Sometimes you just have to ignore comments on a recipe and just go with it. This is one I followed some suggestions from the original recipe, and they didn’t work out for me. Plus the fact that my husband insisted he didn’t want “split milk” and that the original instructions stated “you can add a few tablespoons of fat to keep the sauce from curdling” but failed to read on that “the split sauce is actually the point.”
Well I came out with a LOT of sauce that wasn’t split, and it was much too watery. Many readers said they did not have enough sauce and wish they kept the pot covered, which I did. SOOOOO, lesson learned? If you are going to make a recipe from someone as famous in the culinary world as Jamie Oliver, just try it exactly as is and then modify as needed on the next go-round.
However, the chicken was exceedingly moist and tender, and the sauce was delicious even if too much and too watery. For the leftovers, I scraped off the fat that solidified to the top (the butter and olive oil) the next day after refrigerating it and reduced the strained sauce over the stove. BINGO! Split milk curdly sauce. OMG it was delicious!!! Both me and my daughter ate the leftovers right up. Next go-round with this? Original recipe. I will link to that. My variations are in the recipe below, which is probably not the best help for you. Comments are added to NOT do some things I did. 😉
I served this with homemade mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach with some of the lemon juice from the lemon I zested for this.
Braised Chicken in Milk
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk on the Food52 website
One 3 to 4 pound organic chicken (Mine was 3 1/2 pounds)
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons real butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cinnamon stick
3 sprigs fresh sage (use more if you have some, that’s all I had)
Zest of 1 very large lemon, peeled in thick strips with a peeler
10 to 15 garlic cloves, skins left on. (Some of mine were very small)
2 cups whole milk (not half or skim)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and use a snug-fitting pot for the chicken (My 3 1/2 pound chicken fit snugly in a 3 quart saucepan that had an oven proof lid, however you may not want a lid).
Season the chicken all over with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper, and fry it in the butter and olive oil. Turn it 1/4 turns until golden-ish all over. This took about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat then put the chicken on a plate. Here was my first mistake. I left the butter and olive oil in the pot. Don’t do that. Remove it for another use, such as sauteing some veggies.
Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, then cook it covered (DON’T) in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. (I forgot, OY!) However, if you do want more sauce you can partially cover it. I did end up taking the lid off in the last 20 minutes to brown the skin a bit more.
When done, remove from oven, then cut and divide the chicken on to your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and curds (if you have them!). Serve with wilted spinach or greens and mashed potatoes.
As an aside, here is what the “reduced” gravy after taking out the fat looked like with the chicken in it the next day (I added the chicken after reducing the sauce just to heat the meat back up.) That sauce was WAY better that way. Just remember, curdles aren’t all that bad, even if your spouse disagrees! 🙂