Sunday, May 30, 2010
Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk
I first heard about Jamie Oliver’s recipe for chicken in milk via The Kitchn. I wanted to try it, but I’d never cooked a whole chicken before, so the process intimidated me. How do I cut up a chicken carcass? Does it even make sense to roast a whole chicken for just two people? Well, the internet took care of the first problem, and really, whatever servings you don’t use right away will keep perfectly in the fridge (we had about 6 servings total). There was that moment in the beginning where the raw chicken freaked me out, but I rinsed it, removed the odds and ends from inside, and carried on with the recipe. It was definitely worth it: it’s delicious, and quite easy too. And it makes the whole house smell amazing!
You’ll notice that I roasted the chicken face down. That’s because somebody’s bubbie said that roasting chicken breast-side down is preferable, because it makes the breast juicier. Of course, that means that the skin on the breast will not be crisp. I personally don’t eat the skin, so I don’t mind, but you may choose to roast the chicken on its back to preserve crispy skin on the breast if you wish. I roasted it with the lid on for the first hour, but you can remove it after that.
a 1.5 kg (3½ lb) chicken, organic if possible
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4oz (½ cup or 1 stick) of butter or margarine
½ cinnamon stick (omit if you have a cinnamon aversion)
a good handful of fresh sage, leaves picked
zest of 2 lemons
10 cloves of garlic, skin left on
2 cups of milk (lactose-free)
Preheat the oven to 375 °F, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over, and fry it in the butter and a little olive oil, 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 and butter left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramelly flavour later on.
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 (I didn’t, and it turned out fine – but I did have the lid on). The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with greens and some mashed potatoes.