Chicken Roasted in Milk & Spigariello with Lemon~Garlic Vinaigrette


Chickens Roasted in Milk with Lemon, Cinnamon & Sage  |  Spigariello with Lemon~Garlic Vinaigrette  |  Roasted Potatoes

Intro Collage

We like chicken.  We eat a lot of chicken.  Grilled, pounded, fried, stuffed and skewered…chicken is a virtual blank canvas in the dinner arena.  But of all the ways we enjoy this member of the fowl family, roasting has to be my favorite way to prepare, and eat, this simple bird.  If you follow this little corner of the internet, you may recall my post a few months back where I put my favorite recipe for roasting chicken, from Alice Waters, up against a recipe inspired by Thomas Keller.  So, when I came across the post, “Jamie Oliver’s Chicken In Milk Is Probably The Best Chicken Recipe Of All Time”  over at The Kitchn blog, I felt a personal call to action…I had to give this unusual recipe a try and determine its place in the hierarchy of roasted chicken.

Oliver’s recipe, like the others mentioned above, is uncomplicated.  The list of ingredients is short…salt, pepper, sage, cinnamon, oil, garlic and some lemon but the method of cooking is what makes this dish unique.  After a generous seasoning of the bird with salt and pepper, the chicken {or chickens in my case as I was roasting two} is given a good sear on the stovetop until a deep golden color on the skin is achieved.


The bird is then removed from the pot and the rendered fat discarded before the chicken is returned to the same pot and the remaining ingredients are added, along with a generous bath of milk.


After wading through the sea of comments on the post at The Kitchn, the big question was whether or not to cover the pot during roasting.  I decided to cover the pot{s} since the bird{s} were so well browned already and I wanted to keep as much moisture in the pot during the cooking process to ensure moist, tender meat.  Ninety minutes later, the kitchen now heavy with the aroma of sage, cinnamon & lemon, the chickens emerged from the oven…moist, tender creations.  The meat was falling from the bone and the milk bath had become a lemony pan gravy laced with the slightest hint of cinnamon and sage and dotted with small, cheesy milk curds.  I served oven~roasted potatoes this evening but the children couldn’t help themselves from slipping a few of the whole cloves of garlic from their skins and spreading the same over a baguette slice before dipping it into the gravy…unbelievably good!

How does it fare against my other two favorite chicken recipes?  All three produce extremely moist & tender meat but, if you are looking for a gravy that elevates a simple chicken dinner to show~stopper status, without any additional work, you must give this recipe a try.  I must note that, if you are making more than one bird {as I did this evening}, this method produces a bit more work in the clean up department since each chicken needed to be roasted in a pot with a cover…otherwise, a very simple recipe.

Chicken Roasted In Milk
An incredibly moist + tender roast chicken with a lovely, lemony pan sauce laced with the hint of cinnamon + sage
  1. 1 organic chicken, approximately 3-4 lbs.
  2. sea salt
  3. freshly ground black pepper
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 1 stick cinnamon
  7. 1 good handful fresh sage leaves
  8. zest of 2 lemons
  9. 10 cloves garlic, skin left on
  10. 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously with salt and pepper, all over. Heat the olive oil and butter in the pot over medium~high heat and then add the chicken to the pot and brown on all sides, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. All of the brown bits and caramelized drippings remaining at the bottom of the pan will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.
  2. Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
  3. To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potatoes or crusty bread.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Accompanying our chicken this evening was Oven~Roasted Potatoes and a simple green salad made with Spigariello dressed in a Lemon~Garlic Vinaigrette.  Spigariello is a leafy green member of the broccoli family.  I discovered it this past weekend at the farmers market piled next to a bunch of kale.  It has a softer texture than kale and the stems were quite flavorful.  You can read more about this winter green here.


I served it raw, leaves and stems washed, dried and chopped, and simply dressed with this Lemon~Garlic Vinaigrette

Lemon~Garlic Vinaigrette Collage


The final dinner plate…


K Initial

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