One of the dishes that our Account and Creative Executive, Art Reker, swears by is a savory French dish by the world’s most famous chef, Julia Child. Historically, it’s rumored to be the dish that Napoleon Bonaparte ate after the Battle of Marengo in 1800. So take a bite out of history and try out this delectable chicken dish!
Julia Child’s Chicken Marengo (Napoleon’s Chicken)
1 chicken cut into pieces for frying
4 tbsps olive oil
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1 tbsp of Napoleon’s cognac (or brandy)
2 medium onions, diced
2 lbs peeled, cored, seeded and diced tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (Julia used a garlic press.)
1 tsp Italian seasoning, c/s (This is exactly what she used from a jar!)
8 large white mushroom caps with stems
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ cup dry white wine
8 rounds of ¼” thick sliced Italian bread
(Julia used a loaf of square sliced white bread, removed the crusts, and cut it in half into triangles.)
12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
(If you can find large crawdad tails, use them!)
1 tsp chopped, fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rinse and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large seasoned skillet (a chicken fryer with 3” to 4” high sides) over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken and brown well on all sides.
Add white wine, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac and flame. Add onions, cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove chicken to platter.
Remove stems from mushroom caps and dice. Reserve caps. Spoon some grease from pan. Sauté garlic and mushroom stems. Add tomatoes, white wine, and Italian seasoning stirring up all the chicken bits. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a high simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet, folding into the tomato sauce. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a saucepan over high heat with EVOO and white wine. Add the mushrooms. Toss lightly a few times until they are tender, but not soggy or overcooked. The caps should be white and retain their shape. Set aside and keep warm.
Heat a frying pan with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil (may need more) until hot, but not smoking. Lightly fry the rounds of bread until slightly browned. Set them aside on paper towels. Keep warm in oven.
Add the shrimp to the hot oil and fry until they just curl up, about one-two minutes. Set them aside on paper towels. Keep warm in oven.
Heat another saucepan over high heat with EVOO at least an inch deep. Poach the eggs one at a time in the hot oil for a minute or so, lightly stirring with large spoon to keep egg together. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towel to drain.
Putting it all together
Set chicken pieces on serving platter. Spoon the tomato sauce over the chicken pieces and garnish with black olives.
Place the eight croutons around the chicken. Place an egg on every other crouton and garnish with parsley. Place three shrimp on each of the other four croutons.