Chicken Mull is the old name for Stewed Chicken in milk. It’s also sometimes called Jallop. This is a cold weather, church supper dish that has spread from its Georgia Carolina origins and now pops up in a few other spots.
If you want your kids to come home on their college breaks, make sure this is simmering into its second hour when they walk in the door. They will never stiff you in favor of Aspen again.
I first had this on a family car trip when we crashed a Methodist Wednesday night church supper. No really. It was coming dark and Mama was starting the “we need to pull over soon honey” chorus when it hit. The smell of chicken, but better. Something like Chicken 3.0. It was coming from a small church in this small town with no visible eating establishments. But Daddy had a plan. First we checked into a motel, then he retrieved the Gideon Bible in the bedside table. With Bible under arm and sporting a hail fellow well met attitude, we entered the portals of free food nirvana.
Endlessly tweekable this recipe’s only unnegotiable requirements are to brown the chicken well and poach it at a low temperature in milk and lemon rind.
And except for the lemon there’s basically NO PEELING. And we all know that’s the most annoying thing about garlic, right? Right. So after you’ve browned yer bird, dust off the veg and give it a milk bath for the next hour or so. Time off to watch Dr. Oz or beat the children that are still smaller than you. Whatever appeals as being most pleasant or satisfying.
Now an hour of fulfilling activities has passed and it’s time to check on old milk bird. Is he swimming in shallower waters? Yes? Then it’s definitely time to take the top off and let him deepen his tan for about twenty minutes. Now wiggle his hip. If it’s looser than yours after a session of Bikram Yoga – bird is done!
Remove carefully to a platter and cut up into parts. Strain the sauce and adjust the seasonings. You may thicken the sauce and pour it over the chicken parts like this:
Or you can chop up the chicken and serve it in the gravy with crackers like hardcore Georgia folk do:
Keep in mind that this gravy will be so tasty you may have to issue ration cards. Make some mashed potatoes, toast, or rice to soak it up if you don’t go for the soupy version. Fight over the seconds then retire to your Barcalounger where you can snooze till it’s bedtime. Or if you’re still alert watch this video where a food reporter happily discovers mull in Athens, Georgia.
- 1 whole chicken (2 to 3 lbs.)
- 2 lemons
- 3 medium sized shallots, sliced in half lengthwise, no need to peel
- 4 to 6 cloves
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed or sliced in half lengthwise, no need to peel
- 4 to 6 sprigs of your favorite fresh herb. Can be tarragon, sage, thyme or marjoram.
- several celery leaves (if you have them)
- 1 quart whole milk (bird should be about ½ submerged)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- curly parsley or chives for garnish
- Melt some butter or olive oil in a pot over medium heat and brown the bird all over.
- Lift out bird and pour off excess fat.
- Add milk.
- Thinly slice off in strips the rind of both lemons into the pot, replace the bird, and put other ingredients on each side.
- Put the lid on it and cook on 325 for about 1 hour.
- Take the lid off and let the chicken brown a bit and the sauce reduce (about 30 minutes).
- When it starts to fall apart, lift the chicken out of the pot and either cut into pieces or shred.
- Strain the sauce, Reduce under medium heat, adjust seasonings, decorate with parsley or herbs and serve over noodles or rice (or saltine crackers if you’re shooting for hillbilly authenticity).
- You may grate a little lemon zest & nutmeg over the dish for added flavor.
You can also add half a cinnamon stick.
Because of the long moist cooking method you can get a bigger tougher bird like a hen. It will cook up nicely. Same goes for a couple of chicken breasts with the bone in.
Only downside of poaching in milk is the curdling that forms along the edge of the pan. Make no mistake. It’s ugly. However, it’s easily wiped off if you're serving it in the pan. If you serve the chicken on a platter you'll be straining the sauce and it'll be a non issue.