Chicken in Almond Milk ~ this unique roasted chicken recipe is the brain child of Jamie Oliver ~ you need to taste it for yourself to believe how moist and tender it is!
This incredible chicken was an experiment that almost didn’t happen. I first read about it on The Kitchn, where the reviewer raved so passionately about Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk, that it was impossible to read it and not want to drop everything and go buy a chicken and give it a try. Jamie’s recipe involves cooking a whole chicken in milk, lemon zest, cinnamon, garlic and sage. I know, the combo doesn’t sound like a natural. But this reviewer was adamant that it was the best chicken she’s ever eaten. Anyway, long story short, after reading the comments on that article, which are very mixed, I followed a trail of posts and reviews of the recipe, and found that there were two main things that bothered most people. One, the sauce curdles, which it is supposed to do, but even so, it’s not appealing to most. And secondly, many found the flavor of the chicken bland. So I tweaked Jamie’s recipe and came up with a delicious solution. My husband said it is the best chicken I’ve ever made. You HAVE to drop everything and go get a chicken!
My recipe includes green lemons, (these are just unripe lemons, you can absolutely use regular lemons) sage, garlic, and cinnamon, so it’s very close to Jamie’s original recipe, but I’ve subbed in almond milk for dairy milk, so it doesn’t curdle. And I upped the citrus presence considerably, so the flavor pops. What I like about this recipe is that the chicken turns out super moist, kind of like it was cooked in a slow cooker, but with a nice brown skin. The flavors infuse beautifully, and the taste is unusual and out of this world.
Be sure to brown the chicken well, and be sure to baste it several times, to get that nice browned skin.
So there you have it, a unique new twist on cooking chicken, how often do you come across that? This is a method that I will definitely keep using. I will change out the seasonings, I’m sure, but the concept of using almond milk to braise a whole chicken is a winner.
- whole fryer chicken
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (approximate)
- 4 green lemons, (or regular lemons) 2 of them zested, then all cut in quarters
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 1 handful fresh sage
- 1 head of garlic, smashed to release the cloves, and remove just the papery outer skin
- 2 cups almond milk
- salt and pepper
- Set the oven to 375F
- Remove any gibbets from inside the chicken and discard. Rub it down liberally salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Insert 2 of the cut lemons, the ones that were zested, into the cavity. Tie the legs together if you like.
- Get a pot big enough to hold the chicken, I used enameled cast iron, and heat it on the stove over medium high heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil. When the pan is hot, brown the chicken on all sides. Take your time, and wait for each side to get nice and brown before attempting to turn it.
- Return the chicken to an upright position, (breast up) and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
- Cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally. Remove the cover after the first hour.
- That's it! Remove the chicken and carefully slice or pull of the meat. Serve with a little of the pan juices. The meat will be tender and will have absorbed all of the flavors.
recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver