Easy Roast Chicken Dinner
I love this dish for a couple of reasons. It is so easy it practically cooks itself. The chicken is succulently moist and flavoursome. But the best reason? This recipe was shared by my son – aahhh. Chngy suggested we make it for Christmas dinner instead of turkey or a more traditional roast and it was a great choice. This Milk Braised Chicken is a Jamie Oliver recipe, and is repeated many times over the internet. So why am I sharing it here? Well, to be honest, I would not have tried it if Chngy hadn’t suggested it. Would not have believed that chicken cooked in milk would be so tasty. That Milk Braised Chicken makes it’s own funky little gravy, perfect for puddling into mashed potatoes or cous cous and mopping up with some bread.
Remember when Roast Chicken used to be a really special dinner? Then the rotisserie chicken hit Lismore circa late 70’s. A BBQ chook became the staple of my working Mum, who would ring and instruct me to peel some veg. So for a while, it was more regular and less special occasion. Chngy resurrected Roast Chicken as a special meal in our family, so it was fitting that he introduce this recipe as well. Of course you can follow Jamie’s to the letter, but I have made some changes. Of course I have!
Start with a nice free range chicken. First deviation from Mr Oliver – mine was a 2 kilo bird. He is obviously NOT feeding a couple of young men! Rinse and pat dry with paper towels, then season very well with salt and pepper. Heat an oven proof pot and add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Brown the chicken on each side.
You are looking for some nice crispy bits of skin – don’t worry about the pink bits – this baby is gonna spend lots of time in the oven. Once the chicken in browned, remove and place on a plate. Pour off the oil. Mr Oliver discards his, but can I share that this makes the crispiest, tastiest roast potatoes ever as a side. Again up to you. There will be some lovely cripsy golden bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, so just give them a little scrape so they will float about and enhance the flavour of your sauce.
Gather your other ingredients:
the zest of two lemons (as much pith removed as possible please) about 10 cloves of garlic, squished slightly to release the flavour, some sage (although rosemary and thyme would work very well too) some dijon mustard and of course the milk. The original recipe uses cinnamon instead of mustard which gives a more middle eastern flavour – both taste great. I can’t wait to try different herb and mustard/spice combos.
Pop the chicken and all other ingredients back into the pan. As I had a larger chicken, I opted to place a lid on here and slid into the preheated oven for 45 minutes. You could of course tie the legs which would result in a more ladylike presentation. I had a very nice riesling chilling in the fridge so opted for a drink rather than looks. Typical really!
Baste at least once through this cooking period. Remove lid and cook for a further hour, basting regularly to ensure a beautifully moist bird. (Now would be the time to whack those par-boiled spuds dripping in chicken goodness into the oven just saying) Steam some greens just as you get towards the end of the cooking time, and your dinner is done! You can carve or just pull apart the chicken – don’t forget to drizzle in that flavoursome sauce – can you see how juicy that is?? This chicken serves 4 heartily with some leftover juicy chicken for a salad or sandwiches.
- 2 kg free range chicken
- olive oil (for frying)
- 10 garlic cloves, skin removed and squished slightly to release the flavour
- 10 large sage leaves
- peel from 2 lemons
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 600ml milk
- Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 180°C
- Heat oil in an oven proof pan (a size that will snuggle your chicken works best. Too large and too much evaporation) brown chicken on all sides. Remove chicken from pot and place on a plate - drain oil out of pan (NB- This makes THE BEST roast potatoes!) Dislodge any golden crunchy bits from the bottom of the pot and return chicken along with all other ingredients.
- Pop the lid on and cook for 45 minutes, basting at least once in this time.Remove the lid, give it a good stir and baste and cook, uncovered, for a further hour. Baste chicken throughout this period.
- Remove chicken to serving plate. Meat can either be pulled apart or carved