I discovered this recipe through Jamie Oliver (as I think almost everyone who has made this recipe also has) and it’s absolutely the greatest and easiest way to make a whole chicken and it tastes delicious every time. Of course I make adjustments here or there based on my preferences of the moment or current pantry stock, but the general idea usually always remains the same. Chicken and milk are your main ingredients, and you want to add a little acid to help curdle the milk. After that you can just, well, play. This recipe is almost a fool-proof way to get wonderfully tender and creamy chicken, a tasty sauce that also goes great over veggies, and can make almost any starch sing. If you haven’t already, you should try it out.
how to serve your chicken in milk
Always serve up the cooked vegetables (i.e. whatever you throw in with the milk – I like mushrooms a lot), your favorite part of the chicken, some starch-y sides, and something green (and maybe orange). I like to take kale leaves and leave them in the hot milk for a few seconds to blanch them before putting them on my plate.
Jamie suggests mashed potatoes, but I find the milk sauce can thin them down – almost to a soup like consistency. Which, with some crusty bread is actually quite nice. If I do make mashed potatoes, I mash with warm vegetable or chicken stock (homemade) since there is so much milk in the pan already that will meld with the potatoes later.
serve with your favorite (gluten-free) french bread
toss shredded chicken breast, milk-cheese-sauce, and cooked veg in with your favorite (gluten-free) pasta (I like RP’s fresh pasta – like linguine or spinach fettucine)
- 1 whole pasture-raised chicken (preferably locally raised) 4 lbs
- 4 1/2 cups grass-fed whole milk (no substitutes - less fat and you won't get a cheesy sauce)
- 8-10 shitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 thumb of ginger, retain peels
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 limes
- 1 tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1.25 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- The day before: Prepare a large plate with 1.5 paper towels. Remove the chicken from it's packaging and drain the cavity before placing the chicken on the towel lined plate (grab that half sheet before you lay it down!). Pat the chicken (and cavity) dry using all the towels. Then rub down the entire chicken really well in the 3 teaspoons of kosher salt. Place back in the fridge (uncovered and on the plate) for 24 hours. (I do this with every whole chicken recipe and it creates a better final product).
- An hour before you plan to start cooking the chicken: Remove it from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grab a 6 qt dutch oven. Heat the dutch oven over medium heat (4-5) and add the ghee/bacon fat. Sear the whole chicken, starting with the back. Sear the back and the breasts for 2 and a 1/2 minutes and the sides for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
- Put the chicken on a plate, and pour out the oil left in the pot. Stuff the chicken with the limes and ginger peels.
- Put your chicken back in the pot and add the mushrooms, the head of garlic, the ginger, milk, and teaspoon of sea salt. Add fresh black pepper if desired. Add the sesame seeds, making sure to get a good bit of them on the skin of the breasts and drumsticks (they will crisp into the skin).
- Cook: Cook uncovered in the preheated oven for 1½ hours and baste with the hot milk every 30 minutes.