Buffalo an Entire Chicken for Super Bowl Sunday

Buffalo an Entire Chicken for Super Bowl Sunday
Photo: Claire Lower

I did not grow up watching the Super Bowl. The closest thing my home state of Mississippi has to a professional football team is the Saints, but my dad and grandfather were far too busy cussing at the TV while watching Mississippi State lose to pay attention to any of that. Besides, the Super Bowl always falls on a Sunday — the Lord’s day — and it’s hard to watch a game while you’re in church.

Church Sunday and Super Bowl Sunday feel at odds on at least three levels: spiritually, aesthetically, and culinarily. Shouting obscenities at the TV while watching men give each other possible brain damage does not feel very Christian, and a greasy spread of wings, nachos, and chilli dogs doesn’t quite fit the wholesome, nurturing feel of an after-church supper.

That’s what makes this whole Buffalo roasted chicken true fusion cuisine — it’s a fusion of vibes. Churchly roasted chicken meets profane Buffalo wings in this recipe, and the results are delicious.

It all begins with a brine. The combination of buttermilk and Frank’s hot sauce flavours and tenderizes the chicken while keeping it moist. My love for dairy-based brines has been well-documented, but if this is your first time working with one, you should be excited.

There are multiple benefits to using cultured dairy, such as buttermilk or labneh, to marinate a bird. The acid in the buttermilk or yogurt tenderizes the meat, while the proteins promote browning on the skin. Dairy-brined birds are also the most forgiving birds I’ve ever roasted — I’ve cooked several of them to over 70°C (both by accident and to see what would happen), and the breast meat has come out juicy and tender every time, thanks to the abundance of moisture, acid, and fat.

The inclusion of Frank’s hot sauce is (obviously) what gives this bird a Super Bowl sheen. The tangy, spicy sauce lightly flavours the meat, eliminating the need for additional seasoning. The most obvious benefit is a whole hen’s worth of Buffalo flavored skin, which I recommend you eat as quickly as possible.

Photo: Claire LowerPhoto: Claire Lower

For side dishes, you have a few options. I enjoy a good Hidden Valley ranch roasted potato, though I recommend doubling — if not tripling — the amount of ranch seasoning called for in the recipe. Carrots are another obvious choice: Either a simple shredded carrot salad, or roasted carrots like the ones you see above. Either way, drizzle the carrots with this Buffalo vinaigrette and get some blue cheese crumbles involved.

Super Bowl Sunday Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

Take the chicken out of its packaging and remove any and all “extras,” such as necks and/or internal organs. Pat the chicken dry and place it in a large freezer bag. Whisk hot sauce and buttermilk together in a separate bowl until uniform in colour.

Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure to fill the cavity. Seal the bag and place in a large mixing bowl, then put the whole thing in the fridge to marinate overnight, ideally for 24 hours.

Once your chicken is done marinating, remove it from the bag and set it on a wire rack over a bowl or tray to let the excess marinade run off. Be sure to let it sit cavity side-down for a few minutes so you don’t end up with a puddle of curdled buttermilk on the inside of the bird. Heat your oven to 200°C and pat any pooling excess marinade off the chicken with paper towels.

Roast the chicken on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking tray, rotating the tray by 180 degrees every 15 minutes or so, until the thickest part of the breast reads 70°C on an instant read thermometer. Brush with prepared Buffalo sauce and broil for 45 seconds to a minute, until the skin is bubbling and well-browned. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Log in to comment on this story!