Chicken Roasted in Milk and Herbs

Chef Robert Belcham's recipe was inspired by his visit with BC dairy farmer, Mark Ricka.

Prep Time

15 Mins

Cook Time

60-70 Mins

Total Time

1 Hour 25 Mins



Heavy-bottomed dutch oven or cast-iron pan

Tongs or meat fork


  • 1 x 2lb chicken, rinsed and dried

  • 2 lemons, peeled and sliced, reserve peel

  • 1 head of garlic, broken into cloves

  • ½ bunch of savoury

  • ½ bunch of fresh thyme

  • ½ bunch of fresh sage

  • 2 whole Calabrian chilies

  • ½ cup of unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup of olive oil

  • salt

  • fresh ground black pepper

  • whole milk (3.25% milk fat)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Rinse your chicken with cold water inside and out, pat very dry with paper towel. Season the chicken liberally inside and out with salt and fresh black pepper. Fill the cavity loosely with the sliced lemons. Tie up the chicken to close it up.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or cast-iron pan, bring to medium-high heat and add in half of the butter and all of the olive oil. When the foaming of the butter subsides, start to brown all sides of the chicken. Use a pair of tongs or meat fork to help with this. If the chicken is dry enough, it should not spatter too much. When you have a deep golden brown color on all sides, remove the chicken from the pan and discard the burnt butter and olive oil.
  3. On a medium heat, add in the remaining butter. Add garlic and then place the chicken back into the pan. Add in the lemon peels, all of the herbs, chilies, and enough milk to go up the side of the chicken by one quarter. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Place the chicken into the preheated oven. It should take about 60 to 70 minutes to cook, but check with an instant-read meat thermometer and the temperature should be at 160°F at the inside of the thigh. When you reach that temperature, remove the chicken from the oven.
  5. Take the chicken out of the pot and keep warm to rest. Rest it for 10 minutes while you make the sauce. To finish the sauce, strain the cooking liquid into another pot and press through all the garlic and juices. Bring to a simmer and reduce until slightly thickened. Now carve the chicken into four portions and place onto warm plates, pour sauce liberally on and around the chicken. Serve.