Adding shellfish to a meat stew that has tomatoes introduces synergistic umami from the abundance of nucleotides in these ingredients. An excellent example of this type of dish is chicken Marengo. Legend has it that it was created following the Battle of Marengo in Italy in June 1800, when the French led by Napoleon were fighting the Austrians. In order to feed the troops after their victory, Napoleon’s chef, Dunand, sent his men out to forage in the surrounding countryside. They returned with tomatoes, eggs, chicken, and crayfish. The chef created a delicious stew, which so delighted Napoleon that he allowed it to be named after his triumph at Marengo and had it served to him after every battle. The combination of chicken, eggs, tomatoes, and crayfish impart a very intense umami taste. Chicken Marengo
A fricassee is a stew made with light meat—for example, veal, poultry, or lamb—together with a variety of vegetables and, possibly, mushrooms. A classic dish is chicken fricassee, which is rich in umami from the glutamate in the chicken and vegetables and the guanylate in the mushrooms. Served in small pastry shells, chicken fricassee with asparagus is a delicious treat.
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