FFwD: m. jacques’ armagnac chicken

Hello Doristas. This is my first post as I’m sure you know already.  Actually I made the brioche last week but didn’t post.  Typical me it took me a week to decide on a name for my blog.  By the time the name seemed right it was too late.  I’ve spent entirely too much time trying to figure out how to create a blog and how to post.  Tsimmis  is a Yiddish word I’ve always heard meant “to make a fuss” especially when making food. While trying to come up with a name that felt right I came across a website that defined it as “a tempest in a teapot”.  Well that settled it right there.  My mother and grandmother must have described me a thousand times as being or making a tempest in a teapot.

         First, to gather the ingredients together.  I absolutely have to do this or I will forget to put something in. I did use Armagnac.  Seeing it on the ingredients list reminded me of the night almost thirty years ago during the first year of our marriage when my husband came home lugging a big cardboard box (actually I think there were at least three boxes).  A client who was going out of business gave him a gift of some of the liquor from the store.  We unpacked the boxes of colorful, dusty bottles of liquors most of which we had never heard of.  The bourbon, Irish whiskey, and a few others are long gone but there was that unopened bottle of Armagnac still sitting in the cabinet where I put it all those years ago.  The cork was so dried out it broke when I opened it.  I must say the sip I took did not taste of prunes to me.

I usually prefer recipes that have lots of steps.  M. Jacques’ Armagnac Chicken was certainly not that kind of recipe but of course “tempest” that I am I tried to make it that way.  Put the vegetables and herbs in the pot with a little olive oil , and stir around. Then put in the chicken and pour the Armagnac over the chicken, close the pot and pop in the oven for an hour.  As soon as I closed the oven door I realized I had forgotten to add the prunes so out it all came again to add them.  I think I got side-tracked by trying to take pictures of the process.

The aromas that filled my kitchen were fabulous.  It was a shame that I was home alone but as I was trying to make dessert while the chicken cooked it was probably just as well.  At the end of the hour my chicken was done but just a pale as when it went in the oven.  Since it was going to be awhile until dinnertime and I needed to complete the steps with the sauce, I took the chicken and vegetables out of the pot and returned the chicken to the oven where it browned perfectly.

Since it was still going to be at least an hour before everyone got home for dinner I decided to plate the chicken and vegetables and take the picture before husband and daughter came home.  I don’t think  they would have wanted to wait to eat and I suppose I shouldn’t be taking pictures after the candles are lit.  My chicken carving skills are not such that I would want to demonstrate them at the table either.  So picture taken, the chicken returned to the kitchen to be carved and held until everyone arrived home weary and ravenous.  I must say this held incredibly well.  I’m sure I will make this again as we all enjoyed it and took my ubiquitous Friday night chicken to another level indeed.  Next time I may try it with chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken.

I finished off dinner with bread pudding with lemon sauce made with the brioche loaf from last week.  I don’t think my brioche had quite the right texture but as bread pudding it was wonderful.  A wonderful dinner to end a another week and to start a great new adventure.  Thank you for letting me join you in cooking our way through Around My French Table.  Just reading all your posts has made me a better cook.    Blogging is certainly harder than cooking at this point but my children assure me I can do it.



  1. Welcome aboard! What a great first blog post. Your chicken looks fantastic in that last photo. I hope you have fun cooking and sharing with us.

  2. Welcome to French Fridays! I have the same problem; I often spend more time trying to figure out my blog or photo than I spend on the food! You’re chicken browned nicely:) Mine didn’t:(

    • Thank you for the encouragement! Thought I would go crazy trying to get the pictures placed and the blog wrapped around. The chicken only browned because I put it back in the oven while I made the sauce.

  3. Welcome and lovely name ! I wish I had taken a week to figure out our name 🙂 Nana and I knew nothing about blogging when we started this adventure and I quickly ran through a variety of names trying to find one that blogspot accepted as “unique”. I had no idea what a pain that having a ridiculously long web address would be – but thank goodness for cut and paste 🙂 Your chicken looks amazing. You really nailed it in getting the color right. That was where this dish failed for me. And my mouth is watering at the thought of the bread pudding- let alone with yummy lemon sauce. I am not sure if my brioche turned out correctly but I adored it and ate WAY too many……..

  4. nana

    Welcome to FFWD. Tricia and I have been posting our recipes for a little over a year, and
    it is a lot of fun. As for blogging, I am clueless. If not for Tricia’s help on many things,
    I would be lucky to get the photos posted. Your chicken looks beautiful, so brown, and
    the veggies look good too.

  5. Waves hand. Hi!
    Welcome aboard to FFwD and the world of blogging! This is a great group to start out with – hang in there, you’ll find your voice and figure it all out!
    Look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. Welcome! Your first post is great! I love the story about the 30 year + bottle of armagnac you happened to have around! LOL! Your chicken looks like a success. I really enjoyed this week’s recipe too.

  7. Welcome to the group! I’ve learned so much this past year and had such a great time. The picture taking definitely adds a complicating dimension to the cooking process, but it is rewarding as well. Your first post looks great!

  8. Welcome to FFWD! I enjoyed your first post and the chicken looks delicious! Hope you have fun with the Quatre-Quarts cake for this week.

  9. Welcome!! I can tell you I spent two months tweaking and working with my posts on wordpress before I figured it all out and was able to just write! Our group has loads of fun and Im sure you will enjoy every morsel!

  10. Welcome! It’s time to have fun. I joined this past year and really enjoy it. I make the suggested recipe no matter how weird or foreign the ingredients sound and you know what? We’ve enjoyed them all! Good luck!

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