We’re going to ask you to trust us on this one. Here’s an unlikely-sounding recipe that more than delivers on the culinary trust fall we’re asking of you. Just the thing for cozy evenings, a ragtag bunch of ingredients comes together in the most magical way. There’s so little to it, but a peculiar kind of alchemy happens unattended in the oven. Lemon zest transforms the milk into a creamy sauce, flavored with rich chicken drippings, peppery notes of spice, and earthy marjoram. Serve with roasted root vegetables and lots of sauce spooned on top and know we’ve got your back.
CHICKEN BRAISED IN MILK
3-4 pound chicken
salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
zest of 2 lemons, removed in large strips
6 cloves garlic, slightly crushed but unpeeled
2 tsp pink peppercorns, slightly crushed
1/2 whole nutmeg
1 bunch marjoram
1 pint whole milk (local, low-temp pasteurized, non-homogenized if you can get it)
Preheat oven to 375. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat until foaming. Brown chicken all over, then remove to a plate and set aside. Pout out all but a teaspoon or two of pan drippings. Return chicken to the pot, then scatter lemon zest, garlic cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, and a few branches of marjoram around the bird. Carefully pour the milk around the chicken and place in the oven. Cook covered for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking for doneness every ten minutes. Slice and pull apart the bird, and serve with milky pan sauce spooned over the top.