Milk Chicken Thighs

One of the most popular pins on Pinterest is a link to a recipe for Jamie Oliver’s Milk Chicken from his book  Happy Days with the Naked Chef published in 2001. This is my take on it.

Jamie Oliver’s recipe is for a whole chicken that takes 3 hours to cook. Since it is only my wife and I in the house unless we have the grandkids visiting a whole chicken is a bit much for us and unless it is one of my days off we don’t have a couple of hours to cook dinner.

As I have said many times before my favorite part of the chicken is the thigh, so for this recipe I went with bone in skin on thighs. From start to finish this version of the recipe will take just about an hour.

Honestly there isn’t much prep time involved. Preheat your oven to 350. Take a dutch oven or a large oven safe skillet and melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. I like my ceramic cast iron dutch oven.

While the butter is melting using a paper towel pat dry the chicken thighs. Season the skin side of the thighs with salt and white pepper. Once seasoned and butter is melted place the thighs in the skillet skin side down and season the side that is now facing up with the salt and white pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides.

chicken thighs skin side down
browned chicken thighs in butter

While the chicken is browning take 3 cloves of garlic and using the flat of your chefs knife smash the garlic. Once the chicken is browned on all sides remove the chicken from the pan and drain the fat from the pan. Melt another tablespoon butter add smashed garlic to the butter allow the garlic to become a nice golden color but not brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, add 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (about 6 sprigs), half teaspoon of ground cinnamon and zest of one lemon. Pour in a cup of milk and a half cup of chicken broth.

seasoned chicken thighs in milk

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

chicken thighs in liquid gold

All that’s left is to plate and serve with some of the milk sauce over top of the chicken.


  • 4-6 bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons butter (separated)
  • 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • half teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt
  • white pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. melt 1 tablespoon butter in large oven proof skillet over medium high heat
  3. pat dry chicken with a paper towel
  4. season the skin side of the thighs with salt and white pepper
  5. brown chicken starting skin side down season the uncooked chicken as you turn it
  6. remove browned chicken from skillet and drain the fat from the skillet
  7. melt the 2nd tablespoon butter
  8. saute smashed garlic in butter until golden
  9. remove the skillet from the heat
  10. return chicken thighs to skillet skin side up
  11. pour in milk and chicken broth, add thyme, cinnamon and lemon zest
  12. place skillet in preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes
  13. Serve with milk sauce over top of the chicken

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