Only hesitantly could the old powers agree on a common action against revolutionary France. After the “first coalition” was forced to peace by the clever tactics of the French, it took years before Russia, Great Britain and the Habsburg Empire reunite against France.
After initial successes in northern Italy, they faced General Napoleon again, who was already then surrounded by the nimbus of invincibility.
In the Battle of Marengo, a village in the province of Alessandria, he finally defeated his opponents completely on 14 June 1800.
After the battle, the victorious general was hungry, but in the confusion of the battle, the kitchen cart and all supplies were lost. So Durant, Napoleon’s personal cook, sent some soldiers to get him something to eat. According to legend, they brought him a chicken, mushrooms, onions and some river crayfish.
From these the master conjured up a dish that is still known worldwide today under the name “Chicken Marengo”.
Napoleon so savoured the dish that Dunant had to prepare it again and again. The list of ingredients was not allowed to be changed and in the course of time it became a kind of lucky charm for Napoleon.
According to a tradition, the emperor had the dish prepared without crayfish before the battle of Waterloo. The result is known …