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Chicken poached in milk May 26, 2013

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Chicken.

While this dish may be too simple for Nero Wolfe, I can see him using this recipe when he is forced to travel, and wants to eat something that is simple but tasty. And chicken poached in milk is certainly tasty! This combination is perhaps not the most delectable-sounding, particularly when you learn that the recipe also calls for lemon – essentially creating a curdled milk sauce.

I have previously cooked fish in cream so was thinking that this recipe would be similar. I didn’t really follow a specific recipe as it seemed it was a simple preparation – brown the chicken, add the lemon, milk and spices (cinnamon, sage, bayleaves, salt and pepper), then cook in the oven for an hour and a half, or until the chicken was done.

Preparing the chicken for poaching

You can see that as soon as the lemon was added, the milk started to curdle. It doesn’t look the most appetising, I agree. Nevertheless I pressed on and put the chicken in the oven.

After an hour or so, the house smelled fantastic and the chicken was falling apart. The milk had reduced into a lovely sauce, and it was definitely time to eat.

The chicken out of the oven

I carved it as best I could (more like pulling it apart semi-neatly!) and served it with a vinegary salad to offset the richness of the milk sauce.

The final chicken with salad

What I really like about poaching things in milk or cream is that they become so soft but still rich. In this case, the sauce had fully permeated the chicken, and the flavours I’d added to the milk, particularly the bayleaves and the sage, had penetrated particularly well.

I can see Nero Wolfe preparing a dish like this when he is (regrettably) on the road, with no Fritz to assist. However, he would still want to impress any guests in attendance, and this recipe is both simple and impressive, which I think is why this dish works so well.



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