This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (M. Jacques’ Armagnac chicken, pp 204-205) was one I had been looking forward to for a while. I love a roast chicken – in fact, it’s often our “go to” meal when we can’t think of something else to cook. This way we’ll have leftovers for weekday lunches too Neil does a mean roast chicken involving copious amounts of butter shoved under the skin and nothing has ever quite compared to Neil’s “make it up as you go along but don’t forget the butter” technique. Not even Dorie’s Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux.
This one was another “cook the chicken in the pot” kinda roast chicken involving, in Dorie’s words “basic ingredients and even more basic cooking method.” The bird is popped on top of vegetables which have been ever so briefly sautéed then you pour Armagnac on top of the lot. The bird is covered and cooked at 450˚F for just about an hour (for a 3lb bird). Dorie says the bird will be “beautifully browned” at this point but ours was not. We added some extra booze – Armenian brandy (don’t ask me why we have such things in our liquor cabinet….) and lifted the lid, broiling on low for a few minutes until the bird started to brown a bit.
This was delicious, there’s no doubt about that. The Armagnac “bath” the veggies are cooked in (oh and I guess the extra brandy) made for wonderfully flavourful potatoes, onions and carrots which were even better the next day. The chicken was very good but, in both Neil and my words, “unremarkable”. I wish the Armagnac would have permeated the chicken like it did the vegetables. The chicken was tender but, well.. you see we have Mr Neil’s Roast Chicken (which somehow takes on the flavour of the stuffing too) to compare all roast chickens to. I guess I am going to have to post this recipe at some point, right? In the meantime, this one is a pretty good substitute. I just think, you know, it might need some butter under the skin….
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