Yes, you read that right, milk chicken.
This is actually a Jamie Oliver recipe that I found about 2 years ago, and it has become one of my favorites, mostly because it’s the best roasted chicken I have ever tasted. I know what you’re thinking, milk and chicken sounds ridiculous. I haven’t even told you the best part about it yet…there is lemon in it…so the milk curdles. Please keep reading, and then make this, you won’t be sorry.
1 3-4 lb roasting chicken
1/2 stick butter
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pint milk (I recommend 1%, a little fat is necessary)
handful of fresh sage leaves
zest of 2 lemons
10 (or more) cloves of garlic
Clean the cavity of the chicken and pat dry inside and out. Season LIBERALLY with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (don’t be afraid, it’s hard to over season uncooked meat). In a large roasting pot with a lid (two notes about this: I highly recommend an enameled dutch oven but there are many options here and if you don’t have a lid you can always tent it with foil), melt the butter, add the olive oil and then sear the chicken on all sides, this should take four turns. Take the chicken out of the pot and discard the fat, you don’t need it, but those delicious caramelized bits at the bottom will add great flavor.
Add the milk to the pot along with the chicken and the rest of the ingredients. I usually try to tuck a few garlic cloves and sage leaves in nooks and inside the cavity, but this is going to come together fabulously no matter what you do.
Roast at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until the juice from the chicken breasts runs clear. The original recipe calls for it to be uncovered for the entire time. However, i find that if you keep the lid on (or foil) for the first 30 mins it infuses more of the sage and lemon flavor into the chicken.
At this point, take out the chicken and let it rest on a separate plate. Isn’t she beautiful?
Scoop out the garlic cloves and set them aside, then use both of these two lovely kitchen utensils to make the most amazing gravy you have ever had.
1. A gravy strainer- because who wants all that extra fat in their gravy?
2. A Tupperware quick shaker. This is one of the most useful items I own (and as Cat pointed out, I have a lot). This has many uses, but my favorite is shaking up about 1/3 cup milk and 3 Tbs flour for flawless, lump free gravy making. Nick’s sister is a Tupperware rep, inquire within if you would like to purchase one of these babies.
So back to the good stuff:
Strain the juices from the pot to rid it of all the icky bits, then pour the gravy into a sauce pan. Heat the juices on med-low until it bubbles, then whisk in the milk/flour mixture. A beautiful gravy will come together almost instantly. Taste it….now take a moment to thank me…..then add a little cracked pepper if you desire.
I serve this meal with rustic hand mashed potatoes, to which I add the roasted garlic cloves from the chicken, genius, I know. Just tear the meat from the bone, or enjoy one of the legs or wings. Pour a little gravy over it all and enjoy.
In the original Jamie Oliver recipe, he adds 1/2 a cinnamon stick during roasting. It sounded weird to me at first, but I tried it anyway. It was delicious. The only reason I don’t include it in the recipe above is because the cinnamon is potent, and this recipe usually leaves me with enough leftover chicken for other recipes (such as chicken noodle soup) and I found the cinnamon makes the chicken a little less versatile for other dishes. So for the sake of my wallet, I keep the spices more simple. The point is, the milk and the citrus are the base of a braising liquid and you could potentially add any combination of spices you desire (maybe chipotle with orange and lemon zest, or coconut milk with cloves and orange zest?).
I swear you will love this recipe, just try it. If you don’t like it, I’ll buy you a present (ok probably not, but it doesn’t matter because you’re going to love it and I won’t have to do it).
Next post- Chicken noodle soup with the leftovers!