I’ve been trying to distance myself from the lure of sweets for months now. For example, on the day of my yearly Christmas cookie baking extravaganza back in December, I distracted myself from all the butter and sugar with milk braised chicken. I started prepping the chicken before my baking collaborator left and she demanded the recipe before the dish even got in the oven. The smell of chicken browning in a pool of butter made me forget all about the cookies cooling on the table.
All I can say is that the simplicity of this dish is amazing. Please don’t let the idea of milk baking into a curdled mess keep you from trying this at home. The liquid can be strained once the chicken is removed. And what you’ll be rewarded with is succulent chicken and a silky brothy sauce. If loving that is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Milk Braised Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, approximately 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- zest of 2 lemons
- 4 cloves of garlic, skin on
- 3 cups of whole milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven big enough for the chicken to fit snugly inside.
Remove the bag from inside the chicken, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the dutch oven, turning occasionally, until it is golden.
Once the chicken is well browned on both sides, remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the chicken to a platter. Carefully empty the dutch oven of the used oil and butter, leaving as many browned bits on the bottom of the pot as possible.
Return the chicken to the pot, add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook in the oven for 90 minutes. When the chicken is done, carefully transfer it to a cutting board and then strain the juices from the pot through a fine mesh sieve.
Carve the chicken and serve it swimming in the silky milky sauce.