- 2 ½ lb chicken
- 7 oz mushrooms
- 3 ½ oz extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 half cup Madera wine
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 lemon
- 1 small bunch parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
30 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking
Divide the chicken into pieces (if you are using legs only, separate the thighs from the legs).
Clean the fresh mushrooms thoroughly or soak the dried ones in water.
Add about 1 tbsp of oil to the water and cook the mushrooms.
Season to taste.
In a pan, cook the chicken pieces in the remaining oil. Once they are browned, season with salt and pepper and add the white wine. Complete the cooking. Spoon nearly all the cooking juice into a small saucepan. If it is too thick, dilute it with a little water.
Add the flour and Madeira wine, thus obtaining a smooth thick gravy.
Add the mushrooms to the chicken, cook for a few minutes, pour in the gravy, then transfer the whole thing into a hot dish and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and a drizzling of lemon juice.
The recipe for Marengo chicken is closely tied to the history of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Marengo is the name of a city in the region of Piedmont in Northern Italy where Napoleon’s French troops won one of their most important and prestigious battles against the Austrians on June 14, 1800. According to legend, Napoleon did not eat during battle, but once the fighting was over this time, he ordered his chef, a Swiss man named Dunand to prepare him a victory meal. The chef did not have any ingredients because his food carts had fallen in the hands of the Austrians. Therefore, he was obliged to collect ingredients from local farmers and improvised a chicken dish with mushrooms and river shrimp. He called the dish Marengo chicken. Napoleon loved the dish and, for both gluttony and superstition, he ordered his chef to make the same dish after every battle, making this recipe famous even today.
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