Oh @jamieoliver, you had us at lovely-jubbly, back in our London days, when you shot to chef stardom as The Naked Chef. You and Jools were dating and you made cooking cool again.
Fast forward many years later, we’re still big fans and perusing through Jamie’s first books, bringing back oldies and goodies. This Chicken in Milk from ‘Happy Days with the Naked Chef’ has been a winner-winner chicken dinner on our tables for many years and we felt it needed a shout out 📣 . Chicken with milk sounds dubious, we know, but it is truly pukka.
The only active time involved in this recipe is browning the chicken in the dutch oven, the rest is a matter of “bunging” it all in the pan and letting it roast whilst you decide whether to serve it with crusty bread or fluffy rice. We always double this recipe because one chicken isn’t enough and we ❤️ leftovers for chicken sandwiches or chicken pot pie!
1 organic chicken - giblets and innards removed! 3-1/2 lb. (1-1/2 kg)
salt & pepper
1/2 cup (4 oz. /115 g) of butter
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 bunch of fresh sage leaves
zest of 2 lemons peeled with a vegetable peeler into strips
10 cloves of garlic, with skin
2 cups (550 ml) milk
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and get a nice heavy dutch oven, cast iron pot or oven-proof pan. Generously season the chicken all over with a little salt ’n pepp and fry over medium-high heat in the butter and olive oil, turning it every few minutes, until it’s nice and golden all over. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the pan. Spoon out the excess fat in the pot but leave all the caramelized bits in the pan - this is flavor that you don’t want to waste!
Return the chicken to the pot and add the cinnamon stick, sage, lemon zest, garlic and milk. We trussed the legs with twine as our pot was juuuuuust a little too tight and we wanted to make sure the legs didn’t escape over the edge. Pop the whole thing in the oven for 1-1/2 hours, basting with the juices every half hour or so. The lemon will cause the milk to split but don’t let it put you off, the results are truly 🤤 scrumptious.
Best served family style right out of the pot with lots of hands fighting for their favorite bits!