1.13.2012

M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken (French Fridays with Dorie)

We haven't been able to participate in French Fridays with Dorie for some time for a variety of reasons. But last Sunday, when we purchased a super-fresh chicken (processed the day before!) from GourmAvian, a local farm, and we realized that this week's FFwD recipe was for M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken, we knew the timing was just right.

This recipe, which can be found in Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table, was soooo super easy. And while this incredibly satisfying, hearty, deliciously roasted chicken dinner (in one pot!) was roasting, the most amazing cooking smells emanated throughout our entire house. Dorie calls this particular recipe "un petite marveille" and we must concur. With about 15 minutes prep time and only an hour of cooking, the results were truly magnifique!



Add vegetables
(we used carrots, onions, potatoes and one change to the recipe - a turnip)
and herbs to a large pot



The pretty turnip



Truss and season chicken with kosher salt and white pepper,
then place in pot atop vegetables. Pour in armagnac (or brandy), cover and cook!




Now, a little anecdote about armagnac. Dorie's recipe obviously calls for armagnac (a distilled spirit made from three different grapes), and we do have a bottle. Here's the story. Back in 2007, Amy organized a school trip to Paris and Rome and Amy's mother, who had never been abroad before, came along. A very nice (read: expensive) bottle of armagnac was on our list of things to buy, but we had bought and packed so many bottles of wine in Rome already, we couldn't fit it in our luggage. So we asked Mom to pack the armagnac in her bag. Easy enough, right? Well, everyone's bags were checked and as we stood in line to be screened through to the gates in Paris, we realized...Mom has the bottle in her carry-on. And there was that little problem of no liquids more than 3 ounces being allowed on the plane. Oh the humanity!We suffered through that line trying in vain to come to terms with the fact that our gorgeous armagnac was going to be confiscated (and probably consumed!) by the airport workers, but miraculously, it wasn't! Huzzah!


So, although we do in fact have a bottle, a very nice bottle actually, of armagnac, we just couldn't use a cup of it to cook a chicken, as good as that chicken might be. So we used brandy. And the chicken was still incredible. The end.


25 comments:

Cher said...

I would have been so stressed if I had that bottle of Armagnac and couldn't get it through airport security. Glad it survived...
it looks like your chicken came out beautifully.

Kiri W. said...

Sounds great! I love super tender, look boiled chicken where it just melts in your mouth, and the vegetables should make for such a great flavour broth.

Adriana said...

You are so lucky! First, congratulations on not having to dispose of your lovely Armagnac. I had to get too creative once with a bottle of balsamic vinegar in the Bologna airport we refused to hand to the Italian TSA. Second, that chicken looks fantastic! What a great find.

Elaine said...

Oh, I was so hoping that you were going to say that you used the Armagnac! ;) I really do wonder how it would taste. I also used the brandy and didn't miss using armagnac a bit because it was so delicious, but still I wonder...your chicken turned out beautifully.

Candy said...

I can't tell you how much I hate the 3 ounce liquid rule! I'm usually trying to bring in cosmetics tough! Your chicken looks delicious!

Elin said...

Your chicken turned out beautifully brown. I used brandy and mine turned out great too . I added prunes to the dish and it tasted super good. The pruney flavored sauce makes the veggies tasty :) yum yum !

Pacheco Patty said...

Loved reading about your nervous moments before screening at the airport, lucky you!
Your chicken looks beautifully browned and I can imagine that it was delicious!!

Frankly Entertaining said...

Your chicken looks nice and brown. Did you do anything differently with your cooking method?

Ei said...

Very entertaining post. Packing the armagnac in the carry on sounds like something I would do. I think you made a good choice using brandy. It comes out perfectly delicious, and doesn't feel like you're wasting something special on a chicken.

Nana said...

I know the feeling about the airport security. Hubby and I did a lot of worrying when we would bring back wines and brandy
in our travels. Thank God security never took them on us. However, on one of our trips returning to Philly, one of our bags
was misplaced. (the airport delivered it at 2 AM) but that was the bag with all my brandy. It figures. I love the color
of you chicken, so delicious looking. This recipe is a keeper.

Marie said...

Now I'm going to have to get some Armagnac just to try it in this chicken. If I'd had to hold my breath all the way through the airport security line lest my armagnac be confiscated, I'd probably use it only for the most special occasions too.

yummychunklet said...

Your chicken looks delicious! And, what a fresh bird you got.

Christy said...

Oh my, to give up the luxuries for traveling home. I think I might of just decided to stay until the Armangac was consumed - say another year or so....love the turnips with this and your story

Christy said...

Oh my, to give up the luxuries for traveling home. I think I might of just decided to stay until the Armangac was consumed - say another year or so....love the turnips with this and your story

Dessert By Candy said...

Great story about your armagnac. So relieved for you that it cleared security!

Oh, and I love your tagline. :D

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

This may be a simple recipe but I can imagine how delicious it is. You were so lucky to get that bottle through security. I would never have that good luck.

Betsy said...

I was imagining you sharing shots of Armagnac with everyone in the security line. Glad that it got through safely. I made mine with brandy too. What an easy and delicious recipe. I was amazed how moist it was, though I wish the skin had been crispier.

lola said...

Glad your Armagnac made it into the country:) I can understand you not wanting to put it in a pot with a chicken! I used brandy and it was good but I would like to try it with Armagnac one of these days.

Eftychia said...

Interesting post!

dulceshome.com said...

You had me at your beautiful turnip, but then - the armagnac story! I sooo know that feeling - and glad you were able to triumph!

So happy that you enjoyed it - we did too!

tricia s. said...

I also was stressed wondering about the outcome of the Armagnac - too funny. We had friends who took an Italian Cruise and got wine in each port. Something got messed up on the return trip to the states and they had several bottles- including lemoncello- confiscated. Friends and family all bought them ones and had them waiting when they got home :) Great job on the chicken !!

Eliotseats said...

I agree with using the brandy! :) This looks great. Will have to dig out AMFT and look up this recipe.

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

I just finished reading another blog that said the same exact thing about that chicken - that it was amazing!

acookingmizer said...

what a great keepsake from a trip! :) Glad you liked it!

Teresa said...

I've just finally gotten 'round to posting about this recipe now. I don't blame you for not sacrificing your Armagnac for this recipe, especially since you nearly lost it to airport security! I used Cognac and it turned out beautifully.