Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk

Have you tried this yet? Everyone claims this is the best (and simplest) roast chicken recipe ever. So OK, I grant you, it couldn't be easier to put together, but I had no idea what to expect with this combination of ingredients. Milk, cinnamon and chicken? How weird is that? But I forged ahead and made it for my daughter when she was home.

Must admit the fragrance wafting from the kitchen was mouth watering, but when I pulled it out of the oven, it was sitting in some curdled looking milk, which was a tad off-putting. Turns out that curdled milk is the raison d'etre. 

So, we pulled the meat off the chicken, ladled on the curdled sauce as directed and yum! Marvelous. The flavors all come together in the most heavenly way. And the garlic cloves can be pulled out and the insides squeezed onto the chicken or even on some French bread. Drool.

So yes, I'm recommending you try this. Jamie has a winner here. 

Cooks note: I did some investigating and it appears baking it covered for the first 3/4 of an hour and uncovered for the second results in a nicely browned chicken.

Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk
From Jamie Oliver

1.5 kg chicken  (3 to 4 lbs,  mine was slightly bigger)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
½ stick cinnamon
1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked
2 lemons, zested
10 cloves garlic, skin left on
565 ml milk   (I used nearly 3 cups)


Preheat the oven to 375° and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over, and fry it in a little olive oil and butter, turning the chicken to get an even color all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavor later on.

Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook covered in the preheated oven for 3/4 hour. Remove cover and bake another 3/4 hour. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. ( I forgot!) The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.

To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato.


  1. who is not hungry now?

  2. So glad you treid it and told us!
    I am ashamed to say that since Costco came to our area..I have not made a whole baked/roasted chicken..I want to try this:)

  3. I've seen this recipe before but the sound of the curdled milk was off putting for me as well. You've convinced me, I think I'll have to get it a try.

  4. So very tender and delicious! I can't wait to give it a try too.

  5. Seems like I've seen Mimi Thorisson of Manger do this too. It must be good if you, Jamie and Mimi all agree! Will have to try.

  6. That chicken must be juicy and really tasty!



  7. Yeah, sounds weird, but Italians have been braising pork in milk for a long time, so maybe they are onto something. Sounds like you agree!

  8. I've been wondering about this too!! You are the first person I know who has made it. I figured the curdled milk thing WAS going to be grim... now I have to try it!!! Want to hear something really strange?? I was in the mood for roast chicken last weekend and Whole Foods in Union Square in Manhattan had no whole chickens??/ How can that be?? Was there a run on them for New Years??? Go figure. Maybe they will be back NEXT weekend. Happy New Year

  9. i'm among the folks who haven't tried this, surprise, surprise...what you've described (aside from the visualization of curdled milk) sounds pretty scrumptious, so this post may be the kick in the pants i need!

  10. I have not tried this yet but, based on your recommendation, I'd love to give it a go. Thanks for the tip on baking uncovered during the end!

  11. It sounds delicious, Barbara! I've seen this recipe, love Jamie and his cookbooks so have to try this one soon. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I love cooking with cinnamon and I love the sound of all the ingredients! Must try it!

  13. Dear Barbara, I bet the kitchen did smell terrific!!
    The chicken dish looks wonderful.
    xo Catherine

  14. Happy New Year to you Barbara! And thank you for this post. I've been wanting to try this recipe for years and just haven't. Pinning this one to try soon.

  15. The recipe isn't intuitive at all, but I'm glad it works!



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