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Chicken Marengo Add to ...

Legend has it that after winning the battle of Marengo in Italy, Napoleon wanted a celebratory meal but all the cook could find was chicken, eggs and bread. This dish was the triumphant result. It is rich and tasty and perfect for a dinner party.

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  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes
  • Ready time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4


4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

¼ cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup chopped canned or fresh tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon tomato paste


½ cup olive oil

200 grams (3 cups) small mushrooms, halved or quartered if large

4 eggs

4 slices toasted brioche

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut each breast into 2 pieces and season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown each side, about 3 minutes per side, remove from skillet and reserve. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened, then add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Add wine, stock, tomatoes and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Stir in tomato paste. Return chicken to pan on top of sauce, skin side up, and bake for 15 minutes or until juices are clear.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high and sauté mushrooms for 4 minutes or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from oven and stir in mushrooms. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the eggs.

Heat about ½ inch of oil in a small skillet over medium-high to about 350F. Add eggs one or two at a time and fry for 2 minutes, ladling a little oil over the yolks, or until eggs are browned and crispy at the edges but yolk is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon and continue frying remaining eggs. Divide chicken between four plates, top with sauce, garnish with a fried egg and a brioche toast and sprinkle with parsley.

Suggested Wine Pairings

The battle of Marengo took place in the region of Piedmont, so I have a hunch about what Napoleon might have sipped with that chicken: barbera. That's the high-acid workhorse red of the region and should pair nicely with Lucy's recipe. But my personal preference would be for a dry, crisp white such as Gavi, which also comes from Piedmont. Soave or Friulano are other good options. -Beppi Crosariol

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