Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt

“You are actually the granddaughter of two dairy farmers.” My dad said in an email after he saw my post about the visit to the dairy farm. I had forgotten that his dad ran a small dairy until my my dad was 5 years old. In fact my grandfather went to Ag school in Holland before he moved to America when he was 18 years old. So even more than I remembered the love of dairy runs deep in this family.

Which may explain why I’ve been so eager to try this particular recipe for so long. The one in which chicken shimmies into a dutch oven and makes friends with bacon (who wouldn’t be friends with bacon?), lemon peel (which makes your hands smell of the best perfume), rosemary (plucked from my newly planted herb garden), nutmeg (because it felt right) and milk.

It’s my take on a recipe that I credit Jamie Oliver for because that’s where I first heard about Chicken Braised in Milk. Jamie uses lemon, sage and cinnamon which sounds fine too, in fact there are so many herb and spice combinations that I think would do quite nicely here but let us agree to never, not ever, never leave out the lemon because that is what makes the sauce curdle.

No wait, don’t run away screaming, curdling is a good thing in this case. Unless you want your food to be purely aesthetically pleasing and not just plain delicious? Because I’ll tell you what, this dish may not win any beauty pageants but based on ease and flavor alone, we have ourselves a winner.

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt


Be sure to use whole milk here. I personally would think of no other, it’s what we always have in our fridge, right next to the cream and butter. But I remember when my mom would gush about her whole milk childhood and I would cringe at the thought as I crunched on my cereal doused in 2%. Now anything other than whole just seems silly. I think both of my grandfathers would be proud.

Here especially we need that extra bit of fat. What happens in the pot is a bit of food magic when the lemon meets the milk and then they become fast friends and that friendship leaves you with a sauce that is yes, indeed broken, but broken like ricotta is broken: Meaning we make curds and those curds are flavored with chicken drippings and all the other fragrant and wonderful things we put into that pot (remember the bacon!)

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt IMG_6805

Also, let’s remember the last post where we talked about quality and I introduced you to the Werkhoven family. The family who spends their days making sure they have barns filled with happy cows. So there are fans and fresh beds of sand, little bits of corn candy (not actual candy – the cows just love corn kernels that much) that the cows love to dig for because happy cows make the best and most milk. So we honor and value the work families like this do by buying great quality milk which we then cover our chicken with to get the most tender, flavorful and simple roast. And because I am the granddaughter of two DUTCH dairy farmers there are also potatoes along with my chicken cooked in milk.


This post was sponsored by Washington Dairy. As always, the words, images and recipes are mine.

If you are interested in learning more about the Werkhoven Farm or more on Sustainable Farming check out these great links for more information:

Sustainable Land

Cow Care

Werkhoven Dairy

The Digester

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt

Chicken Braised in Milk with Lemon, Rosemary and Bacon


Serves 4


One 3-pound (1 1/2-kilogram) chicken

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter or olive oil

5 pieces of bacon, thinly sliced

1 large shallot, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves

Zest of 2 lemons, peeled in thick strips with a vegetable peeler

10 garlic cloves, skins left on

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups whole milk

1 – 2 pounds baby new potatoes


Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add the butter or olive oil to a large dutch oven set over high heat. Sear the chicken, getting the skin good and crisp and deep golden all over.

To the pot add the bacon, shallots, rosemary, lemon peels, garlic, a pinch of nutmeg along with the milk. I added some potatoes to the top of the pot too because why dirty two pots when I can just dirty one? Throw in another pinch of salt for those potatoes.

Slide the pot into the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste the chicken with the juices occasionally throughout the cooking. If you find the liquid evaporating too quickly you can add the lid.

Carefully remove the chicken and potatoes from the pot and onto a platter. Spoon the now separated sauce all over. Sure, it’s not too pretty but one doesn’t mind after the first bite. If you like a pop of green you can garnish with fresh herbs.


27 Responses to “Chicken Braised in Milk”

  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    This reminds me of the Tuscan method of cooking pork with milk and making it savory like the chicken. I think your combination appeals to me more than Jamie’s. I’m pinning it and anxious to try it. Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Mamen

    Wow! This recipe looks so yummy. I will try it this week since my parents in law are visiting. They are big fans if chicken and I am sure they will be happy with this one.
    I will let you know how it goes.
    Have a nive day!!!

  3. Grace

    This looks delish! I’m heading out to buy groceries for the week and this is definitely on the menu now! It looks like you have onions (or shallots?) in the photos…did you also include those in your recipe? Can’t wait to give it a try!

  4. pat simon

    Am I correct that the chicken is browned and cooked whole, then broken up at serving?
    Thanks! This looks delicious.

  5. Gerald

    Your grandfathers would indeed be proud. I should say, they are indeed proud of you Ashley. You (and we) are very blessed that they are still with us, though their milking days are long gone. One is 96 and the other 85–shows what a healthy diet of fresh milk will do for you!

  6. Nanda

    Could this be made in a slow cooker? I never ever use mine and I’m trying to justify it’s purchase price, heh.

  7. Dhrubaa Mukherjee

    This is very interesting. Actually, there’s a chicken stew dish in India where we usually add a whole cup of milk 10-15 mins before turning off heat. It adds a whole new dimension to the dish. I will definitely try this one.

  8. Allyson

    Broken like ricotta- oh yum. It’s just starting to get cool enough to turn on the oven again and this sounds like an excellent way to ease back into oven cooking.

  9. Christine

    I use the as method but with pork loin, sage and lemon. The house smells so incredible. Going to try your chicken recipe now!

  10. Jessica Gavin

    Wow, this looks so delicious and comforting, I would love to try this technique. I listened to your podcast with Food Blogger Pro and really appreciate all of your insights and words of encouragement for other food bloggers. I am in awe of your photos and totally understand why you won the best food blog! Looking forward to checking in on new recipes 🙂

  11. Kat

    I made this and it blew me away. This sauce is heavenly. I can’t stop eating it!!! I’m not afraid to say that I even licked the plate. Great recipe!

  12. Susan

    I made this the other day, it was outstanding! The blending of all these ingredients smelled so good and the taste was off the hook!
    This will most assuredly be made again

  13. Trish

    WOW! This sounds so absolutely delicious. I have always wanted to try braising chicken in milk, and am tagging this recipe for when the weather cools down a bit. Can’t wait!

  14. Lyndon Hollar

    Preheat the oven to 375 F. Pat the chicken dry, season it with salt and pepper, and heat a heavy, ovenproof pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and brown the chicken all over, turning it with tongs.

  15. Amanda B

    This is a wonderful and easy recipe! I’ve made it twice now on the stove since we don’t have a Dutch oven, the second time with dill instead of rosemary. It was delicious both times, good enough for company, and made a tasty broth boiling it out afterwards!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Such a great question. I can’t tell you for certain as I’ve not tried it but I can’t see why that wouldn’t be absolutely delicious. Please report back and let me know how it goes!


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