Jamie Oliver’s Milk Chicken (Seriously Delicious)


When you read the recipe, you will be dubious. There is no denying that it is a strange combination of ingredients. But I promise you that this milk chicken is really delicious. This is one of the best roast chickens I have ever had in my life. Never.

Jamie Oliver's Milk Chicken in a casserole, fresh out of the oven ready to serve.

To say this is one of the best roast chickens I’ve ever had in my life is a big call, I know that. That’s how good it is.

When you read the recipe, you will probably be as skeptical as I am. “Lemon and milk? It will surely curdle. How about a cinnamon stick? It just seems weird.

I then googled out of curiosity to see if anyone else had tried it. To my surprise, there were a lot of them and they delirium on this subject! Many even said it was the best chicken they ever had. I can’t say this with my hand on my heart (it’s against Southern Fried Chicken, Korean Chicken, Karaage… to name a few!), however, there’s no doubt that it’s the one of the best chickens I’ve ever had. Maybe the best roast chicken I never had.

And it’s so much easier than traditional roast chicken. Virtually foolproof. Incredibly juicy, fragrant chicken every time.

Close up of Jamie Oliver's Milk Chicken in a pan, fresh from the oven ready to serve.

How does it taste

The chicken is cooked for 1.5 hours in the braising liquid, so it is really tender. It’s not tender, but it’s not a carving roast. It’s more for tearing off pieces.

Because it’s cooked uncovered most of the time, the skin comes out nice and crispy on top. The braising liquid, which is reduced to a sauce, is truly incredible. It infuses into the chicken and reduces to what I call “liquid gold”. There’s a hint of cinnamon scent, garlic, subtle lemon freshness and sage musk, all blended in with the chicken jus. Garlic is a treat in itself. Cooked until tender, I pop them out of the skin directly into my mouth. If there are any leftovers, I spread them on toast – the best treat ever!

I was convinced the milk and lemon would end up a curdled mess, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The milk dissolves into little bits of curds that might look a little strange at first glance, but when you take a bite of it, it’s almost like tiny bits of bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella. I wanted more!

In conclusion, I’m pretty sure this will be my recipe of choice when I have whole chickens to cook. It’s ridiculously easy to do, the hardest part being browning the chicken (I’ve provided some tricks I’ve learned while doing it).

So without further ado, here is the recipe!

Braising liquid poured over shredded milk chicken on a white plate, ready to serve.

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Jamie Oliver's Milk Chicken in a casserole, fresh out of the oven ready to serve.

Jamie Oliver’s Milk Chicken {Seriously Delish}

Servings4 – 6

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Although the ingredient list may seem odd, this is actually one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever had. Possibly the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. It is incredibly easy to prepare and produces very tender chicken with crispy skin on top. The braising liquid reduces to a fabulous sauce that has a hint of freshness from lemon and musk from sage and cinnamon. Whole garlic cloves cook in the skin so they are soft and mushy (mild garlic flavor, much sweeter), perfect for coming out of the skin and eating with the chicken, or spreading on toast! The milk dissolves into chunks of curd that remind me of bocconcini and taste like little puffs of cream.


  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.

  • Rinse the chicken under running water and pat it dry with paper towel.

  • Sprinkle with salt and 5 black peppercorns and pat all over the chicken, concentrating on the top and sides.

  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. (Note 1)

  • Brown the chicken all over as best you can. I find the easiest way to do this (and minimize tearing of the skin) is to use tongs stuck to the back of the chicken and a wooden spoon to lift and pull out the chicken. Tilt the chicken as needed to brown as much of the skin as possible. (Note 2)

  • If you can manage it (or have an assistant), pour the excess fat from the pan with the chicken still in it. If you can’t, remove the chicken to a plate, then drain the fat.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan (return the chicken to the pan if you removed it).

  • Cook covered for 40 minutes, then cook uncovered for 50 minutes (1h30 in total).

  • Let stand about 5 minutes before removing the chicken from the pan onto a serving platter. Serve the sauce on the side. I prefer not to strain it as I want the curd and garlic bits on my chicken, as well as the sage bits.

Recipe Notes:

1. Choose a pan that fits the chicken fairly well. But not too tight, otherwise it is very difficult to brown the chicken!
2. Browning the chicken can be a little tricky if you’re using a very comfortable pan. But it’s a key step for this recipe because browning = flavor + crispy skin and also makes fat. Fat that isn’t melted at this stage ends up in the sauce and may be too greasy for your taste if you don’t brown the chicken enough.
3. Nutrition is for 6 people and has been adjusted to reflect that 1/4 cup chicken fat is melted and poured in while the chicken is browning. This also assumes all the sauce is used, which it probably isn’t, so the calories are slightly higher than they should be.
I should be honest and tell you that although the recipes always say a whole chicken will usually serve 6 people, in my house it only serves 4 + lots of leftovers for my dozer dog. 🙂Jamie Oliver Chicken in Milk Nutrition

Nutrition Information:

Portion: 303gcalories: 466callus (23%)Carbohydrates: 6.2g (2%)Protein: 61.3g (123%)Fat: 20.4g (31%)Saturated fat: 5.3g (33%)Cholesterol: 183mg (61%)Sodium: 794mg (35%)Potassium: 644mg (18%)Sugar: 4.8g (5%)Vitamin A: 300UI (6%)Vitamin C: 2.5mg (3%)Calcium: 150mg (15%)The iron: 2.5mg (14%)

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