Ella Fitzgerald's Chicken Marengo

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

Singer
1917 – 1996

Ella Fitzgerald, or “The Queen of Jazz” was born in 1917. She was a legendary jazz singer and considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists of all time. Her versatile and virtually perfect voice can be heard on over 200 recorded albums, of which a significant number have entered the history books.

During her more than 60-year long career, Fitzgerald was awarded a plethora of awards as testament to her talent, including 13 Grammy Awards.

However, music was not her only interest. Ella Fitzgerald was also a very passionate cook – and owned a large collection of cookbooks which, today, can be found at Harvard University. Here is her favourite dish: Chicken Marengo – a traditional French chicken stew named after Napoleon’s victory at the battle of Marengo.

Photo credit: William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

Ella Fitzgerald's Chicken Marengo
Clarifying notes by Ankarsrum are marked in red

Ingredients

Portions: –
Metric
US
2 boneless chicken breasts (450–700 g)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tbsp minced fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp brandy
100 ml diced canned tomatoes
4 tbsp chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped crayfish or shrimp
1 tbsp butter
2 eggs
2 slices French bread (toasted)

Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).

Step 2

Season the chicken breast with salt, pepper and thyme.

Step 3

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the chicken and brown for 2 minutes per side until the chicken breast turn a golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan and roast it for 20–25 minutes in the oven.

Step 4

Using the same frying pan over low heat, add garlic to the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes to soften the garlic. Deglaze the pan by adding the brandy. Then add tomatoes and chicken stock and simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.

Step 5

Add crayfish (or shrimps) and cook until slightly opaque, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Step 6

To fry the eggs, melt butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Break the eggs into the pan and immediately reduce the heat to low. Continue slowly cooking until the whites are completely set and the yolks are still runny.

Step 7

To serve, divide the tomato and shrimp sauce between 2 plates. Place a chicken breast on top with the fried egg and toast alongside.

Tips!

Serve the Chicken Marengo with a home made toast bread. 

Recipe on following page.

(Recipe from Ankarsrum)

SEED COVERED TOAST BREAD

Ingredients

Portions: –
Metric
US
4 1/4 cups milk
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp active dry yeast fresh yeast
7 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp salt
12-13 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup salted butter, melted

Brushing and decoration

1 egg
Poppy seeds or sesame seeds

Directions

Step 1

Assemble the Assistent with the stainless steel bowl, dough knife and dough roller. Heat the milk to 37 C (105 F) in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Step 2

Dry yeast: Add the milk and yeast to the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until the milk and yeast are combined. Turn off the Assistent and let stand until the yeast blooms, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Fresh yeast: Crumble the yeast in the bowl, add the milk, and run the Assistent on low speed, positioning the dough roller next to the edge. Run until yeast is dissolved.

Step 4

Add butter, sugar, salt and 1/2 of the flour. Mix on low speed until dough begins to come together, position the arm toward the center as needed, to help blend the ingredients more efficiently. Slowly add the remaining flour until 1 cup is left.  If the dough is too sticky, keep adding a small amount of flour until a soft non-sticky dough is achieved.

Step 5

Adjust the assistents speed to medium.  Lock the arm in place 1–2 inches from the edge of the bowl.  Set the timer for 8 minutes to knead the dough.  Place the cover on the bowl and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 6

Place the dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a loaf and place on a baking pan lined with baking paper. Brush the sides of the loaves with melted butter, making it easier to separate them after baking. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Step 7

Preheat oven to 225 C (425 F). Brush with the whisked egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 8

Cover the bread with a towel and let cool on a wire rack.

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