FFwD: Armagnac Chicken

After my complaining about the time commitment involved in last week’s recipe, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy and hands off this recipe is. It required a trip to the store, but other than that, eat was extremely easy. I actually made my first trip to the liquor store in I don’t know how long, for this recipe. The recipe calls for Armagnac which comes from a special grape in France. Dorie also said that cognac or brandy could be substituted. My mom always told me that orange juice could be substituted for brandy, and I think that’s the only thing I would have done differently.

I went to the liquor store looking for a small bottle of Armagnac, but our local store didn’t carry it, so instead I walked out with the smallest, cheapest bottle of cognac I could find! I wasn’t really worried about quality since it was going into a hot pan with veggies and chicken! When I worked in the food industry I served liquor, and so I was pretty used to the smell, but it’s been so long, that when I opened the bottle, it took me back to Sunday dinners at my grandpa’s house. I can still remember him putting his brandy snifter over a steaming cup of water to warm it up. It’s amazing the memories that are associated with smells.

As for the chicken, I cooked chicken halves so that I wouldn’t need to do a lot of carving. It really was delicious. The cognac flavor wasn’t strong enough to make me head to the liquor store, but I’m excited to have this as a method for cooking chicken. Next time I’ll sub out orange juice or apple juice, but if you can have a complete dinner in a little over an hour, with hardly any hands on work, I’m all for it. Plus, my kids devoured it! Delicious, delicious dinner!

Oh, and I know the picture doesn’t look that appetizing, but I find it really challenging to take  nice looking photo of chicken!

*What is French Fridays with Dorie? An online cooking group dedicated to working our way through Dorie Greenspan’s newest book, Around My French Table. We try a new recipe each week and post about it on Fridays. If you’re interested you can pick up a copy of the book and follow along with us here.

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  1. Your chicken looks good and I like how you made this recipe work for you. I’ve never heard about subbing in OJ for brandy but it makes sense. I also like the idea of roasting the chicken in smaller pieces for one or two people, will have to try this;-)

  2. I think your photo looks good. I hadn’t heard of substituting orange juice for brandy, but the idea of adding orange as another dimension of flavor to this recipe is intriguing!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. I never heard of subbing oj for brandy either, but it’s a good tip to have in a pinch. Isn’t it great when you find a recipe the whole family enjoys? My little man wanted nothing to do with this, but at least he tasted it. More for me.

  4. Clever girl to make chicken halves – I like it.

  5. wow, I swear our trip to the liquor store was the exact same experience! Thanks for the tip on substituting with orange or apple juice. I think I’ll try apple cider next time around!

  6. I love your idea of cooking chicken halves, although I admit that if I hadn’t set aside my lunch portion, I would have eaten more than just a leg and thigh. From what I read, this is very kid friendly, so I might have to try to make it next time my godsons come over.

  7. I was actualy going to tell you the chicken photo turned out pretty great – especially considering the chicken didn’t have much of a chance for a tan! Great idea to do the chicken halves. There was only one bottle of Armagnac between three markets that I went too – for some reason not so easy to locate in southern California.

  8. Mine wasn’t very photogenic either. I find meat in general pretty difficult to photograph. But it tasted wonderful, and as you said, it was darn easy to make. Both of which count for way more in my book than camera readiness.

  9. I think that is a great photo of your chicken. You know, I think I remember my mom saying the same thing about subbing orange juice for brandy, but completely forgot about it until reading your post. It’s so true how smells will evoke memories – love that!

  10. I agree! Chickens don’t photograph well! Orange juice sounds like a good substitution, probably better than the brandy I used.

  11. I had no idea about the OJ subbing for brandy either! I like that idea. And I think your photo looks delicious!

  12. I actually love the idea of the apple juice- great idea. A couple of folks mentioned the concept of putting in apple chunks and Calvados and thought this sounded fab. I missed the crispy skin for sure but have to admit this was definitely moist.

  13. I actually think your chicken was rather photogenic. Your bird’s skin looks very crispy! How nice that the smell of the brandy reminded you of your grandfather.

  14. This wasn’t an easy one to get a pretty shot 🙂
    Glad this was a hit for you!

  15. I’m always more receptive to hands-off recipes. This one was a winner in my book. Yours turned out delicious looking!

  16. I think your photo looks great! We really loved this dish…so moist and flavorful! We enjoyed the flavor the cognac added.

  17. I will be interested in knowing if you get a “roasted” chicken “look” without using the brandy. I just used a cheap brandy and, of course, I doubled the dose, but I could really taste its influence and I like that.