I realize it is odd to write about roasting a chicken when everyone is talking about roasting turkeys. Well, I will not be doing a turkey post, because Ina Garten has the best roasted turkey recipe. I have used it every single year, varying the ingredients slightly or not at all, and it is always excellent. I do take additional herbed butter and massage it under the skin. Anyway, that is what I recommend, maybe I will do a post about it one day, probably around The Fourth of July, because that is how organized I am. But let’s talk about chickens for today…
Pinterest is killing me.
I want to make all of the goodies. I want my house magically cleaned. Organized. And I want to do it all whilst wearing a caftan and simultaneously beading an area rug. Has anyone ever beaded a rug? Could you walk on it? Would it roll? Is it slippery? These are all the questions that Pinterest brings to mind. What does this have to do with chicken? Nothing. Except, I found Jamie Oliver’s Milk Chicken Recipe on Pinterest and I was intrigued.
I did not do Pinterest proud here.
My pictures are bad.
This made my heart sad.
I am not a type A.
Is there a type Z?
It’s a good thing…
I am not Martha Stewart.
I have made roasted chickens before, but I don’t like having to deal with the roasting pan. It cannot be put in the dishwasher. Everything I use must be able to be put in the dishwasher. I wanted something easy. Something perfect for my lazy heart.
This chicken is it.
I do need to say that this chicken is cooked in milk. The milk becomes curd in the pan. This does not bother me. It does bother some people. Some people being my husband. My husband hates cottage cheese. So looking into the pan and seeing that I pretty much made my own cottage cheese chicken for dinner was basically his worst nightmare. And my perfect tear-laughing moment. But he did like the chicken. He agreed it had great flavor. He just would not touch the marvelous sauce the chicken cooked in because of this.
This recipe is relatively inexpensive, especially since I made enough to have leftovers. There are not a lot of leftovers. However I can stretch them enough for one more dish the next night. I turned the leftovers into chicken noodle soup, chicken spaghetti and even just throwing it into a store-bought curry sauce. You can usually find a whole chicken on sale for around $1 a pound. This recipe called for a three pound bird. Dude. If I am going to be roasting a whole chicken and using up ingredients, I am going to make a bigger bird than that. I have used anywhere from a 4 pound bird to a 6 pound bird. I increased the cooking time around ten minutes per additional pound for the recipe (a la Julia Child but factoring in a lower cooking temperature than she uses). When I made the four pound bird, I just followed Jamie Oliver’s cooking time exactly.
Because this is not my recipe, I usually would not the write ingredients and directions, but according to the comments on The Kitchn (where I also learned to cover the chicken resulting in a more braising than roasting technique), Jamie Oliver made this chicken differently on his show. I tried to piece together the best way people said to make this and combined the advice here:
1 whole chicken (4-6 pounds)
1/2 stick cinnamon
2 1/3 cup whole milk
7-10 cloves of unpeeled garlic (the recipe calls for ten. I am cheap. I am not spending fifty cents for an additional head of garlic, so cut out as many cloves as you can from one head and use it. A great tutorial for removing the garlic cloves can be viewed here)
A handful of fresh sage
1 tsp salt + some sprinkled on chicken
1/4 tsp. ground pepper + some sprinkled on chicken
1/2 stick salted butter
3 Tbsp. Clarified butter (I buy mine in a jar at Trader Joe’s. Or you can use half butter and half olive oil)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
You can, if you are of the mind to, truss your chicken if you would like. I do not. Type Z, and all of that. But you can if you choose. Type Z doesn’t judge.
In a large pot (one that comes with a lid), heat clarified butter (or 1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter and 1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive oil) on medium high heat.
Remove giblets from the cavity of the chicken with tongs. Throw them away. Don’t gag.
Season one side of the chicken. Add seasoned side of chicken down into the pot and sear for three to five minutes until it has a nice golden color to it. Season other side and and very carefully rotate the chicken to the other side (I use two pairs of cooking tongs). Sear for three to five minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and carefully discard cooking oil.
Zest the lemons.
Place the chicken back into the pan. Cut the lemons in quarters and push them up into the chicken’s cavity. Place the garlic cloves around the pan. I really want to say, “riddle the garlic cloves around the pot,” but I feared it would not make sense. Plus every time I say the word, “riddle,” I think of Tom Riddle and then I get sidetracked daydreaming about Harry Potter.
Mix the milk and salt and pepper with a fork. ‘Cause you’re fancy. Pour in pan around chicken. Add cinnamon stick. Riddle the sage around the pan. Sprinkle the lemon zest over everything. Add 1/2 stick of butter into the pot.
Cover the pot and place into the oven for forty five minutes for a three-four pound bird. Increase cooking time ten minutes per pound for a larger bird.
After your cooking time has passed, remove lid. Cook an additional forty five minutes. And as Jamie Oliver says, “baste when you remember.”
Remove pot from oven. Check your chicken to make sure it is cooked thoroughly.
Remove chicken to a plate to rest for five minutes. Carve chicken. Serve. I serve a little bowl of the delicious sauce to dip it in. I serve my chicken with either baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or rice depending upon the laziness of the cook that day.
Pinterest, you win this round.
Because this chicken recipe was amazing. Of course, I made this in my pajamas, in a messy house, whilst browsing the Internet. But Pinterest doesn’t need to know that. Besides It’s too busy researching the next new thing… I’ve heard it’s beaded rugs. Be careful. I’ve also heard they’re slippery.