If you are looking for a super easy whole chicken recipe that the whole family will love, I’ve got you covered with this Milk Poached Chicken recipe. It results in the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth chicken, perfect for plan-overs or just a delicious family meal.
Poached Chicken Recipe
Do you tend to avoid buying whole chickens?
I love the price point, but the difficulty of picking off the meat afterwards has encouraged me to lean towards chicken breasts instead.
However, I’ve recently discovered that the method of cooking your chicken can drastically effect how easy it is to “clean the chicken” afterwards!
But that’s not even the best part of this poached whole chicken recipe: it is the most tender chicken you will ever eat!
Honestly, the only chicken that even comes close in tenderness is chicken that has been cooked in a (pricey) sous-vide machine.
What is poached chicken? …Basically, you’re covering chicken with a liquid (typically water, but in our case, milk) and simmering the liquid until the chicken is fully cooked. The combination of the low temperature of cooking and the moisture from the liquid ensures that the chicken is moist and tender, preventing it from overcooking (which is all too common when it comes to chicken!)
I first learned how to make poached chicken in Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef. He shares an amazing cinnamon version of this milk poached chicken that my daughter loves! The cinnamon is fragrant, but subtle enough that the chicken can be used in a variety of ways after the initial cooking. (Ella’s favorite is as chicken quesadillas.)
Once you’ve made our recipe, feel free to experiment and swap out the seasonings for your favorite chicken seasonings! You can also try poaching your chicken in other liquids.
This is an amazing recipe for either a delicious family supper or if you just want some cheap, shredded chicken for other recipes. This method is way cheaper than buying chicken breasts, but way easier than trying to remove the meat from a conventionally cooked whole chicken.
Milk Poached Chicken Ingredients
- Whole chicken (approximately 3lbs)
- 1 Tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups milk
Tip: Swap out my suggested seasonings for your own favorites!
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Dutch oven
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Sharp kitchen knife
How to Poach Chicken
Preheat oven to 375F.
Place the butter and oil in a dutch oven or heavy stockpot and heat over medium.
Season the chicken with the paprika and Italian seasoning. (Don’t forget that you can swap out the seasonings for your own personal preferences.)
Stab your lemon a couple times and then insert into the body of the chicken.
Place the whole chicken in the dutch oven and brown all over, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
(The chicken needs to release from the dutch oven easily, if it sticks give it another minute or two to finish browning.)
Using the flat side of a knife (or the underside of a spoon), smash your garlic cloves.
If you have room in the dutch oven to add your garlic and cook in the oil, do it now. Otherwise, remove the chicken and cook the garlic for 2 minutes before placing the chicken back into the dutch oven.
Pour the milk over the chicken, coating it all over.
Turn off the heat on the burner and place the lid on the dutch oven.
Place the chicken in the oven for one hour and 30 minutes, until an inserted thermometer inserted into the chicken reads at 165F.
(You can baste the chicken throughout the cooking process if you’d like, but it’s not a necessary step.)
When the chicken has finished cooking, you will have the most tender chicken of your life!
Serve with the milk gravy, if desired.
Grab your free printable for our milk poached whole chicken recipe:
Our milk poached chicken recipe is sure to be a hit with your kids! It may not look pretty, but it tastes amazing!