Friday, January 13, 2012
FFWD - M. Jaques Armagnac Chicken
M. Jacques Armagnac Chicken is the perfect dish to represent the the intent and beauty of Around My French Table; food that pairs the elegance and technique of French cooking with the comfort and warmth we enjoy sharing food with those that we love the most.
This is as simple as throwing a chicken into a pot with some vegetables and wine, slapping a lid on and then letting it cook for an hour. In re-reading the last sentence, the visual I paint is of one rushed/possibly angry cook. A self-portrait, perhaps? Dorie would have written something like: A well-seasoned bird is lovingly nestled on a bed of vegetables that have been gently tossed in oil and kissed with herbs. Cover the pot with a lid and place in a piping hot oven for an hour while the flavors marry and mingle. Oh-so-carefully remove the lid and stare in wonder at the terra cotta color of the chicken as you breathe in the lovely aroma from the sauce that was magically created.
Please, please know that I'm not making fun of Dorie. Nor do I think I could write as beautifully as she does. Her incredible ability to write recipes that give the reader the feeling that she is standing there beside them is why she is my absolute favorite cookbook author.
The wine here is armagnac but I wasn't willing to shell out $$$ for a bottle of booze that I may never use again and used Dorie's option of brandy. I don't particularly like prunes, but wanted to try using some here. As luck would have it, earlier in the week a co-worker was walking around offering up individually wrapped prunes as a snack (so many jokes there but I'm going to leave it). I took four and used them here. They didn't melt into the sauce as Dorie said they may, but they did impart some sweetness.
My chicken didn't brown up as well as I had expected but was tender and juicy. I have a terrible time skimming fat (again, using incredible self control to leave the obvious jokes alone) and just left it in. The vegetables and the sauce were the best parts of dish. Perfectly cooked, the veggies were super flavorful, especially when scooted around in the sauce.
Easy, elegant, and French. Like I said, the poster child for Around My French Table and Dorie herself. You can find the recipe here.
To see the lovely creations prepared by rest of our group, visit French Fridays with Dorie.