Thursday, January 12, 2012

M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken

A split decision this week ~ our first for 2012 !

Per Nana:

This recipe was fantastic.  I can not remember the last 
time I have cooked a whole chicken, but this was wonderful.  
So moist, juicy and tasty.  

Trying to diet over the years, the favorite diet food was chicken,
 so much so that I truly  dislike the taste of chicken.  

Hubby loves his Popeye's and Kentucky fried, and thank
 goodness  they sell by the piece, but I can do without.
(Except for the biscuits)

But this recipe  is what a chicken should really taste like.
The smallest I could find was about 4 lbs and was fresh, not frozen.  

I cut the veggies and stirred them in the hot oil for 
a bit,  added the chicken and the brandy and let it
all warm before covering with foil in my Le Creuset.
At 450 degrees in the oven without checking for 60 minutes, 
the kitchen was smelling good.   After 1 hour, the chicken was cooked, 
but not very brown so I placed it on a cookie sheet and put it under
 the broiler. I added the water to the pan and prepared the gravy which
 was delicious, and removed the chicken from the oven.

Hubby and I truly enjoyed this and I had a thought about either
 adding some Brussels sprouts or turnips to this mix to make
  it even more of a stew type dish.

I'm sure this is a recipe I will definitely be making again and again. 
 The simplicity of the recipe, and the prep time is wonderful.  
For  anyone who works all day and wants a simple recipe to prepare,
 this is really great.

Per Tricia:
Nana got her chicken done first and I was 
delighted to hear how much she had enjoyed it.
 Not to mention how "time friendly" the prep was.

  I was ready to like it.
  I wanted to like it.
  And then things went downhill.

I saw how much the organic chicken cost compared to the 
roasters that were on sale -more than four times the price. 
 But for French Fridays, I splurged.  
To be honest, a 3 1/2 pound bird doesn't really get far in 
our house - but since this was what the recipe called for I 
considered it lucky that I found the perfect match.  

I used a lovely cognac which probably did not serve its
 best purpose in life by being stuck in a pot with a chicken for 
an hour, but there you have it.   The family was ready to devour
 it  and the  kitchen smelled amazing. But my heart sank a bit as
 we took the  lid off and I saw the lack of color.
 I am a big fan of roasted, crispy, crunchy that bird 
got put under the broiler.  When I plated the meal I was surprised
 as how little flavor it ended up having. Overall, it was nothing special. 
The family agreed.  Nothing bad, of course, just not the added 
oomph that we thought it might have.  Fun to try things a bit differently, 
but I will not plan to revisit this one~


  1. We loved this, too, Nana. I agree - this is how chicken should taste! And the vegetables were perfect.

    Tricia, I've had a few disappointments, too, but I do like trying new things.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  2. I'm with Nana this week, this recipe was a big hit in my house. Simple, juicy, delicious.

    What I find interesting is that, while the two of you had trouble finding a smaller bird, here it is darn near impossible to find anything much bigger than 2 pounds (which is what my little birdie weighed in at). Actually works perfectly for my household since there are just two of us, but if kids come along I will need to learn how to roast two chickens at once.

  3. I enjoyed this one, but it wasn't my favorite. I am with Tricia on prefering the crispy skin that goes along with being roasted uncovered.
    Have a great weekend ladies!

  4. Yes the lack of colour was disappointing - we put ours under the broiler for a few minutes too. I still prefer M Neil's roast chicken and have now said that on at least 2 Dorie posts so I guess I should post the recipe sometime soon, right? Have a lovely weekend ladies!!!

  5. Nana, you broiled yours to perfection...I think that's what I needed to do! Tricia, sorry this wasn't a hit!!! Happy weekend to you both~

  6. Tricia- sorry it wasn't well received in your house! I just took the skin off before I ate it. Nana I'm glad you liked it and found a way to get the chicken crisped up to your liking. We enjoyed this simple recipe and will make it again, maybe try some different veggies in the pot. Enjoy your weekend;-)

  7. I think both chickens look very tasty! Sorry to hear about the lack of browning. Mine also didn't brown as much as I expected, but it tasted great.

  8. I also got a "blonde" chicken, although I admit the only piece I broiled was the leg and thigh I used for my main picture. I used a local chicken - next time I have room in my freezer I'll buy the Costco bundle of three organic ones.

    1. Oh - I forgot COMPLETELY about those little Costco chickens- have bought them before and they are very reasonable. That's what I love about the FFWD- all these great reminders/tips !!!

  9. I too prefer a crispy crust, and as I couldn't bring myself to put a good cognac in with a chicken I skipped this week!

  10. @Nana - I agree that this is what chicken is supposed to taste like - not like those rotisserie chickens you find in the supermarkets which are fine and serve their purpose when you don't feel like cooking dinner or are looking for a little shortcut. I also have a 4 lbs. chicken and it wasn't browned as much as I wanted after 60 minutes, so I left it in the oven, covered, longer. The broiler give is a nice char.
    @Tricia - I am sorry that you were disappointed with this one, but it sounds like the rest of your family enjoyed it and I would like to try this with cognac sometime.

  11. We agree with Nana on the flavor, but also agree with Tricia on wanting a crispy skin. Good idea to broil it a little - we actually did the same.

