chicken dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Marinade
Cuisine American
Servings 4 portions
Calories 426 kcal


  • 1 large, resealable plastic bag
  • 1 deep pot, pan, or plate


  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the minced garlic, salt, cumin, black pepper, smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, and olive oil. Seal the bag and mix everything together using your hands, being careful not to puncture the bag.
  • Add the buttermilk to the bag, then the chicken pieces. Seal the bag again and move everything around from the outside to make sure all parts of the chicken are coated with the marinade.
  • Place the bag in a deep pot, pan or plate to catch any leaks and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight for best results.
  • Preheat your grill or oven to 375°F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Bake or grill the chicken until fully cooked, about 25-30 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!


You can add or adjust the spices to your liking, or add a squeeze of lemon juice for extra tang.
For a little extra heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the marinade.


Calories: 426kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 18gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1424mgPotassium: 371mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 618IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 174mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chicken, Buttermilk, Spices
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