So as we all know (if you read the blog), life is not the most exciting at the moment- I’m on a detox and reading a book that I hate. Life is good otherwise, even in my ice cream-less, wine-less state, but reading a bad book is bringing me down. That’s why, I have promised myself that I have to finish it this week. Given that I’ve been thinking of any excuse not to read it, including developing a slightly worrying addictive to SongPop and Words with Friends on my phone, I’m a bit concerned that this goal might be a bit ambitious.
But, I’m drawing a line in the sand. I have to, I’m tired of the book, I want to see the movie and I want to read something else. I don’t know what it’s going to take, but I’m going to get it done. And to spur myself on and kick off my week of reading, I made Chicken Marengo for dinner tonight…..
Now before I get into Chicken Marengo and how it relates to Les Mis, I have to tell you that I’m a bit sad. I’ve had to put Sunday night dinners are on hold for the next few weeks due to our yoga challenge– which actually I’m quite enjoying. I think yoga could make me a better person- not sure how but it feels like something that has the potential to. Anyway, we do a 5pm class on Sunday, which means it’s virtually impossible to have people over for dinner and go to yoga class. It’s a bit of a shame, because I enjoy the class, but can’t do both, clearly something to figure out long term, but in the short term, Sunday Dinner is on hold. They’ll be back on March 31st with a pre-birthday, post detox, Easter extravaganza…. or something. I still cook on Sundays, but it’s too hectic to have people over, and do yoga, and cook. Anyway, slight digression….
So tonight, I made Chicken Marengo, because I’m going to finish Les Mis this week, I hope. I’m 85% of the way through, and fingers crossed, it will be done by this time next week. Chicken Marengo is supposedly what Napoleon ate after the Battle of Marengo. According to Wikipedia, (and tradition), “Napoleon demanded a quick meal after the battle and his chef Dunand was forced to work with the meager results of a forage: a chicken (and some eggs), tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil, and crayfish. The chef cut up the chicken (reportedly with a sabre) and fried it in olive oil, made a sauce from the tomatoes, garlic and onions (plus a bit of cognac from Napoleon’s flask), cooked the crayfish, fried the eggs and served them as a garnish, with some of the soldier’s bread ration on the side. Napoleon reportedly liked the dish and (having won the battle) considered it lucky. He refused to have the ingredients altered on future occasions even when his chef tried to omit the crayfish.”
So- the connection is that Les Miserables is from 19th century France, and so is this dish. Yes, it’s a tenuous connection at best but, hopefully it will be the inspiration I need to power through the last few hundred pages (sigh!). One little known fact about Chicken Marengo, I made it at Summer Camp one year, don’t ask me what year, but it was when I went to a Summer Language Camp (because that’s the sort of thing that you do when you’re grow up in DC- slightly pretentious, but very educational!) I think I was pretty young, and to be honest, I remember making Chicken Marengo more than anything else about the camp (sorry Mom!) Well, enough procrastinating, I have Les Mis to finish… but just in case you’re wondering- Chicken Marengo is very tasty. It’s basically Chicken with onion, mushrooms, tomato, and brandy, it’s gluten free- unlike the homemade bagel I wolfed down this morning! (shhhhhhh, it was a special occasion!)
..how can you go wrong?? It was super tasty!