Milk Chicken

Milk chicken – The most flavorful, succulent mild chicken roast made with whole milk and aromatics and a magical sauce. Ideal winter comfort food that feeds the heart & soul.

A Jamie Oliver recipe tailor-made to my taste . The recipe calls for opposites like lemon and milk. Yes, it will curdle but that produces best tasting split sauce and delicious milk solids floating on the sides. I have been making milk chicken since 2016 and it is always a hit in my house.

If you love such mild chicken recipes white chicken curry is another must try recipe made with drumsticks.

Best milk chicken recipe.

Why make milk chicken dutch oven?

  • A Dutch oven creates a favorable environment. A moisture-sealed chamber with even flow of intense heat. The Dutch oven, with its thick cast iron walls, offers ample thermal mass to ensure a temperature-stable baking environment. Additionally, the sealed interior traps steam from the boiling milk which is a beneficial component to get a perfectly cooked, moist bird.
  • The super heavy lid keeps the milk from boiling and spilling too.

If I don’t own a dutch oven what should I use ?

  • Any oven friendly large heavy bottom pot with snug lid that can fit in a whole bird can be used for this recipe. I have used a 5 quart brazier here.
  • Use bone cut chicken pieces for this recipe instead of a whole chicken and use any baking dish like you would normally do. Remember to reduce milk quantity and adjust the recipe accordingly.

Other spices and flavor substitutes ?

  • Cinnamon sticks and some powder could add to the brown color and flavor profile.
  • Whole milk can be replaced with coconut milk and lemon grass, galangal kafir lime leaves could be used.
  • Nut based milks with Indian spices (cardamom, cloves cinnamon and fenugreek leaves )

Flavor secrets:

Use whole milk so there would be more milk solids which is delicious.

Garlic should not be peeled. Skin on garlic clove gives a sweet mild flavor in the end.

Use lemon, carefully peel without the white pith inside as it will make the chicken bitter. If u have trouble peeling use a grater and zest it. The lemon peels will turn sweet on cooking.

(Btw no other citrus peel is this delicious)

Use freshly cracked / crushed black pepper the aroma and flavor is next level.

Use leftover chicken in making Alfredo pasta or risotto.

Very important : Use a 5 qtr dutch oven or large braiser with super heavy lid this prevents the milk from boiling and spilling. Do not attempt with lighter lid as it is not worth the effort of cleaning spilled milk from the oven.

milk chicken , best roast juicy succulent roast
5 star rated

Milk chicken

A tender juicy flavorful whole chicken
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5 to 6 people


  • 1 Young -Whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 liters whole milk
  • 1 bulb Garlic (10-12 cloves with skin )
  • Few sprigs Fresh herbs ( Sage Rosemary and thyme used here)
  • 1 Peel of 1 lemon (without white pith)
  • 1 Juice of 1 lemon (use the same lemon from above)
  • 1-2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil


  • 3-4 tsp Mc cormick gravy pack (low sodium) (original country gravy)


  • Wash the chicken and pat it dry with paper towel.
  • Grease the inside of a dutch oven well with olive oil
  • Smear the chicken with a tbsp of butter all over. Then generously with salt and pepper.
  • Add milk, herbs like rosemary, thyme and more sage, lemon peel, lemon juice and 1 tbsp of butter.Close the lid.
  • Bake at 375- 400 °F for 40 minutes in the middle rack, open the lid and baste the chicken put the lid back on then return to the oven and bake for another 40 minutes.
    Make sure the internal temperature is 165 ° F or above.
  • Remove and reserve the pan sauce into another pan and bake the chicken without lid for another 30- 45 minutes depending on the oven for browning the top.(See notes )
  • Rest it 5-10 minutes and its ready to be served.

For the gravy :

  • Mix the Mc cormick gravy mix in cold water and keep it ready
  • From the reserved pan sauce remove most of the fat. Remove the skin of garlic and herb stems then blend everything until most of the milk solids with a hand blender.
    Heat this in a pan add the gravy mix . If the gravy is too salty add some more whole milk to balance flavors. Allow this to thicken on low heat by stirring constantly until required consistency is reached then serve immediately with chicken.



  • Chicken has a very mild taste but the split sauce is what takes the chicken to next level so please don’t think of discarding pan juices and split milk. The milk solids are to die for.
  • I find that keeping the chicken covered with lid and moving to the top rack for last part helps in even browning but make sure your dutch oven enamel can withstand that heat without color change or damage to the lid.
  • The gravy mix adds thickness and color to the split sauce. 
  • Remember to add generous amount of salt and pepper and an extra lemon juice for bold flavors.
  • *** Here is my secret tip – To get rid of the  (gamey smell ) strong odor of raw poultry I usually dust the entire skin of the chicken with some gram flour (chickpeas flour) and rinse it completely then pat dry. If you have noticed all organic chicken brands has this musty odor.

Other whole chicken recipes to try:

Hope you will give this milk chicken recipe a try and let me know.


3 Replies to “Milk Chicken”

  1. Sandra Leo

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe for Sunday supper and it was soo good the magical sauce is the best part my kids loved it so much. Please keep posting such easy to do recipes.

    • elephantsncoconuttrees

      Thank you for the feedback Sandra. Really happy you tried this recipe and loved it.Will surely post more of such recipes.

    • elephantsncoconuttrees

      Thank you so much for this awesome response Sandra. I definitely look forward to posting such keeper recipes in the future too.

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