Esterházy chicken ragout

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Meat dishes

The Esterházys, one of the oldest aristocratic Hungarian families, were the largest land owners in Hungary and possessed a private fortune even larger than that of the Habsburg emperors whose supporters they were. Several members of the family held important governmental, ecclesiastical, diplomatic, and military posts in Hungary well into the 20th century.

The Esterházy family also produced patrons of the arts, who provided support to musicians, painters and architects. Some of the family members enthused over gastronomy as well, they were passionate about trying new foods and flavours, and that’s why we owe not only the famous cake but also this delicious ragout to the Esterházy family.

Experts of the gastronomy’s history can’t tell exactly who and when created this dish originally (sources mention four Esterházys between the 16th and 19th centuries), but it’s sure that the recipe was first published in the cookbook of Károly Gundel in 1934.

The original Hungarian name of the dish is Esterházy rostélyos, which means that it’s made from beef, using sirloin. Healthy food trends have, however, conquered this meal, too, and nowadays sirloin is often substituted by chicken and turkey.

The sourish-sweet flavour of the ragout sligthly resembles to the hunter style beef; mustard, sugar and lemon juice are the key ingredients that make the ragout special and outstanding. Density of the sauce depends on your taste: add less flour and sour cream if you want a thin sauce, while more flour and sour cream make the sauce thicker.

Esterházy chicken ragout
Esterházy chicken ragout – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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