A once-popular dish, Chicken Marengo, used to be the trendy dinner option across Europe. Why not relieve history with this classic, super varied chicken dish with all kinds of interesting flavors in it?
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Chicken Marengo was supposedly created in the wake of the battle of Marengo to feed Napoleon after his victory.
However, most people know it is primarily because of its slightly weird array of ingredients, as well as its appetizing appearance.
Unfortunately, it has a bit of a reputation as a sort of old-fashioned dish that isn’t worth ordering.
This recipe brings back this classic chicken dish and holds true to many of its frankly very weird yet surprisingly tasty ingredients.
Chicken Marengo Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Chicken thighs, bone-in with skin on
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
• all-purpose flour
• Vegetable oil
• Pitted black kalamata olives
• Green pepper
• Chopped tomatoes
• tomato paste
• White wine
• Chicken broth
• Red pepper flakes and garlic powder
How To Make Chicken Marengo
• Wash and dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel
• Season the chicken with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder, to taste, and lightly dredge in flour, shaking off any excess
• In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add in the chicken
• Brown on both sides until golden, about 3 minutes per side
• Remove from the pan and set aside
• Add in the mushrooms and onions, cooking over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, remove and set aside
• Turn up the heat, and add the wine to deglaze the pan and let it reduce for 2 minutes
• Add the chicken broth
• Add back in the mushrooms and onions, followed by the tomatoes, tomato paste, green peppers, olives, and garlic, simmering for another 3 minutes
• Add the chicken to the pan, cover, and cook for 25 minutes or until they reach 185 Fahrenheit
• Season to taste with salt & pepper
• Turn the heat off and stir in the butter to help form a gentle emulsion and serve
Why Cook The Chicken To 185 Fahrenheit?
This recipe, like so many others that involve chicken thighs or any other dark meat, recommends that you cook the chicken until it reaches 185 Fahrenheit.
This might sound strange to many people that are familiar with cooking chicken because the safe temp of chicken is only 165 Fahrenheit. This is the temperature that salmonella is completely destroyed at, so why cook it anymore?
Well, unlike chicken breasts or other cuts of white meat, dark meat is filled with tasty fat and some not-so-tasty connective tissue. However, once heated long enough and hot enough, the connective tissue turns into gelatin and falls apart.
This is why chicken cooked to 185 Fahrenheit produces such a fall-apart texture; it is almost like barbeque! It goes super well in this dish or any other stewing, slightly wetter chicken dishes.
Why Does This Dish Contain So Many Varying ingredients?
The first thing that many people will probably think about seeing this recipe is how strange the ingredients are.
Peppers and olives? Wine, peppers, mushrooms, and chili flakes?
Well, be thankful it stops before it gets too traditional; it used to be even weirder!
The original recipe for Chicken Marengo contained, alongside the apparent olives and tomatoes, a multitude of crayfish and was topped with fried eggs!
Supposedly, this was a result of the fact that Napoleon, who had just won the battle of Marengo, was starving and wanted a quick dinner.
Seeing as a big battle had just happened, there wasn’t exactly a lot of good quality food sitting around for his chef to play around with.
So, being the enterprising fellow he was, he rounded up what he could and made this slightly strange concoction. Napoleon loved it so much, he insisted on being served it after all his battles!
In fact, the wine in this recipe is a recent addition – when the chef later tried to add wine to the recipe when the supply issue was resolved, Napoleon refused! He said it would be bad luck.
Not to worry in our case, though; the wine is a great addition of flavor, sweetness, and acidity, and we don’t have to worry about winning any more battles in the morning!
Looking for more delicious Chicken Thigh recipes? Try these out:
Enjoy! I really hope that you’ve never heard of this and have a great new chicken dish to try!
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- Prep Time
- 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 30 minutes
- Main Course
- French, Italian
- Karlynn Johnston
- 6-8 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted black kalamata olives
- 1 green pepper seeds removed and cut into strips
- 1 pound mushrooms sliced
- One 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- pinch red pepper flakes and garlic powder
- Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towel.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic powder, to taste, and lightly dredge in flour, shaking off any excess.
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the chicken.
- Brown on both sides, until nicely golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. You may have to do these a few at a time, that's ok.
- Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, remove and set aside.
- Turn up the heat, and add the wine/wine to deglaze the pan and let it reduce for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth.
- Add back the mushrooms and onions. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste, green pepper, olives, and garlic; simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the pan, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until they reach 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the butter. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.