Poulet á la Marengo (download printable PDF)

This dish was created to celebrate Napoleon’s Victory at Marengo. It was served as an
Entree at a Victorian formal dinner.

Ingredients

6 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
6 shallots
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon
salt
fresh ground black pepper
pinch white granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sauce
2 bouquets garnis–each made from 3 or 4 sprigs parsley or chervil, 1/2 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 white portion of a leek, and 2 cloves, placed inside several celery stalks and tied with string.

Utensils

knife and cutting board
measuring cup
measuring spoons
deep frying pan with lid
strainer
scissors
string
cookpot
lemon reamer

This dish is seasoned to taste. Make the 2 bouquets garnis. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Strongly season the olive oil with salt and black pepper. Juice and strain half of the lemon. Make the brown sauce (see the recipe below). The dish can be prepared up to this point in advance. Warm the serving plate in the oven. Heat the seasoned olive oil in the frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides, turning them often so they don’t burn. When the chicken is well browned, add the garlic, shallots, and the 2 bouquets garnis. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and place them on the warm serving plate. Place the plate back in the oven to keep the chicken warm. Add the tomato paste and the brown sauce to the oil in the pan. Stir well and strain into a clean cookpot. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well and adjust the seasoning if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and serve hot. The sauce can also be served on the side.

Traditionally Brown sauce is made with white stock (see the recipe below). Store bought chicken stock can be substituted, but the sauce will not as rich.

Ingredients for the Brown Sauce

2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) butter
2 shallots
1 medium carrot
3/4 cup chopped, lean ham
3 whole cloves
pinch ground mace
12 black peppercorns
2 sprig parsley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 1/2 cups white stock (see the recipe below)

Utensils for the Brown Sauce

knife and cutting board
measuring cup
deep frying pan with lid
strainer
wooden spoon
spoon
bowl

Make the white stock (see the recipe below). Peel and chop the shallots. Chop the carrots and ham. The dish can be prepared up to this point in advance. Melt the butter in the frying pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and the ham and cook until all are evenly coated with the butter and browned, but do not burn them. Gradually add the stock, spices, and herbs. Use the wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover the frying pan with a lid and gently simmer 40 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl and skim off any excess fat. Makes about 1 cup.

Ingredients for the White Stock

1/2 lb. lean ham
2 lbs. leg or neck veal with bones
2 lbs. lean stew beef
2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) butter
8 cups boiling water
2 1/2 cups cold water
2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 medium turnip
3 celery stalks
8 garlic cloves
6 white peppercorns
2 large pinches ground mace
2 bouquets garnis–Each bouquets garnis is made from: 3 sprigs fresh parsley or chervil, 1/2 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 sprigs fresh basil, 2 sprigs fresh marjoram, 1 white portion of a leek, and 2 cloves, placed inside several celery stalks and tied with string.

Utensils for the White Stock

knife and cutting board
measuring cup
measuring spoons
2 large soup pots
teakettle
spatula
large spoon
sieve
cheesecloth or infuser
ladle
string
scissors

To make the stock–make 2 bouquets garnis. Peel and chop the onion and 2 garlic cloves. Chop the carrot, turnip, and celery. Cut all the meat into thick pieces. Peel the remaining 6 garlic cloves. The dish can be prepared up to this point in advance. In the teakettle boil the water. Melt the butter in the soup pot on the stove over medium high heat, and fry the meat until it is brown all over. Be careful not to burn the meat. Add the bones and gradually pour in the boiling water. Bring the soup back to a boil and skim off all the scum that rises to the surface. Gradually add the cold water to help the scum rise. Be sure to skim off all the scum. When the scum is removed, add the vegetables, bouquets garnis, 6 cloves garlic, white peppercorns, and mace. Cook 5 1/2 to 6 hours. This could be done in a crock pot set on low overnight. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and strain the soup. Allow the soup to get completely cold, then remove all the fat from the top.