French Fridays with Dorie: M. Jacques’ Armagnac chicken

Dorie Greenspan's M Jacques Armagnac chicken from Around my French TableThis 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.

Result?

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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50 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: M. Jacques’ Armagnac chicken”

  1. Always tricky when you already have the perfect recipe. I felt this way about the Matafan; good but not as good as my regular pancakes. For me, since I have not yet perfected roast chicken, I am loving Dorie’s recipes because they produce such juicy meat. Not so crispy skin (mine didn’t brown either) but darn tasty meat.

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  2. My chicken did not brown in the first cooking hour either. I was very lazy and left it over low heat in the stove for hours – that took care of the armagnac flavor in the meat. What I really learned this week is that I need a Dutch Oven larger than my 5qt. Oval seems to be the best shape for roasting chicken!

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  3. I broiled mine, but should have done it longer…I didn’t get the browned chicken of which Dorie spoke, either! Yours looks gorgeous, but we need Mr. Neil’s recipe 🙂

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  4. This was very tender & moist – but I kept comparing it to Dorie’s lazy roast chicken. And well, butter makes all things wonderful.
    I wish we had broiled or roasted ours with the top off for a while – I couldn’t help but miss the golden skin 🙁

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  5. Okay it seems self-service for ME to say this, but…”mine” is better as leftovers, specifically the legs and wings (on the bone pieces). 😉

    I liked the Armagnac flavour; I think in future I’d try marinating a lemon or even some bread chunks in it, and place as stuffing. Would need longer marinating time, but some of that flavour may penetrate the bird more. Or, well, just squirting some inside and under the skin. 🙂

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  6. I also agree that the flavor on the veggies was better than the chicken but on the whole it was a fantastic dish and I am glad I tried it out. I added prune which makes it even more delicious 🙂

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  7. When you already have a perfect recipe, it’s hard for any other to compete. It’s like how I keep trying new chocolate chip cookie recipe, and all I really want is Toll House. Nothing ever seems as good. Butter makes everything better. Now, butter AND brandy…that might be the best yet.

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  8. Those veggies are scrumptious looking and I agree, they were delicious leftover too.
    The chicken was very tasty and moist, but I had to put it under the broiler for a bit of
    color. Those photos make me want to make another very soon.

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  9. Well, looks like this recipe has a very high standard to measure up. I agree that it is a great no-fuss convenient dish with a bit of flair. But if I want to go all out for the best roast chicken I can muster, there are plenty of other options…

    Yours looked great after broiling!

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  10. Other than uncrispy skin, the simplicity of this recipe was unbeatable. There are just so many delicious ways to roast a chicken. I wish I’d thought to broil the skin to brown it up. Next time.

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  11. I like the way your broiled your chicken to brown it up a bit. We really enjoyed this recipe, it was moist and flavorful for us. I’d love to try Mr. Neil’s recipe!

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  12. this does look beautiful – and there is nothing quite like a one-pot meal on a cold, snowy evening – but having had mr. neil’s chicken, it did have a lot to live up to! something about all of that butter and those herbs tucked under the skin and roasted perfectly . . . mmmm . . . think i might have to put that on the menu this week . . .

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  13. Armenian Brandy ? Yes please 🙂 How fun. And I am so looking forward to your sharing Mr Neil’s recipe. I didn’t mean to be too harsh in my own review of this chicken….but while it was moist I just need something crispier….and the important thing about this group is that we “keep it real”. And everyone knows how much Nana and I adore Dorie- this was nothing personal for me and simply a preference for more “crunch” 🙂 BTW we joined the new Tuesdays Group- hope to see you there !

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  14. Bonjour Mon Ami!

    Lovely chicken – roasted chicken is my go-to meal as well. I think of it as pure comfort food, and the left overs make a wonderful soup! Have not thought of using Armagnac when roasting, and am sure I would be in trouble if I bust open the bottle we brought back from Gascony, to put on a chicken; but, I may sneak and give this recipe a try. After all, Dorie has never let me down!

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  15. Your blog is really beautiful! We liked this a lot but the chicken was pale, too. So easy.

    I am really looking forward to your butter chicken recipe, though, if you post it!!

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  16. as always your photos are stunning! our chicken didnt brown either but we were too hungry to worry about it. We just went ahead and ate it but we all agreed that the sauce was amazing and the chicken meat could actually use quite a bit of flavor. So we are going to have to work on a solution when we make it next time! Glad you enjoyed yours mostly! 🙂

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  17. Pingback: Mr Neil’s Roast Chicken from Eat.Live.Travel.Write | FoodNetwork
  18. I made the Armagnac Chicken twice and asked a friend, CIA grad, to make it also and the chicken didn’t brown for either of us. Is there anyway to ask Dorie Greenspan what her secret is? She makes such a point of saying the chicken will be brown in the recipe. I tried to e-mail her from her website, but it bounced back.

    Reply

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