Returning to the fold…I joined French Fridays with Dorie back in October 2010, right at the beginning. I cooked and baked along with everyone consistently for several months…and then I tapered off…and, eventually, stopped. Not on purpose, not for any reason that I can remember. I just had lots of other demands on my brain, I think, and something had to go.
But I missed it, I missed the fun of cooking “together” with a whole bunch of other people…and I missed the food. So not too long ago I decided I needed to get back into the routine. I may only participate once a month, but that’s okay. As long as I participate. Besides, it’s nice to have someone else decide what’s for dinner now and then!
And to kick off my return, I made this week’s selection, M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken.
Armagnac Chicken is a very simple dish – something you can throw together after work and eat in around an hour. It’s just chicken, onions, potatoes, and carrots, with some herbs and, of course, Armagnac.
First – the carrots. See those in the image above? They’re from our winter garden. Carrots! It’s January! Now, granted, it’s been a very mild winter so far, but even if it hadn’t been those carrots would still be just fine nestled under the ground and sheltered beneath a plastic tent.
Our potatoes are long gone, as are the onions we grew, so that’s it as far as “we grew it ourselves!” goes.
The chicken is about 3 3/4 pounds – the perfect size to fit in our Dutch oven. I tucked the wings under, tied the legs together (ankles crossed – this was a Lady chicken, as Julia might say), and patted the whole thing with a mixture of salt and black pepper (we don’t have white pepper) and a sprinkling of this stuff, just for fun:
Black Truffle Salt. This little bottle was a gift at Christmas, and OH MY is it ever good stuff. So far our favorite use? On popcorn. Crazy good. Earthy and salty and dangerously yummy. So I figured it might be nice added to the chicken. Didn’t really notice it in the final product, but that’s okay. We knew it was there.
So, back to the recipe!
I warmed the onions, potatoes and carrots in olive oil, then moved them to the outer part of the pot so I could add the chicken. (I’d also forgotten to add the thyme and rosemary, so I sprinkled them on at this point, too). I also placed the giblets – neck, hearts (there were two), gizzard and liver – all around on top of the vegetables. And then I poured in the Armagnac.
Only, it wasn’t Armagnac. Not in the budget right now. So I used regular old garden variety brandy. I know the Armagnac would have been better, but that just wasn’t happening this time around. Some day, though….
Pretty, isn’t it?
Into the 450 degree oven – lid on the pot – it went, and a little over an hour later, dinner was served!
I took the little chicken out and made the sauce, as directed. Everything was delicious.
Best of all, both kids liked the whole meal. Alex even liked the potatoes, and usually he avoids those unless they’re in French-fried or chip form. But he loved these – go figure! Thanks, Dorie, for getting my boy to like grease-less potatoes!
Other members of the group will leave their links to their Armagnac Chicken experiences here. Go check them out!