Baked Milk Chicken Thighs

If you’ve never had baked milk chicken thighs before, you’re in for a real treat. It’s an easy recipe for juicy chicken thighs. You’ll be obsessed. Baked Milk Chicken Thighs in Milk: Super Juicy & Amazing and Best Chicken Thigh Recipe | @whiteonrice

It’s finally cold outside. The kind of cold that we Southern Californian’s don’t often get, around 45 degrees F at night. For us, that’s enough chill to have everyone put on our “heavy” winter sweaters and cozy up to a cup of hot tea or coffee. If you guys knew how much Summer heat and drought we’ve been going through down here, you’ll understand why we’re celebrating when we’re pulling out our warm clothes.

When it get’s to this cold temperature, it’s time for us to get busy with oven cooking because that’s what we’re craving. In fact, we’ve been wanting to experiment with so many oven recipes but because of the heat, we’ve been avoiding the oven for so long.

Watch how to make our Juicy milk chicken thighs recipe:

Baked Milk Chicken Thighs in Milk: Super Juicy & Amazing and Best Chicken Thigh Recipe | @whiteonrice

No more fearing the oven heating up the house anymore for the next few months. We’ve been indulging in anything that give us warm comfort and what you see here is one perfect example of why we love Winter cooking.

Behold, these tender chicken thighs roasted in milk will rock your world. We’ve been seeing so much inspiration from Jamie Oliver’s milk chicken that we couldn’t help it but to make it right away. Because we were pressed for time (starving!) and cause we only had chicken thighs in the house, we resorted to a shorter version of his recipe. Along with some of our personal spices, this version of chicken milk is outstanding.


For the love of chicken thighs, warm oven comfort food and the spirit of the season, we’re so happy to fill our bellies with a new recipe that will be a go-to for this “brrrrrr” cold season.

Enjoy the recipe!

-diane and todd

5 from 2 votes
Milk Roasted Chicken Thighs Recipe
Total Time
45 mins

Roasting the chicken thighs in milk makes the chicken very tender. It also gives a nice and fragrant, savory sauce that can be made further into a gravy. This recipe is inspired from Jamie Oliver's whole roast chicken in milk, which he adds lemon juice.

Servings: 6 servings
For the chicken thighs:
  • 3 pounds (1365g) chicken thighs (about 6 thighs), bone-in and skin-on.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • kosher or sea salt , to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper , to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or fresh thyme)
  • zest of 1 lemon
For the gravy (optional):
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Wash and pat dry chicken thighs. Season both sides of chicken thighs with ground cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. In a large oven proof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium high heat. Place chicken skin-side down first and sear each side of the chicken until crispy brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Using paper towels, drain the excess remaining fat from the skillet.
  4. In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, milk, chicken broth, thyme, and lemon zest. Bring liquid to a low simmer.
  5. Place chicken back into the skillet and transfer to oven. Roast the chicken for about 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked. Internal temperature of chicken should be about 175° F.
  6. After chicken is cooked, serve with the milk sauce. But if you want to make a delicious and thicker gravy out of it then remove the chicken from the pan. Heat up the pan of milk sauce again to a low simmer. Whisk in butter and flour until all flour clumps are removed. Sauce will get thicker as it cooks.
  7. Once gravy is thick and creamy, remove from heat and serve immediately.
{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Sha

    I tried it last night and it was ummmmm????????
    Thanks for your recipe…

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Sha, we’re so happy that you enjoyed the recipe!

  2. Robin

    Can this be made in a Dutch oven?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Robin,
      Should work just fine.

  3. Jackie, hawaii

    Can I bake this in the oven in a large baking pan since I don’t have oven proof skillets and I would like to cook 4-5 lbs of chicken thighs for a crowd. This looks mouthwatering! I can’t wait! I would brown the thighs first per recipe.

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Jackie,
      That’s exactly how we would do it for a large crowd.

  4. edenpassante

    These look delicious for dinner! Definitely need to add these to my list!

  5. wonderfulwhimsical

    Great recipe! Will give it a try!

    I just posted a simple butter chicken recipe on

  6. Veronica

    I’m trying this tonight! Was looking for a warming braise recipe. Planning to add turmeric when I saute the garlic. Should make the milk sauce a lovely color as well as providing all the health benefits. Goes well with your seasonings as well. Why did you leave the lemon juice out? I thought that was essential to make the chicken-y milk curds.

  7. Liam Reid

    Hey Todd & Diane,
    Wonderful chicken recipe! I was thinking something similar, but didn’t know what exactly to add.. The milk combination does look great. Thank you for sharing.


  8. Amara

    Can buttermilk be used instead of whole milk?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Amara- Yes, buttermilk should work fine. It’s thicker, so you might get some curdling, very similar to Jamie Oliver’s version.

  9. Heather

    This made a delicious Sunday night dinner, loved by my entire family of 5. I did have to use 2 skillets because I used over 4 pounds of thighs.

  10. amanda

    I am in the middle of a kitchen renovation, so – no oven, no stove, etc. What do you think about trying this in a crockpot? Crazy?

    I am missing real cooking…

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Amanda, this chicken recipe could probably work in a crockpot. But we’d probably use skin-less chicken so it doesn’t get too greasy. Searing them on a hot pan helps release so much of the fat. If you try it, let us know how it works out!

  11. Alex

    Thanks again for the great recipe!

  12. Mary Holland

    Delicious, thanks

  13. Kat

    I’m in the process of cooking this now, it’s in the oven I can’t wait to try it!!

  14. Melissa Tuttle

    Do you have an suggestions for a good side? Would the gravy be good over rice or noodles?

  15. D

    This looks amazing! Can I do this with boneless thighs & if so, do I need to adjust the cooking time?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi D- yes if you’re cooking skinless, the chicken might cook quicker. Check the cooking time when it’s less and if the chicken isn’t cooked through, continue cooking till completely cooked. Chicken thighs can often vary in sizes as well.

  16. jenearica damon

    can you use 1 percent milk????

    1. Todd & Diane

      Should work fine.

  17. Christina Turner

    Can u use any kind of milk? Or does it not work well with any other?

    1. Todd & Diane

      We don’t know about non-dairy milks, since we haven’t tried them. We’ve used everything from 1%-whole milk and it all worked great.

  18. Rochelle Glenn

    Can this recipe be used with white meat?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Yes definitely you can! But you might have to adjust cooking times depending on the size of the chicken breasts you are cooking.

  19. desiree

    I made this tonight and it was amazing! Perfect for a drizzly night.

    1. Todd & Diane

      Yay! And yes, it’s so perfect to eat when it’s cold outside. thanks for sharing.

  20. Naomi

    I shared the post with one of my recipe-sharing groups, I know they’ll love it too! The recipe is simple enough to do on a busy schedule.

  21. Naomi

    Made it last night, deelicious! Loved those flavors, the thyme and cumin are smashing together with the chicken. I found I didn’t need any extra fat in the pan to make gravy so didn’t add those extra two tablespoons butter, as much as I love butter. The milk had curdled during baking and the fat separated from the other liquids, but it’s all good fats and tasted so good!

    1. Todd & Diane

      Thanks Naomi for your suggestion! And you’re right, the extra butter is a little decadent. We’ll made that additional note in the recipe.

  22. whynot8floyd

    Yummy, I can’t wait to try this dish. Yeah something new.

  23. Dana

    Winner, winner chicken dinner! It is a hit in this house xoxox

    1. Todd & Diane

      Awesome! thanks for letting us know.

  24. G

    Nive weeknight dinner and a life saver for me today. Thank you!

    1. Todd & Diane

      yay! Glad we could be of dinner-help. 🙂

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