Sunday, 11 May 2014

Jamie's Milk Braised Chicken

Next time, to continue with the theme, I'm going to infuse the milk with saffron. This was Jamie Oliver's recipe, and the chicken is essentially just seared and then cooked in milk and herbs and spices for an hour and a half.  Really is as easy as it sounds, and it's as delicious as it sounds.  As you can probably imagine, it's incredibly moist and sweet and tender and simply beautiful.
I had been wanting to make this for awhile.  I used to subscribe to Jamie Oliver's magazine, and this was in an issue in 2012.  I've kept them all -- it's funny, 4 years in university and I've accumulated more food magazines/cookbooks than I do academic books. And yes, it's exam season and I'm making things like this when I should just be eating ready-made sandwiches like everyone else.  It's better, it's healthier, but my lunch breaks become 3 hours long.

 Revision isn't going well.  My house is so close to the university library that I just keep going back and forth to cook.  Just now I took a 2 hour break to go home and make cookies.  They were nice cookies and the post will be coming soon because I'm bored of analyzing the trend in earnings inequality in the US.  I'm so bored of these papers, these subjects, academia, life and the whole lot but the one thing that I'm not bored of yet is cooking.  Cooking's always fun, and so I hope making this chicken will be an enjoyable experience for you too.  You can infuse the milk with anything - like I said, I'm going to try it with saffron next time.  Here it was with sage, lemon zest, cinnamon and garlic.  Oh the leftover bits taste fantastic with bread.  Pick out the sage and the garlic and put it on bread for a nice bruschetta.  Oh so good.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver


1.5 kg whole chicken
½ stick cinnamon
1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked
zest of 2 lemons
10 cloves garlic, skin left on
565 ml milk

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it with pepper and salt generously all over, and fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour 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 flavour later on.

Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. 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.

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