Joyce’s Milk Chicken

My late mother-in-law introduced me to this way of slow cooking chicken shortly after I met her. She said her own mother would make it as an inexpensive way to feed a large family that had to live on a budget on a Sunday after church. Joyce carried on that tradition, making it for her own family while they were attending church on Sundays, or as the main dish when she hosted dinner for guests. Sometimes, she would cook just the chicken in the milk and make different sides to go with it, but generally, this was a one-pot meal.


  • Chicken leg quarters, either cut into leg & thigh or left whole. Up to you. Skin-on gives you a better flavor, so I go that route. You can always pull it off after you cook it if you don’t want to eat it.
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bacon grease (or feel free to use vegetable oil. I know not everyone keeps bacon grease in a can in the fridge anymore.)
  • Milk
  • Potatoes (whatever kind and size you like, peeled or unpeeled)
  • Carrots (whole, cut into chunks, or baby carrots)
  • Onion – quartered (I love Vidalia)
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup (this is an addition I made and she approved that I feel adds a creaminess to the “gravy”.


  • In a gallon zip top bag, mix about a cup of flour with about a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. How much flour, salt, and pepper you will need will depend on how much chicken you want to make. I usually do eight pieces.
  • Shake your chicken legs and thighs in the flour mix and set on a wire cooling rack to rest.
  • In an oven-safe dutch oven or pan, melt your bacon grease or heat your oil on the range top – medium heat – we’re going to brown this chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the pan, in batches if necessary, and turn them to brown the skin. Remove and repeat until all the chicken is browned.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Pour about a cup or so of milk into the dutch oven and add the can of soup, mixing them together well and scraping up those little brown bits of deliciousness. Salt and pepper the soup mixture to taste if desired.
  • At this point you can decide to either finish this off in a slow cooker or slow braise it in the oven. On cold days, the oven is a nice touch. It will make your house smell heavenly!
  • Add the chicken to either your dutch oven or slow cooker.
  • Add the vegetables, nestling them in among the pieces of chicken.
  • Pour over enough milk to come halfway up the chicken & veggies.
  • You can throw a couple sprigs of thyme, oregano, and rosemary on top if you want to get fancy.
  • If cooking in the oven, cover and cook at 200 degrees for about 6 hours. I take the lid off the last hour or so – it seems to help thicken the milk up a bit, making it more of a gravy.
  • Since ovens can vary, or how much you are cooking, do check the meat with a thermometer for doneness. 165 degrees is the recommended temperature.
  • If cooking in the slow cooker I do mine on medium for 6 hours or until done. I have noticed that cooking in my slow cooker vs cooking in my Instant Pot throws the cooking times off – the IP takes longer.
  • Enjoy this hand-me-down recipe!

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