Dorie’s name for this recipe is M. Jacques’ Armagnac Chicken but I used Courvoisier instead of Armagnac because I’m a high-rolla! Actually I couldn’t find Armagnac at the liquor store so opted for the next bottle of cognac that I saw. Dorie claims “It’s one of those remarkable dishes that is comforting, yet more sophisticated than you’d expect (or really have any right to demand, given the basic ingredients and even more basic cooking method).”
This entire meal should be cooked in a heavy casserole dish, such as Le Creuset, but unfortunately for me, I don’t have one of those yet. It is on the registry, don’t you worry. I want one in at least three different colors! Anyway, I had already bought the $6 mini-bottle of Courvoisier and the rest of the ingredients for this recipe when I read it and realized I didn’t have the correct cookware, so I had to improvise. I used my heavy 13″ x 9″ baking pan and covered the whole thing with foil to trap the steam in there, as I assume a tight-fitting lid would have done. It seemed to work out fine… by that I mean it cooked the chicken thoroughly and left it extremely moist but it did not brown the skin like I would have liked. I ended up taking the foil off and cooking it for an additional 20 minutes beyond the hour required which helped to brown the skin to my approval. I like tan birds, what can I say? This recipe is basically a variation on your standard roasted chicken and potatoes. Aside from the liquor, it uses standard ingredients: one whole chicken, salt and pepper, carrots, potatoes, an onion and a few herbs. The sauce created with the liquor is what makes this specific recipe stand out. Don’t worry, the alcohol will cook out, and you will be left with the taste of sweet prunes and orange blossoms. You’ll also get hints of rosemary in the sauce because a few of those are thrown in whole when you start. All of your ingredients for this dish are chopped before-hand and thrown into one pot. It requires very little preparation and is a good dish to make on the weekend because you have the hour-plus it takes to cook to lounge around waiting for dinner. Another great thing about one-dish dinners like this one is that it feeds two people [insert Shaun and I here] for multiple meals. I used a four pound chicken, 8 carrots and 2 pounds of potatoes so in addition to Sunday dinner, we had two more lunches each! That’s what I call “stretching a buck.”
This recipe can be found in my girl Dorie’s cookbook, “Around My French Table” but you can also find it online. I made major tweaks to this recipe so shoot me an e-mail if you are interested in my spin on it. To see what the other FFwD members thought of this dish, visit the LYL section of the website.