Chicken Marengo

Course : French
Serves: 4
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3 pounds ready to cook broiler chicken -- quartered
2 tablespoons salad oil
2 medium onions -- chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup consomme
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 clove garlic -- crushed
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 piece bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound mushrooms -- sliced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 slices French bread -- fried in butter

Preparation / Directions:

In a large, heavy skillet, cook chicken in heated oil until browned on both sides. Add onions, and cook until onions are slightly browned. Sprinkle with flour, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add consommé, wine, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until meat is tender. Remove chicken to heated serving dish and keep warm. Add mushrooms to skillet. Cover and cook over low flame for 15 minutes. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with slices of fried bread. Comments: At the end of the Eighteenth century, under the Directoire, there opened in Paris a restaurant called "Les Trois Freres Provencaux" ("the Three Provencal Brothers") which was owned, as could be expected from the name, by three brothers who came from the Provence region. The restaurant, located in the Palais-Royal, the heart of the French Revolution, became famous overnight. The addition of spicy ingredients to Parisian cooking was a revelation to the patrons. Members of the Directoire and the Assemblies, army suppliers, even "nouveaux riches" and lovely ladies "de peu de vertu," crowded the new restaurant. The Provencal brothers were among the few great cooks and gourmets who at that time restored French cuisine, nearly killed by the "Spartan brew" of the Jacobins, to a high degree of excellence. They created many dishes which are now part of everyday cooking. One of the best liked is chicken (or veal) Marengo. It was so named in honor of the victory the then General Napoleon Bonaparte won during his campaign of Italy. Recipe Source: THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING by Fernande Garvin

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