Tag Archives: braised

Coconut Milk–Braised Chicken

Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°. Stir coconut milk and curry paste in a 2-qt. baking dish to combine (or, use a medium skillet if that’s what you’ve got). Add lemongrass, ginger, and garlic. Season chicken with salt (hold back a bit since curry pastes often have a lot of salt). Place in baking dish and spoon some liquid over. Bake, occasionally spooning liquid over, until chicken is browned, tender, and cooked throughout (the joint should be reasonably easy to flex), 60–75 minutes.


This Milk-Braised Pork is The Tenderest Way to Braise

The milk is curdled and everything is going to be okay. I promise! Because, despite all inclinations to the contrary—including memories of that science fair experiment where I tried to keep roses alive in milk, and just general visual repulsion—pork braised in milk is absolutely wonderful. It’s tender, flavorful, rich, and comforting. Don’t trust me? Ask an Italian grandma.

Maiale al Latte is a classic Italian dish that utilizes the lactic acid in milk to break down a fatty hunk of pork. It’s hard for some of us (non-Italians) to wrap our heads around this because we’re so used to the French style of braising: throwing stock and wine into a pot. But if you’re surrounded by farmland, cows, and pigs, Maiale al Latte starts to make a whole lot of sense.

Andy Baraghani, who developed this recipe, first had Maiale al Latte as a young cook at Chez Panisse. A guest chef was throwing together a meal using leftover pork shoulder and a pot-full of local milk, the really good stuff. The dish was simple, and “hard to f*ck up,” which is how Andy, inexperienced and eager, was assigned to look after it. His recipe keeps it unfussy, infusing the milk with garlic, sage, and lemon. Let’s take a closer look.

milk braised pork 1

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kate Buckens

The curds were strained for this photo, a purely aesthetic decision!

The aromatics

Everything comes together quick and easy. First you brown the pork shoulder and halved head of garlic. Then you wipe out the pot and add in your aromatics and milk. The sage brings a wintry herbal note, chile de arbol (or red pepper flakes) add a level of spice, big strips of lemon peel help the milk curdle and brightens up against the pork fat, and garlic is garlic. We keep the whole head of it, cut in half, rather than ask you to peel a bunch of cloves. When you serve it, squeeze the garlic out all over the pork, or on toast. “It’s not a delicate dish,” said Andy. “You can interact with it. Eat the garlic. Take the herbs out.”

The milk

It’s gotta be whole, friends. Not skim, and definitely not oat. “Italy doesn’t mess with skim milk,” Andy told me. “You need the flavor from whole milk to stand up to the pork, you want a sauce with flavor.” We can’t emphasize that enough. But we’ll try, with italics. Flavor. It’s not an expensive dish at the end of the day, so splurge for the best milk you can find.

The…curdled milk

When it curdles, 2 ½ to 3 hours uncovered in the oven later, the curds take on this smooth, ricotta-like texture and are packed with, that’s right, flavor. You can strain them out for a smooth sauce, but we prefer to serve them on the meat—call it “rustic”—to spread alongside the melted garlic. At one point Andy referred to them as “dairy blobs,” which is nice.

Meat notes

You CAN overcook the pork, so make sure to turn it in the oven every thirty minutes, and stop when a paring knife can cut through. You want meat you can slice—not shreddy, barbecue pork. You can also swap lamb shoulder, lamb shank, veal shoulder, or chicken legs in place of pork shoulder, per Andy. Just keep an eye on cooking time (chicken will be ready faster than those shoulder cuts).

polenta cacio e pepe

Alex Lau

Creamy polenta makes for an extra decadent pairing.

What to serve on the side

Carla Lalli Music’s creamy polenta, to go full creamy-on-creamy. Or a bracing chicory salad to “keep you from palate fatigue,” as people who write about food too much would say. At Chez Panisse, they made a fried sage salsa verde, which Andy has a recipe for here. That’s how he’d do it at home, he said, to cut through the richness of the pork.

Get the recipe:



Maiale al Latte (Milk-Braised Pork)

Return pork and garlic to pot. Add milk, sage, chiles, and lemon peel. Transfer pot to oven and bake, uncovered, turning pork every 30 minutes, until meat is very tender and can easily be pierced with a paring knife and milk has reduced and formed curds, 2½–3 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

milk braised pork 2

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kate Buckens


Fall Is for Vegetables—Not Just Braised Meat

Every Monday night, Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport gives us a peek inside his brain by taking over our newsletter. He shares recipes he’s been cooking, restaurants he’s been eating at, and more. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

I ate vegetables all weekend

I just spent three days in Chicago—aka the meatiest city in America. And somehow, all I came home thinking about was vegetables.

