Coq au lait - roast chicken in milk

May 10, 2014

Author Notes: This recipe is as good as the ingredient list its short. So far, I had been convinced that a wonderful roast chicken involved a whole lot of butter, but this recipe has revealed to me that there´s more than one way to chicken heaven. The poultry part of it is inspired by a recipe I read at I also love that you can use the poaching liquid as a base for the side dish, a simple, but delicious potato mash. I hope some of you will like it, too...Sabine

Serves: 3-4


For the coq au lait:

  • 1 chicken of the best available quality, about 1,2 kg
  • 1/2-2 liters mixture of milk and water 1:1 (to cover 2/3 of the bird)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt or fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 handful herbs (sage, thyme, parsley) - optional

For the potato mash:

  • 6-7 medium sized potatoes (floury variety)
  • milk-water-mixture from the poultry to cover the potatoes
  • 50-75 grams butter (1/2 stick)
  • salt and pepper, ground nutmeg to taste
In This Recipe


For the coq au lait:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300 °F.
  2. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry. Salt and pepper from inside & out.
  3. Place chicken in a 1:1 mix of milk & water (depending on the size of your roasting pan, you´ll need more or less to cover about 2/3 of the bird), add a little olive oil and bring to a boil on the stove.
  4. Poach chicken on the stove for 10-15 minutes. If you like, add the herbs.
  5. Removing all but 1-2 ladles all of the fluid, place chicken in the preheated oven for 1 hour, lid opened, pour some of the milk/water mixture on top every 15 min.
  6. Increase the oven heat to 180°C/360°F for about 20 minutes, pour on some fluid more often until the skin is golden and crisp. Maybe you´ll ad the oven grill during the last 5 minutes or so.

For the potato mash:

  1. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.
  2. Cover with the leftover milk-water-mixture - if you don´t have enough left, add some more milk.
  3. Cook at medium to high heat until tender, and mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg.
  5. Stir in the butter.

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