The Best Chicken Ever

Hi friends. It has been quite the weekend! Dave and I had our annual holiday bash Saturday night and once again the bubbly was poured, the snacks were demolished, Mariah sang and the cookie decorating was fierce. Last year, Lady Gaga made an appearance. This year Sarah and I decorated Miley and Robin Thicke, and were then inspired to do a Bound 2 Kim and Kanye cookie set. It was a great success.

Dave and I also got some fun holiday shopping done – we stopped by Imperial’s Holiday Cookbook Social and bought books for some of our friends and family, and had them signed by the authors right there on the spot! It was amazing to be in a room so full of local talent. We also stopped by the Portland Bazaar – I loved the selection of vendors this year. I’m going to avoid specifics, though, so my loved ones don’t find out what they are getting for Christmas early :)

We wrapped up the weekend relaxing at home, watching some Agents of Shield (which started slow, but the past 3-4 episodes are quite good!) and making this amazing chicken. Technically it’s braised, but don’t let that scare you off… braising is basically roasting with some more liquid.

I don’t really follow much of a content calendar on my blog, especially when it’s not a holiday. Generally I just make some fun things, shoot them, and then post what I feel most inspired to write about that day. I was planning on doing my eggnog post for today… until we ate this for dinner. I had to share it immediately!

Chicken in Milk | PDXfoodlove

I’ve heard through the grapevine that Jamie Oliver’s chicken in milk is possibly the best chicken recipe out there, but I had’t tried it yet. For some reason, we rarely buy a whole bird. But today we did – New Seasons has some really nice free range, hormone free roasters – I think it was about $15 for our 5-pounder, which will be enough chicken for Dave and I for three meals (oh, and we made stock with the remains! Our house smells amazing today.)

About half an hour into the cooking time, it started.

The most intoxicating smell wafted through our house. Chicken. Butter. Sage. Cinnamon. Oh boy.

It was so good. The reports are true – if you eat meat, you should make this recipe like tomorrow. Just keep in mind that it takes about 2 hours end to end (90 minutes of those are in the oven).

Here’s what you need:
A 5-lb chicken – the best you can get your hands on!
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
1/2 cup (a half stick) of unsalted butter
2 cups milk
A cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh sage
Zest of two lemons
4-6 garlic cloves, skin left on

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In an oven safe pan that will fit your chicken (such as a roaster, Dutch oven or cast iron skillet), melt the butter over medium heat. While the butter is melting, remove the innards from your chicken and rub all over with salt and pepper – BE LIBERAL with it.

Chicken in Milk | PDXfoodlove

When the butter is melted, move the entire chicken into the pan. Sear to a golden brown on all sides – this make take some careful maneuvering and a couple of large wooden spoons. When the skin is nicely browned, remove the bird from the pan to a plate, and pour the remaining butter out of the pan (but DO NOT SCRAPE). You will not be using that butter anymore in this recipe, so you can save it for another project if you choose.
Chicken in Milk | PDXfoodlove

Add the remaining ingredients into the pan with the chicken. Place in the oven, lid off, and bake for about 90 minutes, or until a thermometer stuck into the thickest parts of the bird reads 165.

Remove from the oven and pull the meat off of the bones. Serve along with a starch like mashed potatoes, rice or grits. Pour the delicious sauce in the bottom of the roasting pan over the chicken. We went with grits tonight, and it was perfect.

As I mentioned, this has been adapted from Jamie Oliver, who is awesome.

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