Chicago is the birthplace of Morton’s The Steakhouse. It’s where our own Alex Delany, clearly ignoring his doctor’s advice, once downed 14 of the city’s signature hot dogs in a single day, all for some YouTube glory. And it’s home to the famed, giardiniera-soaked Italian beef sandwich.

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But during my weekend at Bon Appétit’s annual Chicago Gourmet festival, I managed to actually get kinda healthyish. On Day 1, I had lunch with our deputy editor Julia Kramer. We went to Cellar Door Provisions, which is one of those all-day bakery/cafés where you want to order everything on the hand-written menu. So that’s exactly what we did. We got the quiche, which is so cloud-like, so ethereal that it defies baking logic (or at least the name quiche). We got the house-baked sourdough, which comes with a little football of fancy butter, crowned with flakes of sea salt.

And we ordered an apple-kohlrabi salad, which is exactly the kind of thing I want to eat all fall long. It’s crisp and bracing, like one of those October days that snaps you to attention as soon as you walk outside. And it’s a lot like this apple-celery-peanut salad (from Josh McFadden’s cookbook Six Season) that we have on our site. Both rely on a mandoline (or at least some deft knife skills); both mix fruit, veg, nuts, and herbs; and both turn to a sharply acidic dressing that brightens each ingredient without overpowering it. Give me some braised short ribs for dinner, and this is exactly the kind of salad I’m serving alongside.


Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

The next day, at the festival in Millennium Park, I hosted a demo on the main stage with Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling from Botanica in LA. They made this dead-simple-but-intensely-flavorful roasted carrot dish, one that balances spice with sweet. To make it, they halved some farm-fresh, multi-colored carrots lengthwise, and then they tossed them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, a few generous dashes of smoked paprika, a sprinkling of cumin seeds, and a drizzle of maple syrup (though you could also use honey or agave syrup). Then they added some halved lemons and oranges and few unpeeled cloves of garlic. Onto a sheet tray it all went, both fruit and veg cut-side down, into a 425° oven for 15–20 minutes ‘til all caramelized, roasty, and delicious. Squeeze the warm citrus all over the carrots and top with some chopped cilantro.

It’s that simple. But, if you prefer a proper recipe, I’d recommend this one for harissa-roasted carrots with maple syrup, which is real similar and just as tasty.


Eva Kolenko

A few hours later, I did another demo with Carla Hall and Timon Balloo, chef of the Caribbean fusion restaurant Sugarcane. Timon whipped together two quick pickles, which made me wonder why I don’t make them more often. They couldn’t be easier and they’re the kind of thing you can keep in your fridge and reach for anytime you want to amp up an otherwise ho-hum meal.

One was a Thai-style pickle, hopped up with fish sauce, palm sugar, and fresh ginger. I immediately asked him for the recipe and, hopefully, I can convince our test kitchen to give it a spin. The other was a classic cucumber pickle. Toast some whole spices—coriander, mustard seeds, you name it—in a dry pan, add some water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Pour it into a jar of just-sliced cucumber spears, fresh herbs (like dill), and sliced onions. Done. Munch on them for weeks to come.

No, this wasn’t the Chicago I expected. But it’s one I’m happy to take home with me.

Get the recipes:

Celery, Apple, and Peanut Salad
Harissa-and-Maple-Roasted Carrots
Classic Dill Pickles

Coconut-Curry Braised Chicken Thighs

Okay, this is going to seem a little bit out there, but trust us: It works. Place a cold, dry large Dutch oven on the stove—no heat yet! Nestle all of your chicken thighs in there, skin side down, so that there is as much skin-to-pan contact as possible (it’s fine if they’re crowded together). Then turn the heat under the pan to medium. As the pan becomes hotter and hotter, the skin will start to release some of its fat and then get extra crispy and brown, a process that will probably take around 15-20 minutes. (Try not to fuss with the thighs too much while this is happening, just let them be. This is a good time to do some of the prep work outlined in the next few steps.) When the skin is deeply browned—we’re only cooking the skin side right now—use tongs to transfer the thighs skin side up to a plate. Turn off the heat under the Dutch oven, but reserve it—we’re going to build our braise in it, and we want all of that fat and any browned, stuck-on bits, which will lend richness and flavor to the finished dish.