Weeknight CookingWhat to CookChickenDinner, FasterRoast Chicken

A 35-Minute Weeknight Roast Chicken

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Sunday-afternoon cooking is a wonderful thing—in the hours before another chaotic work week rolls in, there's time to prepare: a quiche for office lunches, a large batch of pasta that will get you through the next few days, a poached fish that will last at least until Tuesday. But come Wednesday, the dent you made in your ready-made food stock starts to widen, and by Thursday, you're lucky if you have half a serving left of that delicious pasta. Enter: the pre-marinated roast chicken.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

This butterflied roast chicken, marinated in a mixture of buttermilk, tarragon, Dijon mustard, and nutmeg (among other herbs), tastes better the longer it sits and soaks in the simple mixture—so if you set aside 10 minutes to prepare it on Sunday, it will be perfect mid-week. Come Wednesday, all you have to do is throw it on the stove for 5 minutes, then into the oven for 30 minutes; the butterflied cut helps it cook that much faster. And since the recipe only takes 1/4 cup of wine, you'll have plenty to sip on while you kick off your shoes and raise a glass to a roast chicken that's as easy as Sunday morning.

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Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken with Tarragon and Dijon Mustard

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Serves 4
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon red peppercorns, crushed (black works fine as well)
  • 3 1/2 pounds whole chicken, backbone cut out and butterflied
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine for deglazing (optional)

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Tags: quick roast chicken, buttermilk marinade, buttermilk roast chicken