Friday, January 13, 2012

French Fridays With Dorie: M. Jacques' Armagnac Chicken

M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken-heaven in a Dutch oven

Incredibly easy and equally delicious...I think we have a new staple in our house.  The most difficult thing about this dish is finding the bottle of Armagnac.  I went to a local liquor store, which is generally pretty well stocked.  After meandering the aisles for the better part of 20 minutes, I finally decided to ask...."Do you have Armagnac?"  Yes they did...on the highest shelf in the furthest reaches of the store I found three options-atop the zillions of Cognacs.  Interestingly, Armagnac is similar to Cognac in that it is a brandy distilled from grapes, but the makers of Armagnac tend to be small producers whereas Cognacs are made by the big name liquor producers.  Armagnac has a sweet, flavor that is complex, and in this dish, lends a unique flavor that infuses the dish.  It is somewhat indescribable, though AMFT describes it as prune-like.  This may not sound appealing to some, but I assure you the end result is delicious.

I really enjoy complex recipes from time to time, but there is something great about a recipe that pretty much tells you to throw everything in to a pot and bake it for an hour.  This is the best kind of lazy Sunday recipe, that has a surprisingly elegant taste.  Onions, carrots and potatoes go in the bottom of the pot and the Armagnac is poured around them.  The vegetables become infused with the flavors from the brandy, the onions and the seasonings from the chicken.  The carrots, in particular, took on this amazing sweetness.  I will be adding more carrots next time I make this, because I soon found myself picking them out of the dish!  Delicious!  As for the chicken, it was incredibly moist and perfectly seasoned.  All in all, this recipe is a snap, and versatile enough to be a simple dinner for two or for a small elegant gathering of friends. 

Bon Apetit!
Armagnac Chicken, just after the lid came off of the pot


13 comments:

  1. I'm sorry I didn't use the Armagnac for this recipe, but I have quite a few
    open bottles of brandy/cognac, I didn't want another. That said, sometimes there is a reason for suggesting it in the recipe, it works.
    Your dish turned out great and looks so delicious. Tricia and I had
    a different opinion on this one, but it is nice to try new recipes.

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  2. The carrots were our favorite part of this one too! Your chick looks great!

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  3. Your dish looks great. I used brandy and added prunes to it. Delicious !

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  4. You are lucky finding that Armagnac bottle. I got my first bottle of cognac for another FFwD recipe (the Bistrot Paul's steak frites), and as it is, I've only used it for cooking. I'm all for more carrots!

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  5. I'm glad to hear your perspective on the armagnac. I stuck with cheapo brandy. Armagnac just wasn't in the budget. I'm sure it was delicious, though!

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  6. I stuck with cheap stuff too, but I still thought the meal was amazing. I think I'll add more veggies and the prunes next time. I love it when a meal comes together easily!

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  7. I think this is the new alternative to take out/in for our house! Glad you loved this.

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  8. I'm getting the feeling this recipe is foolproof. I loved how moist it came out, and how easy it was. Delicious! Nice job!

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  9. So Armagnac is literally top-shelf? Interesting to know. I agree with you about the carrots. I picked them out too, and cursed myself for being so literal about the recipe.

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  10. We loved it too! I didn't use Armagnac since I had brandy but wish I had added prunes. I'm with you, the carrots were terrific and we picked them out. Next time triple the carrots!

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  11. I have to admit that I have been so horribly behind in commenting (honestly barely making it through the recipes themselves :) that I only now made it across your blog. It is FABULOUS. I was laughing out loud - yes, in mid forties I do not write LOL...just at your title. Fabulous !! And great info about the Armagnac. I am officially shutting my mouth about complaints re: paying $13 for a small organic chicken :) See you next week ~

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  12. Unfortunately, our local liquor store - not so well stocked... I am sure the Armagnac was wonderful (I sneak prunes in several of my savory dishes & love the mysterious note they add).
    Nice plating on the platter...

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  13. I finally caught up on this recipe this week, so am reading through everyone else's posts. I think yours is the first I've seen to actually use Armagnac - I'm impressed that you went to all that trouble to actually find it! I've made this a couple of times now, using Cognac and it's a great recipe.

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