french fridays with dorie: m. jacques armagnac chicken
I love roasted chicken! I adore Dorie’s Lazy Person’s Chicken that we made for French Fridays with Dorie in November 2010, so I was game for another of Dorie’s versions for roasted chicken.
Once again, the recipe started with a large Dutch oven. My Le Creuset definitely gets a workout with Dorie’s recipes. It was a gift from my sister Jane, so it’s like she’s cooking along with me. Chopped onions, sliced carrots, and quartered potatoes are lightly warmed in olive oil, then, the lightly seasoned chicken is nestled in vegetables with some pitted prunes, herbs (still from my backdoor garden – in January – in New England – what’s up with that?), and brandy (cheap stuff, not actually Armagnac). Cover the pot and bake at high heat for an hour. That’s it!
I had some trouble figuring out how to truss the chicken. Did you? I didn’t plan ahead, and so when it was time to put the chicken in the pot, I quickly looked in a few books, but didn’t find any good pictures or descriptions. I ended up “winging” it, but I don’t know whether I should have bothered.
It would have helped if had read the recipe a little more carefully. I added ALL the ingredients before baking, including the cup of water that supposed to be added after the chicken is roasted. While my chicken was cooked through and perfectly moist, the skin didn’t browned. It was more steamed than roasted. I still consider it a success, but I missed the crispy skin.
The vegetables were a nice accompaniment. The onions melted into a sauce. The potatoes had great flavor from cooking in the chicken’s juices. If I hadn’t had the steaming issue I mentioned, I wonder whether the potatoes might have been crispier like my chicken skin was supposed to be. And, I liked the sweetness that the prunes added to the mix. I also braised some sliced Swiss chard to round out the plate.
I’m looking forward to reading about what my fellow FFwD bloggers thought about this week’s recipe. Check out their links at French Fridays with Dorie. We don’t post the recipes, but I found it on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s website if you want to try this at home. It’s still worth getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. Maybe you’ll even want to cook along with us on Fridays.
Next week’s selection is French version of pound cake: Quatre-Quarts