So I know. That sounds weird. And kind of gross. And it will sound grosser (?) before this post is over. But I promise the final result is delicious!
I don’t know if any of you follow The Kitchn. I do, and sometimes it drives me CRAZY how many posts come up from them in my feed. So usually I skim through them and only read them if they really pique my interest. The other day, this one, proclaiming that “Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk is Probably the Best Chicken Recipe of All Time” did the trick. I mean, it sounds gross, but with a review like that, did I really a choice?
No, I did not.
So Sunday afternoon, when we stopped at Whole Foods on our way home from Jacksonville, I decided to pick up some milk, sage, and lemons and give this a shot. Although I wouldn’t call this the “Best Chicken Recipe of All Time,” it was really, really good, and was completely different than anything I’ve made before. And I always love to roast/braise a whole chicken, because that means bones for chicken stock + leftover chicken for chicken salad. And now that I’ve convinced Wheat that he loves chicken salad, we’re all happy campers.
Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
(seriously, I barely tweaked it)
– one 2 to 3 pound chicken (we got a White Oak Pastures chicken so we could eat local)
– one stick salted butter
– Kosher salt
– freshly ground black pepper
– 2 lemons’ worth of zest
– one cinnamon stick
– one handful fresh sage leaves
– a handful of garlic cloves, peeled or still in jackets (I peeled, Jamie nor the Kitchn does)
– one pint whole milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Salt and pepper the chicken all over. Make sure you don’t forget to remove any innards from the cavity of the bird. LOL. It happens. Heat the butter over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven that’s big enough to fit the bird and is oven safe. Brown the bird on all sides until it’s nice and crisp and brown (duh) on as many sides as you can get. A good pair of tongs come in handy for this part. Once browned all over, remove the bird to a plate for a minute, and pour the butter into another skillet. Jamie Oliver says to throw it away, but I can’t pour a stick of butter into the trash without a heavy heart, so I reused it to cook the potatoes.
You’ll be left with browned butter stuck to the bottom of your Dutch oven. That’s good stuff. Put the bird back in there, and throw in the rest of the ingredients. Pour the milk in. Bake at 375 for an hour with the lid on, then 45 minutes with the lid off.
Now, be warned. Your house is going to smell really good. But when you take this thing out of the oven, you are going to be worried. You are going to think you burned the chicken and you burned the sauce and the entire supper is ruined. For real.
See? Not pretty. But I promise, it’s awesome. Pull the chicken out onto a plate, and you won’t even need a knife to cut it up. Just pull the legs and wings and breasts off the bone with your fingers. Let it cool first though, because it is hot. That’s not experience talking or anything.
The best part is the super crispy skin! Not healthy, no. But I promise one little piece won’t hurt you.
And the sauce is awesome! Pour it into a gravy boat, jar, bowl, whatever it is you can use to get it from the pot to the table. The milk turns into these cheese-like curds, which sounds sick nasty, but I promise they’re good. And the garlic is the best part! If you’ve got bread handy, you should fish those bad boys out and schmear them all over it. Unless you have potatoes. If you have potatoes, put the sauce and garlic on them, too.
We had purple potatoes with our Milk Chicken. They tasted just like new potatoes, but were small. And PURPLE.
Sauteed Purple Potatoes
I sautéed them in the butter I used to brown the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour over medium low heat. Just stir them every now and then the last half of the time the chicken is in the oven. Easy, peasy. Salt, pepper, done.
Have I mentioned they were PURPLE?
We also had some home grown roasted okra that I tossed into the oven while the chicken was cooling and I was pulling it apart. Just tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Also easy peasy.
This would be a great meal for company, because it’s EASY. Really, it takes minimal effort. And as long as nobody is grossed out by curdled milk, everyone will love it.
Just kidding! Don’t tell them how you made it or what that gravy is until everyone is done eating. :)
And because it’s Halloween, and here is a picture of Harold in costume. Dressed up just for you!
Seriously, I dressed him up in this old costume and he refused to even look at me, he was so ashamed.
I hope everyone has a safe and candy-littered evening/all day. We plan to stop by Maggie and Greg’s house for a cocktail and to hand out some candy. And so I have somewhere to drink out of my Halloweek/Birthday crunk cup. Obviously.
Happy Halloween, y’all!