I’ve never been afraid to roast a chicken. Roasting is easy. Choose a nice organic, free run bird and season it well and the odds are good that you will have something fantastic on the dinner table. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I don’t stress out when it comes to roasting bird. But then again I always use generally the same technique over and over again. So when I saw a recipe that braised a chicken in milk, I looked twice. And again just to be sure. The raves were loud and clear and the variations were endless (coconut milk and lemongrass to name a pairing). I had to make this meal.
Was it delicious? Oh yes. Look at the thing, for goodness sakes…it practically orders you to “Eat me now” in a kind of sexy rustic baritone. And the chicken itself, it was moist, almost unbelievably so…like butta. But I did have some difficulty with the instructions which I recount down below. I didn’t get any curdled bits of sauce which left me strangely disappointed, but I got over it quickly, as I poured the sauce all over my mashed potatoes, my chicken, my plate. You can bet that when Cornelius wasn’t looking, I licked my plate clean. And any of the sauce that didn’t get into my belly that night went into a container into the freezer to be revived at a later date to be turned into soup or to enrich a risotto. So to answer your question, it’s good. Real good. And easy. Impress someone, impress yourself! Just make this soon.
Now, to get a little off topic for a moment, I’ll be heading to Seattle this weekend and I need your tips! Where is the best greasy spoon breakfast? Where to drink a great coffee? Where can we find great beer (a hoppy ipa would hit the spot!)? But most of all, it has to be affordable, bordering on cheap (we just did our taxes and still haven’t gotten over the shock). So Seattle, let’s hear it!
milk braised chicken with lemon, cinnamon & sage
1 3 lb. organic chicken
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 T butter
1 cinnamon stick
1 t dried sage leaves
2 lemons, zested
6 garlic cloves, skin left on
1/2 t red chili flakes
2 c milk
Preheat oven to 375F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter over med-high heat in a cast iron pot and when butter is bubbly and hot, add chicken, browning all sides. When the chicken gets evenly coloured, turn off heat, remove from pot and set aside. Remove butter and fat from pan (reserve to fry potatoes at a later date) and place chicken back in pot. Add in remaining ingredients. This is where the directions get tricky and left to interpretation. I zested the lemons, squeezed the juice in the pot and then dumped the husks in the pan as well. Uh, next time, I’ll just throw out the lemon husks….a bit too bitter. Put the lid on and bake for 1 hour. Baste if you remember (I didn’t). Take off the lid and bake for another 30 minutes. Baste if you want (I didn’t). Remove from oven and serve.