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CHICKEN MARENGO RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

Springing into Easter . . . . .

Battle of MarengoEaster is here, which in the northern hemisphere means it is springtime and what better way to celebrate this than with a truly special gourmet chicken dish. Give the Sunday roast a rest this week and go for something a little different.

This week's recipe is for a classical dish called Chicken Marengo. It was created by Chef Dunand, the chef to Napoleon. Legend has it that after the battle of Marengo on 14th June 1800, Chef Dunand created this dish to celebrate their victory and it came about out of necessity more than design. With only food stuffs he could scrounge, he ended up creating a masterpiece of a dish that you will still find on many menus today. He is said to have served it with the hard 'ship' biscuits that were the norm back then, in place of this we are serving it with toast.

Chefs have always had a thing for serving a dish that features both chicken and egg. Why? Well as a poet once penned:

"The chicken is a funny bird, or so it is said.
You can serve before it is born or even eat it dead.
"

This dish however does just that. It is a basically a chicken sauté or casserole, with a couple of neat twists to it. Fresh water crayfish is not in everyone's budget, but that is not to say you can't just leave them out and enjoy the remaining dish anyway. I do hope you will try this because, with or without the crayfish tails, it truly is wonderful. Hardly any wonder then that this dish has survived and been popular for over two hundred years.

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Chicken Marengo

Ingredients

chicken pieces
8
pc
olive oil - virgin
sq
onions
1
pc
garlic cloves
2
pc
white wine
200
ml
tomato - tin of
300
gm
tomato - large
1
pc
thyme - fresh
sq
eggs
4
pc
crayfish tails
4
pc
French stick
1
pc

Method

  • Cut the French bread at a 45° angle in 2 cm thick slices, toast to an even golden brown on each side, set aside

  • Heat some oil in a pan and lightly brown the chicken pieces and set aside

  • Heat a good quantity of the olive oil in an oven proof pan

  • Add the chopped onions and allow to cook without colour (sweating) over a low to medium heat until they start to soften

  • Add the crushed garlic cloves and continue sweating until the onions are fully softened

  • Add the white wine and simmer until it has reduced by approximately half

  • Add the tinned tomatoes and bring to a simmer

  • Add the browned chicken pieces, bring back to a simmer and place in the oven (covered) at 160°C for 40 minutes

  • Add the crayfish tails on top of the chicken and continue cooking until the chicken and crayfish tails are cooked (approximately another 20 minutes)

  • Remove from the oven, remove the lid and simmer on top if required to reduce the sauce so it has thickened slightly

  • Stir in some chopped fresh thyme and the chopped fresh tomato

  • Season if required

  • To serve, place a couple of the toasted slices on the plate, top with two chicken pieces and a crayfish tail per person

  • Spoon over some of the sauce and finish with a fried egg on the top

Chef's Tip:

Fresh tomatoes can of course be used, but unless you can get large, juicy, sweet ones I prefer to replace them with tinned tomatoes and just add a roughly chopped fresh tomato at the end.

Enjoy your chicken and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

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