(enters little confessional known as this blog post)
OK, I think I may have a bit of a problem. I’ve been swept away. I’m in lust. I’ll admit it. I didn’t think it could happen to me – I mean, I consider myself a pretty strong gal. But holy wow. An innocent afternoon encounter with a few simple ingredients has caused me to stumble headlong into a “checking dates on a calendar to figure out when the next encounter might happen” full-on love affair.
Drat you, Jamie Oliver. Drat you and your insanely good roasted chicken in milk. I’ll admit it – I was a skeptic. But I wanted to make something lovely for friends, and needed a main dish to go with spicy garlic ginger broccolini, roasted cauliflower and tomatoes, and herbed biscuits – which I had already selected to go with my cranberry & apple galette. Yes, I did build that menu from the dessert up. Sometimes Kitchen Therapy needs a little reverse engineering. And sometimes I just really crave the fragrance of freshly baked cranberries and apples and pastry. But I digress.
Back to you, Jamie Oliver. How did you know that cinnamon, sage, lemon, and garlic would make milk become some sort of magic potion for chicken? Because it does. It’s lust-worthy. Simply divine. Now, to be honest, I didn’t roast a whole chicken. I went for the good stuff only – chicken breasts. And I hadn’t a clue how much milk 565 ml was, so I just guessed. And I may have peeled and minced my garlic because – well – because icky garlic clove skins. Oh, and I also used a little grapeseed oil with my butter. It’s becoming a new favorite at CasaRock, thanks to episodes of The Incredible Spice Men on BBC.
Again, holy wow.
(In all sincerity, thank you Jamie, for making goodness happen, and for letting me mess with your recipe.)
The chicken is infused with layers and layers of flavor. It’s incredibly moist. And it’s absolutely beautiful. If I could, I would make it again today. And tomorrow. And if you would join me for dinner soon, I would make it just for you. OK, that’s a lie. I would make it for us. And maybe I would add the side dishes. And the dessert too.
But mostly, it would be about the chicken. Because you need to stumble headlong too.
(exits confessional and returns to finding dates on calendar)
Roast Chicken Breasts in Milk
4 full chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1 stick butter
2 T. grapeseed oil
4 cinnamon sticks
10-12 sage leaves, washed and patted dry
Zest from 2 lemons
10 cloves of garlic, minced
Around 3 cups whole milk (or slightly more if needed)
Preheat oven to 375. Combine grapeseed oil and butter in a large oven-friendly pan and heat to medium high on a stovetop. Add chicken breasts and brown all sides; remove chicken breasts and drain excess oil from the pan. Return chicken breasts to pan and add remaining ingredients. Bake for 1-1/2 hours or until chicken is roasted well and liquid is reduced and bubbling. The lemon will cause the milk to “split” while baking, but it can be stirred together to create a sauce for the chicken if you’d like – though the chicken is flavorful and good even by itself.