Kefir Roast Chicken

An adaptation from Samin Nosrat's "Buttermilk Marinated Roast Chicken", but using milk kefir. I've been roasting chickens for years, and recently gave this recipe a go, except that I subbed the buttermilk for some milk kefir. Wow! This one is a keeper, the meat is SO tender and flavorful, and will put your kefir at good use.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, kefir, milk, roast, roasted
Servings: 4


  • 2 cups milk kefir
  • 1 organic, free-range chicken
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more
  • 1-2 chopped onion (optional)


  • The day before you want to roast the chicken, clean it and generously add salt all over, rubbing it so it gets in the skin. Let it sit for ~30 minutes.
  • In a Ziplock or other sealable plastic bag, pour 2 cups milk kefir and 2-3 teaspoons of fine sea salt. Mix well, and add the chicken. Remove any extra air and turn the bag so the kefir covers the chicken. Put the bag back in the fridge.
  • The next day, remove the chicken 1 hour before cooking it, pre-heat the oven to 425°F/220°C.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and put it in a large rack or dutch oven without the lid.
  • Now: place the oven or rack in the middle of the oven, legs pointing to the rear left corner of your oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 400°F/200°C and continue roasting for 10-15 minutes.
  • Move the rack or dutch oven so the legs of the chicken point to the rear right corner and continue roast for 30-40 minutes. I like to add one or two chopped onions at this stage since some cooking juices are starting to gather on the bottom. This will make a great sauce to pour over.
  • Check doneness by inserting a knife below the thigh, juices should run clear and transparent, no blood visible. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes with some aluminium foil on top to preserve heat.
  • Slice the chicken, and serve, gathering the sauce at the bottom of the dutch oven or pan and transferring it to a small sauce pan.

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