Chicken, Food, Recipes

Buttermilk Marinated Chicken Thighs with Almond Crust

Chicken marinated in buttermilk is known mostly as the base for the tasty Southern fried chicken, which is juicy inside and crispy on the outside.
However, the marinade works its wonders with roasted chicken as well, and since I’m not much into deep frying, especially in the summer, I’ve decided on the latter option.As I was planning to top the chicken with a flavorful crispy crust (a bit similar to last week’s coating for asparagus), I added fairly minimal seasonings to the buttermilk marinade, but other spices and herbs can be added if you wish.
The chicken came out so moist and flavorful, and the topping added the nice crunch and crispiness to balance it all.
While the chicken was roasting, I prepared vegetables for roasting in another pan, and added them to the oven when the chicken was half way through. This way both came out of the oven at the same time for serving. This tasty dish is easy to prepare and serve. Try it and enjoy.

Makes: 2-4
Marinating time: at least 12 hours and up to 24
Roasting time: 1 hour

For the marinade:

1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs sweet paprika
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
4 chicken medium thighs, bone in skin on
For the topping:
¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Alaea Red Hawaiian sea salt (or any other coarse salt)
½ tsp freshly grated black pepper
For roasted vegetables:  (optional)
Mini peppers, carrots cut into small chunks, cherry tomatoes and fresh rosemary, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper and tossed with olive oil

1. In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk with the spices and salt. Add the chicken thighs and coat. Place in a Ziploc bag and keep in the fridge, for at least 12 hours and up to 24, turning the bag occasionally. Bring to room temperature about half an hour before roasting.

2. Preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and baking paper. Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and coat the chicken thighs with the mix. After roasting for half an hour, cover the pan very loosely with baking paper, to protect the topping. Roast for another half hour, until the chicken is done and the topping is golden-brown.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables, place in a separate pan and add to the oven when the chicken is half way through roasting. Roast for about 30 minutes, and serve with the chicken.

81 thoughts on “Buttermilk Marinated Chicken Thighs with Almond Crust”

  1. When Ah li-ived in th’ dee-eep Sawth as a kid . . . friends’ parents were seen marinating chicken parts in buttermilk, and I always wondered why. As a young wife/mother/cook, I tried it out, but couldn’t see any difference, so haven’t tried it again for fifty years.

    Will screw up my courage, and give it another try.

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting!
      I was skeptical at first, but definitely saw a difference in texture and flavor. The chicken gets so moist and flavorful this way. It’s not like I’m going to do it every time, but it was definitely worth the wait.
      It would be interesting to see if you think differently about it now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Myra, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I usually prefer citrus based marinades, but definitely love these ones too. The topping turned out so good – it has such a nice toasted flavor from the almonds and cheese. Definitely a keeper. 🙂


  2. Today is chicken day 🙂 🙂 Just read lithuanianinusa recipe how to make crisly chicken 🙂 🙂 and now your recipe. Think I have to try both recipes to find out which is better 🙂 🙂 🙂
    You recipe and photo look very delicious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your dishes always look so good, Ronit. Good idea to coordinate the cooking time of the veggies with the chicken too. I’m curious, is there something distinct about the Alaea red Hawaiian sea salt that made you decide to use it in this recipe? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Snap, we must be thinking alike Ronit, I just happen to have some chicken marinating since yesterday in a similar buttermilk for lunch today. I normally fry it but I’m going to try this coating. As mine are boneless thighs I’ll shorten the baking time. Thanks for another great Migraine-friendly recipe and inspiring me to do more. 💜💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

      1. These turned out so good and were a great treat for lunch. I had boneless thighs and some jointed wings which ended up taking 40 min to cook. After about 15 minutes I needed to put the baking paper over them and as I have a gas oven the convection currents were playing havoc with it so I popped a cookie sheet on top to hold it in place. Stuart preferred the boneless pieces, while I preferred the wings as the taste of chicken cooked on the bone is more appealing to me. The panko crumbs and almonds added a great crunch and let the flavours of the marinated chicken shine through. I’ll definitely be adding this breading (?) to my repertoire of go to techniques for buttermilk marinated chicken. Thanks again Ronit.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anonymous…
      The official name is חובצה but it’s much easier to find it under the commercial name ריוויון.
      I was actually thinking about publishing some of the recipes in Hebrew as well, but for lack of time didn’t. I’ll re-think about it. 🙂
      Meanwhile feel free to ask for clarifications here, or email me at
      יום טוב!


  5. I really need to make this chicken. I’m still thinking about those beautiful asparagus! I don’t typically make toppings like this. In fact, I’ve never fried chicken or anything else.. But why not have a topping on chicken baked in the oven? The marinade sounds wonderful, too. Love the seasoning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marinating chicken in buttermilk is always a good idea as it tenderizes the meat. I do not deep fry too often but lately I seem to be doing that – recipes for family/friends and now I want to try a shrimp recipe after visiting Philadelphia this past weekend. I do prefer other methods of cooking. I have a pecan crust for chicken but I bet almonds gives the chicken great flavor too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi. Glad you liked my version.
      I usually prefer citrus based marinades, but buttermilk is indeed wonderful too.
      Pecans, or any other nuts, can definitely replace the almonds here.
      Deep fried foods taste so good and are crowd pleasers for a good reason, which is exactly why I try to avoid it if possible… 🙂
      Looking forward to the post about the shrimp recipe you’ve mentioned. 🙂


    1. Thank you Mollie, I’m glad you liked my version.
      Seeing your comment made me realize I haven’s seen your posts in a while. Now that I’ve checked it says I don’t follow your blog. Weird thing. I pressed follow again. Hope it will stick! 🙂


  7. This looks wonderful. I enjoyed reading the previous comment about breading vs. topping. Maybe there’s regional variation in which term is used. If something just on the top of the dish, I call it a “topping.” If it’s on all sides of a food, it’s breading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sheryl, I’m glad you liked the recipe.
      Yes, that’s why I chose “topping” in this case, though the same mixture could also be used as breading, especially if using boneless chicken. It’s very tasty either way. 🙂


  8. Ronit,
    How did you know I was craving this chicken? Looks amazing. Those almonds must add such a nice crunch too. Do you think it would be just as moist with skinless chicken thighs?
    I am crazy about those mini peppers and yours look perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandhya, I’m glad you liked the recipe.
      The topping indeed added a nice crunch and flavor. I think it can work with skinless thighs, though it could end up less moist. I would suggest reducing the cooking time to 50 minutes and covering the dish a bit earlier than in the instructions. Hope this will work for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks delicious! I’ll be sure to try this. Hopefully this can start me off into the land of cooking rather than just baking cookies and cakes. I also loved the step by step photos you provided.

    Liked by 1 person

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