Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Chicken and Pork in Milk


I have embraced my weirdness and it's not accidental that it somehow shows in how I enjoy my food and prepare a meal for the family.  My kids would catch me slathering thick mango jam over a grilled cheese and would banter with "Why Mommy!?"

I'm happy that my kids seldom complain, I guess they got used to me whipping up a storm using recipes unearthed from the strangest cook book.  And I'm happy we all are adventurous foodies and our tastes for unique cuisines are one that makes us a family.

So, on with the another weird dish, chicken and pork to be exact.  When I was thinking what to  do with a beautiful whole chicken from Backyard Farms, the first thing that came into my mind was to bake it.  The meats I had from Backyard Farms are just so special, that all I could think of was to make something special, like it's someone's birthday, well, after all, we had two quarantine birthdays that we celebrated and this time feeling overwhelmed yet comforted that we made it through despite the onset issues. Isn't that a reason to celebrate?

What’s so special with Bacakyard Farms, btw?

Backyard Farms chickens are pasture-raised, free of hormones and antibiotics, vacuum sealed and fresh frozen.

Are you ready for the weird, special dish I'll be sharing?  I bet you've guessed it already, seeing the title of this blog.  Yes, I used more than two cups of milk for this recipe, I was going to bake the chicken in milk but I couldn't wait to two hours till we can savor it.  I used my handy-dandy Instant Pot, it's a lifesaver, took me only an hour max to prepare everything.  As outlandish as this may be, well, you can tell it off to one of the famous celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.

Before I begin with my version of Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk, there's actually a backstory to this.  When I was young and my mother would come home from vacation, as she was working in Milan, Italy, she would roast a whole chicken basted in fresh milk.  It was a labor of love, actually, but me and my siblings thought it might not come out as delicious as my father would do it, he bastes the chicken with a seasoning that has Sprite in it. From what I remember she just seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and added whole potatoes on the tray, and in the middle of the roasting she poured a cup of milk in the chicken and did it again several times and with a ladle, the dripped sauce which has turned into cream colored was used to baste the chicken some more.

To make sure I get everything right, I turned to Google and found Jamie Oliver’s recipe.  However, I don’t have fresh sage but I do have dried ones so I used that instead and also used powdered cinnamon in replace of the cinnamon stick.  It’s up to you as long as you have the kind of ingredients in your pantry, let me tell you it will work, even with the sound of lemon peel present in the recipe.


Recipe:

Chicken and Pork in Milk


Ingredients:

1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken
500 g. pack pork steak
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp powdered cinnamon or 1 small cinnamon stick
10 cloves garlic, skins left on
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 Tbsp. dried sage or 1 handful of fresh sage, around 15 to 20 leaves
peels from 2 lemons





Procedure:

Using Instant Pot

1.  Season the chicken aggressively with the salt and pepper.
2.  Using the instant pot,  use the sauté setting, put in the butter and olive oil. When the butter has melted and is starting to foam, add the chicken to the pot and fry it, turning every few minutes, until it has browned all over.
3. Remove the chicken from the pot place it onto a plate, brown the pork, then drain off all but a few tablespoons of the fat from the pot.
4.  On the oil, sauté the garlic, add the cinnamon and allow them to sizzle for a minute or 2, then return the chicken and pork to the pot along with the milk and sage.
5. Add the lemon peel to the pot as well.  Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set to Poultry in Medium Pressure for 15 minutes.

Using regular Pot

1.  Season the chicken aggressively with the salt and pepper.
2.   Use a pot that would fit the whole chicken snuggly.  Turn the stove on to medium fire and drop the oil and butter.  When the butter has melted and is starting to foam, add the chicken to the pot and fry it, turning every few minutes, until it has browned all over.
3. Remove the chicken from the pot, place it onto a plate, brown the pork, then drain off all but a few tablespoons of the fat from the pot.
4. 4.  On the oil, sauté the garlic, add the cinnamon and allow them to sizzle for a minute or 2, then return the chicken and pork to the pot along with the milk and sage.
5. Add the lemon peel to the pot as well.  Cook for 1 to 1/2 hours, until the chicken is cooked all through out.
6. Optional, you may cook it for 45 minutes and cook in the preheated oven for 1 and half hours more, basting the chicken occasionally, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has reduced into a thick, curdled sauce. (If the sauce is reducing too quickly, put a cover halfway onto the pot.)

We enjoyed this with piping hot rice, you may opt to enjoy this with fries or steamed veggies.

I love how tender and flavorful the chicken had become, while the pork just almost melts in your mouth tender.  While the sauce is, well, odd but the spices worked well with each other, the lemon peel and cinnamon giving the aromatic indulgence and that unique flavor you won’t find anywhere else!  As for the milk, you won’t taste it anymore as the acidity form the lemon peels have broken it down, and the sauce ended up looking similar to an Asian curry.

Will surely make this again and will try to use fresh sage once I get to source out some.






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