Jamie Oliver's Chicken In Milk Recipe

Jamie Oliver is well-known for creating approachable recipes that use fresh ingredients and taste delicious. If you've ever caught his shows, read his cookbooks, or followed along on his Instagram, you'd know that Jamie makes healthy cooking fun for the whole family. So, we decided to take one of his most popular recipes, chicken in milk, and put a spin on it. What's not to love about down-to-earth homemade meals for the whole family to enjoy?

Chef Tara Rylie of RylieCakes decided quickly that this recipe was all about the sauce. The acidity from the lemons spilts the milk while cooking, which creates a flavorful sauce that includes curdled bits of milk, adding great texture to this dish as a whole. Knowing she needed to keep the acidity factor, she chose to replace the two lemons with one juicy grapefruit. Intrigued yet?

Furthermore, this dish relies heavily on sage. The fresh sage is replaced with a handful of fresh thyme. Grapefruit and thyme are a classic citrus-herb combination that go well together when baking, in cocktails, and now on chicken! Read on to get all the details for this scrumptious recipe.

Gather your ingredients

Even though this is a simple recipe, it's always important to do your mise en place before starting any dish as well as prepare your pot or pan. For this recipe, you want to find a snug-fitting pot for your chicken. This is important because, as mentioned, this recipe relies heavily on the sauce the chicken cooks in. If your pot is too big, the sauce will be too shallow to help cook the chicken and infuse its flavor. If you're pot is too small, your chicken won't fit! So find a pot where your chicken fits just right.

You'll also need a whole chicken, olive oil, salt and pepper, a stick of butter, a cinnamon stick, some thyme, a grapefruit, ten cloves of garlic, and some milk. Pick up whatever you don't already have in your kitchen.

Prep the chicken and the oven

Once you've found the perfect pot, set it aside and season your chicken. Place your chicken on a cutting board or on a sheet of parchment paper and cover it with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then sprinkle your chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper, and rub it in with your hands.

Don't forget to preheat your oven here as well. As soon as you're done browning your chicken and whipping up its sauce, you'll pop the entire pot right in the hot oven.

Brown your chicken in steps

Next, place your perfectly sized pot over medium-high heat and add one chunk of butter (one third of the stick) and a tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the butter has melted and combined with the oil, add your chicken and fry it to get an even color all over. This is referred to as browning your chicken.

The top and bottom portions of the chicken will take approximately four minutes. The sides will take approximately three minutes. When your chicken is properly browned, it should easily pull up from the pan. If you try to move your chicken too soon and it is sticking to the pan, give it thirty seconds up to a minute more. Once it is well-browned, it will pull away from the pan easily.

Halfway through browning your chicken when the butter has burned (this should happen if your heat is high enough), remove your chicken from the pan and dump out the burnt butter. Then add another chunk of butter from the stick and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place your chicken back in the pan, and continue frying until all sides are golden brown.

Once you're down browning your chicken, dump any leftover burnt butter from the pan, leaving any sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan for your sauce.

Make the perfect sauce

As we mentioned before, our twist happens here in the sauce. The two lemons originally in Oliver's recipe are replaced by one grapefruit here, and the sage is replaced by a whole bunch of fresh thyme.

After dumping out the last of the burnt butter, place your pot back on the stove over medium heat and add the last remaining chunk of butter, cinnamon stick, grapefruit peels, and unpeeled garlic cloves. Sauté these ingredients until fragrant, and then add your milk and stir to combine.

You want to keep your cloves of garlic unpeeled so they stay intact while cooking. Plus, they are less likely to burn this way. However, cooked garlic becomes soft and sweet. So when you're chicken is done cooking, don't be afraid to squeeze the garlic out of its peels and eat it with your dish.

Bake your chicken low and slow

Once your sauce is created, place the chicken back in your pot right over the sauce. Squeeze a quarter grapefruit slice over the chicken, and then place the entire pot in the oven uncovered. Bake the chicken for 60 to 90 minutes, being sure to baste it a few times in between. Your chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to test this is with a cooking thermometer. 

Dish up your chicken straight from the oven, spooning the juices at the bottom of the pot over the chicken for the final touch. Don't forget to unpeel your garlic here, either! It adds such a sweet touch to the tangy, curdled sauce. This whole roasted chicken goes well with cooked greens and mashed potatoes.

Jamie Oliver's Chicken In Milk Recipe
4.9 from 37 ratings
If you're looking for a new twist on an old favorite, learn how to make Jamie Oliver's chicken in milk with a twist. It might just be your new go-to recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
whole roasted chicken up close with charred garlic
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • 3-pound free-range whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (4-ounce) stick butter, cut into 3 even-sized chunks
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 (0.5-ounce) package thyme
  • 1 small grapefruit, peeled
  • 10 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and find a snug-fitting, oven-safe pot for the chicken.
  2. Place chicken on cutting board or sheet of parchment and cover with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and rub it in.
  3. Place pot over medium-high heat and add one chunk of butter (one-third of stick) and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once melted, add chicken and fry to get an even color (browning) all over. Top and bottom take approximately 4 minutes. Sides take approximately 3 minutes. Halfway through, when butter has burned, remove chicken from pan and dump out burnt butter. Add another chunk of butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place chicken back in pan and continue frying until golden brown all over.
  4. Remove chicken from pot and dump out remaining burnt butter. Leave sticky goodness in bottom of pot. Place pot back over medium heat and add remaining chunk of butter, cinnamon stick, thyme, grapefruit peels, and unpeeled garlic cloves. Sauté until fragrant, then add milk and stir to combine.
  5. Place chicken back in pot, squeeze a quarter grapefruit slice over chicken, and then place the entire pot in the oven (uncovered). Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, basting a few times in between. Chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve straight from the oven, spooning the juices at the bottom of the pot over the chicken for the final touch.
Calories per Serving 768
Total Fat 59.7 g
Saturated Fat 22.3 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 220.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 7.4 g
Sodium 912.7 mg
Protein 46.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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