Because I worked all day and don’t want to slog through multiple steps.

Because it requires no chopping.

Because it uses pantry staples.

Because I read about it in Sunday’s New York Times.

Because Jamie Oliver deserves a success after his disastrous chicken pie. (Learn and laugh about it at the fabulous Chez Moi.)

Because in my heart of hearts, I don’t believe this recipe will work.

Because I want to be proved wrong.

Because some random guy said the recipe was disgusting.

Because I want to prove him wrong.

Because a bottle of French white is chilling in the fridge.

Because I’ll only dirty one pot.

Because we’ll eat outside.

Because potatoes are a perfect side.

Because I said so.

Because I’m Mom.

‘Why This Chicken?’ Chicken (Jamie Oliver)

  • 1 small whole chicken, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 thin cinnamon stick
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (Oliver calls for whole milk; I used 2 percent)
  • 20 sage leaves
  • Zest from 2 lemons, peeled off with a vegetable peeler in wide strips (Do not use any of the white pith underneath the peel. I think that’s why this recipe failed for random guy.)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Liberally salt and pepper the chicken front and back:

In an oven-proof pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and brown exceedingly well on all sides.

Remove the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons of the fat in your pot. Don’t worry if the remaining fat looks kind of burned.

Add the garlic and cinnamon stick, and stir for 1 minute.

Add the milk and stir.

Add the sage leaves and lemon zest. Stir well.

Place the chicken — breast side up — back in the pot.

Put the pot in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, basting with the milk sauce every 15 minutes.

Check the internal temperature after an hour. It should read 165 degrees. If not, continue baking.

Remove the chicken. Spoon the sauce, garlic, sage and lemon strips on top and around it. Serve the dish with roasted smashed potatoes and a crunchy salad and that French white in the fridge.

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