Milk Braised Chicken

Lock in the moisture and the flavor by lathering a whole chicken in butter and braising it in milk.


  • 1 (5-pound) chicken, whole
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved and zested
  • 1 orange, halved and zested
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 8 large sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pat chicken dry using paper towels, rub with butter, and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture under the skin and inside the cavity.
  3. Into the cavity of the chicken, place the onion, lemon and orange halves, 4 cloves of garlic, half a cinnamon stick, 4 sage leaves, 1 sprig of rosemary and 3 sprigs of thyme. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together.
  4. Coat a 4-quart Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of oil and place over high heat. Brown the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusted, about 10 minutes total. Pour the milk into the hot pan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the lemon and orange zest plus the remaining garlic, cinnamon, sage, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat.
  5. Cover pot with a lid and roast for 45 minutes. Remove lid and roast for another 30 to 45 minutes until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Serve with pan sauce spooned over the warm meat.