Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Chicken Elisofon

Gypsy Rose Lee and Eliot Elisofon cooking in a kitchen.

Gypsy Rose Lee and Elisofon preparing a dish.
George Karger. 1946. © Time, Inc.

"Wilson Hicks, the picture editor of LIFE, gave a dinner for returning war correspondents (World War II) at the Waldorf Astoria which included Robert Capa and Eliot Elisofon. It was suggested that I do the menu, and after a meeting with Oscar I suggested a chicken dish I liked to make which has Hungarian antecedents. I gave Oscar the recipe, he tried it, liked it, and named it Chicken Elisofon on the menu."


Two broilers, about 3 lbs. each, cut in quarters with fat trimmed off.
2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes with basilico and juice.
1 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced parsley with stems
1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup diced sweet pimento
1/2 pint sour cream
1 cup flour
1/4 lb. butter
1 tbsp. diced garlic (not too small)
1 level tbsp. paprika
10 drops Tabasco
Salt and pepper

Lightly dredge chicken with flour and some of the salt and pepper in a bag. Sauté with garlic and butter in skillet until golden. Separately, sauté sliced or quartered mushrooms, also with some garlic. Place all other ingredients and chicken and mushrooms in a casserole or iron pot, mixing Tabasco, paprika, additional black pepper and salt into the sour cream. Gently work throughout contents by stirring. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for one hour and fifteen minutes. Serve over broad egg noodles or steamed rice with a salad and a Beaujolais wine.

--Eliot Elisofon

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