A soak in herb-laced buttermilk imparts a slight tang to this chicken while tenderizing the meat. The key to grilling chicken is to create two heat zones: one for high, direct heat (over the coals) and one for low, indirect heat (away from the coals).


  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary or thyme
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 whole chickens (about 3 pounds each), cut into 8 pieces each (then halve the breasts on the diagonal)
  • Safflower oil, for brushing


Combine the buttermilk, garlic, herbs, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.

Divide the chicken between 2 baking dishes. Cover with the marinade, turning to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning the chicken occasionally. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.

Heat the grill to medium with direct and indirect heat zones. Brush the grates with oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Grill the breast halves, thighs and drumsticks, skin side down, over direct heat for 10 minutes. Flip, move to indirect heat and grill, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thighs registers 165 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes. Grill the wings over direct heat, flipping often, until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Helpful Hint:
Serving idea: Grill orange segments and rosemary sprigs over direct heat while the chicken is cooking.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Martha Stewart Living. All rights reserved.

RecID 11430

Sign Up for Cooking.com Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow Cooking.com