Roast Chicken Project #5 - Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk
Wait, chicken in what?
Yeah, this does kind of sound like some cross-species culinary experiment gone awry, or at the very least a recipe for soggy chicken stewing in curdled milk. And while that description is not as comfortably far off the mark as I might like it to be, trust me when I assure you that this particular roast chicken really is delicious. It's also one that I've only ever made for holidays, when the warm spices and herbs included in the aromatics fit in well with both Christmas or Thanksgiving tables. Which might make it weird to bring up now, when I am telling you about a recipe I haven't made since November, but this chicken would be delicious year round, even if it is currently too hot in most of the country to bear the thought of turning on the oven.
But if you do turn on the oven, you won't regret it. This chicken gets a quick browning in olive oil and then a long, hot bath in milk flavored with lemon, cinnamon, garlic and sage. After about an hour and a half, the reward is a succulent, browned roasted chicken falling off the bone that is so, so, juicy. And my favorite part, after trying out roast chicken recipes like this one that require near constant basting, is that Oliver tells you to baste "when you remember." I can do that. And what about the milk? It does tend to separate into curds and a chickeny, herby, garlicky sauce, that together make a golden gravy you're going to want to pour all over your chicken.
Another great thing about this roast chicken recipe is its versatility. If cinnamon and sage sound a bit autumnal to you, the switch them out for more summery flavors. The Kitchn has a great variation with lemongrass and cilantro that also subs in coconut milk for the dairy. I've made both versions, and they are both excellent.
Chicken in Milk
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
- One 3.5-4 lb chicken
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- ½ stick cinnamon
- 1 good handful fresh sage leaves
- zest from 2 lemons
- 10 cloves garlic , skin left on
- 2 cups milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously salt the chicken inside and out and season with black pepper.
- In a dutch oven (or metal pot large enough to snugly hold the chicken), heat about a tbs of the olive oil. Brown the chicken just until it gets a bit of color all over, then remove chicken and pour off the olive oil. Add the chicken back to the pot and add the remaining ingredients, then transfer to the preheated oven.
- Roast for about 90 minutes, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the sauce.