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Chicken Marengo


There's a story that says this dish was served to Napoleon on the day he defeated the Austrians on the battlefield near the village of Marengo in northwest Italy, mid-June 1800. The original recipe contained chicken cooked in oil, tomatoes, a little water, and garlic. The chicken was served with local steamed crayfish and fried eggs as garnish. Back in France, the dish became popular with the addition of mushrooms, thyme, and white wine. If you'd like, you can add uncooked crayfish or shelled uncooked shrimp in the last 10 minutes with the mushrooms. You can also substitute chicken breasts or chicken parts, skinned or unskinned. Serves 4-6.

1 3-lb ready-to-cook chicken, cut up
4 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c chopped onion
1/2 c dry white wine
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley (or 1 tbsp dried)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb mushrooms
Croutons, fried or baked in butter or oil

Rub chicken pieces with 1-1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; dredge in flour. Brown in oil on one side. Add onion and turn pieces to brown on the other side. When well browned, pour in wine and boil until wine reduces to about half.

Stir in puree, garlic, and parsley. Cover and cook slowly for 20 minutes. Add thyme and mushrooms; cook 10 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning. Transfer chicken to platter surrounded with croutons; pour
pan gravy over.

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