Throw(up)Back Thursday: Milk Chicken Recipe

In Foodie Tips & Tidbits by Christine McKellar

Food and dining have come a long way since the retro days as this dated recipe for Milk Chicken vividly and near nauseously proves.  Not only is the entire concept of this dish off-putting but the verbiage lacks a certain finesse we modern day gastronomes have grown accustomed to. Granted, there are many diners and purveyors of European inspired dishes who can’t pronounce the name of the special sauce or ingredient under their noses: yet none would dare to describe on a menu, a national TV show or any other forum, the top layer of fat or sediment in a cooking pan as “scum”.

This recipe is not intended to dismay or repel you. It’s simply a left-handed salute to the efforts of those in our past who strove to create unique and inspired dishes and meals without the influences of great chefs, the availability of unique and interesting herbs and spices, and the ease of information we take for granted on the Internet.

A modern spin on this might be to substitute the milk with yogurt, use spinach or kale instead of mixed vegetables, and skip the hard boiled eggs and banana garnish altogether? Please, skip the scum! Bon appetite!

Milk Chicken

Cooking time: 1 – 1/2 hours

Preparation time: 15 mins

Main cooking utensil: large saucepan


For 6-8 people you need:

2 small roasting chickens, approximately 2 1/2 lb. (when trussed)

2 stalks celery

2 1/2 cups water


2 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 egg yolk



1-2 hard-cooked eggs

1-2 bananas

cooked mixed vegetables


  1. Put the whole chickens (or joint them if pan is not sufficiently large) into pan, add diced celery, water, and seasoning.
  2. Bring to boil; remove any scum from the top of the liquid, cover pan, lower heat, simmer gently – allow 45 minutes for jointed chicken, 1 hour for whole birds – until tender but unbroken; lift onto hot dish.
  3. Blend flour with half the milk, stir into stock, cook until thickened.
  4. Add the butter and the egg blended with the remainder of the milk, and COOK GENTLY without boiling for several minutes.
  5. Strain some of the sauce over the birds, then garnish with the sliced hard-cooked egg, bananas, and vegetables.


TO SERVE: With the rest of the sauce and mashed potatoes

TO VARY: Serve with cooked macaroni instead of potatoes; add a little cream and sherry to the sauce at stage 4.


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