  12. I thought this was very good, but my chicken didn't brown up too much either. I don't eat chicken skin (yeck) but wanted a pretty bird for pictures. I wish I had been thinking like Nana and had roasted the bird alone so it could crisp up!

  13. I prefer the skin to be a bit burnt too...this dish is so delicious that just the thought of it makes me want to cook this dish again :) Yours looks delicious with the slightly burnt skin...yummy ! I added prunes to the recipe and the taste is intriguing indeed. Like you just said,..the tastiest chicken I have ever tasted ! Thanks to Dorie for sharing Jacques's recipe with us :)

  14. I skipped this week, as I, too, prefer roasted chicken with a little "roast" to it (i.e., crispy on the outside, tender on the inside). Seemed to me that this method would produce a steamed chicken, not a roasted chicken. But, the cognac is interesting - I don't like to drink it (I know, what's wrong with me...), but I do like to cook with it.

  15. Didn't take too long this year to get a split decision :-) We are in the Nana camp of liking the recipe but had problems with the crispy golden skin the recipe promised too. I'm not sure you can really call a chicken cooked in a covered pot "roasted" but our was tasty. We seem to either love or really not love the recipes in this book. Not much middle ground.

  16. I put my chicken back in the oven for a longer roast...just did not have that "done" look, and really never did, but...the flavor was great and the longer roast caramelized the veges and they were better too. I added extra veges and those veges were the best part. The leftover chicken was shredded and turned into BBQ more flavor got added. We are into foods with lots of flavor at our house...the simple foods don't really make it here. My girls and I were talking about this a few days ago...we decided it is the Mexican food influence...lots of flavor, color, etc. We think we need it in everything. But...I like the simplicity of this recipe that I can put into a pot and forget it till it's done. Once in a while that is nice.

  17. I like the idea of finishing this up under the broiler. I loved this because it was so simple. I think it's a great foundation recipe that can be added to. I'll definitely be making it again.

  18. Yay, for Nana! I'm sorry Tricia didn't like it, though. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't get crisp skin out of this recipe. Oh well, at least you tried it. Next week is cake...sure to please! haha

  19. I guess we had the same experience as Nana - it was a huge success and I am not a chicken fan, though my spouse could eat nothing but chicken. I did think that the chicken lacked a bit of color, even with me putting butter under the skin. I think next weeks makes up for it!

  20. We liked the chicken, loved the veggies. My chicken really did not brown very well, either and I thought about the broiler. I will try that next time. Nice post!

  21. Nana, I agree...this is a keeper. My birds were not browned either, but I didn't have time to stick them under the broiler with my hungry crew chomping at the bit. Tricia, sorry it wasn't as fabulous at your house.

  22. It's fun to read your split decisions. And smart of you both to give the chicken a little broiler time.

  23. Mine didn't colour up either, and I although I enjoyed it, it was no more special to me than riasted chicken in special. Love your "Le Peu" brandy - remember Pepe Le Peu from the Warner Bros cartoons? Have a good weekend!

  24. I too had an anemic looking chicken. Should have put it back under the grill. Good, but not WOW for us.

  25. A split decision in your neighborhood, I guess. I'm in Nana's camp. I really enjoyed this recipe: the flavor, the ease of preparation, and the pot full of vegetables. My chicken didn't brown, but I didn't think to put it under the broiler. I'll do that next time, and there will definitely be a next time for this recipe.

  26. Poor Le Peu...stuck in a pot with a chicken! I'm with Nana on this one. We loved it!

  27. Sorry, Tricia. In the Nana camp this time. Although the color was disappointing, I thought that the juiciness from roasting the chicken this way made up for it (plus, not as tempting to eat the skin!).

    I really love reading each of your takes on these recipes - it has to be a lot of fun to compare - and then share with the rest of us!!

  28. Between my husband and I, I loved it, he thought it was pretty good (he probably would have thought it amazing if I added Old Bay). I agree that it was super easy and smelled amazing. My skin crisped up pretty good, might be because after the 60 minutes was done, I turned off the oven and left it in there another 30 or so minutes.

    I love that you all are writing this blog together and comparing your takes, what a great idea!

  29. Broiling is such a great idea! I love that you gals dot his together and the different point of views.

  30. Lack of color seems to be the meme that comes out of this recipe. And yet, everyone loves the taste. I really like the charred up version you showcase so when I make it to night I may just copy you on that. Hmmm....

  31. I agree with both of you...this is what a chicken should moist and flavorful! My chicken didn't brown much and I thought of putting it under the broiler but, we don't eat the skin so I let it go. Definitely on my "go to" list! Both of your chickens look wonderful!

  32. Nana - Your chicken is beautiful. I really wish I had thought to put mine under the broiler. I love when the skin gets almost burnt in places. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Tricia - Sorry this wasn't a hit in your house, you actually managed to get more color on your chicken than I did!

  33. WOW! Both meals look excellent!! I think I'll have to go back & try this recipe!

  34. Interesting perspectives! I made mine last night. My bird really pale, too.

  35. When I've made this, I've used broilers my parents raised - they average between 7 and 9 pounds and are almost the size of small turkeys! I had to adjust the recipe accordingly.

    We were on Team Nana this time. I'd make this one again and again.