Sunday, February 19, 2012

Poulet `a la Marengo

Hello World!  This past Friday night I made one of our favorite dishes.  So, I thought I would take the opportunity to share it with you.  Without further ado, here is today's recipe. 

It is Poulet `a la Marengo.  Don't let the French name scare you.  It is super easy and extremely delicious.  It does take a little time to prepare, but it is so worth it.  I have found with French cooking the lower the heat the better the dish.  It's a slow cook, but the aroma will fill your house with delight.

A little background:  the dish was named by Napoleon Bonaparte after he won the Battle of Marengo.  According to tradition Napoleon demanded a quick meal after the battle and his chef Dunand was forced to work with the meager results of a forage: a chicken, some eggs, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil, and crayfish. The chef cut up the chicken (reportedly with a sabre) and fried it in olive oil, made a sauce from the tomatoes, garlic and onions (plus a bit of cognac from Napoleon's flask), cooked the crayfish, fried the eggs and served them as a garnish, with some of the soldier's bread ration on the side. Napoleon reportedly liked the dish and (having won the battle) considered it lucky. He refused to have the ingredients altered on future occasions even when his chef tried to omit the crayfish.
Source:  good ole Wikipedia

This is a modern version that doesn't have the crayfish...thank goodness, I'm not a big fan.

Poulet `a la Marengo
8 pieces chicken, skinned (Important:  Use chicken that has the bone in.  I have cooked versions with and without the bone and the dish without the bone had a horrible texture)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
2 cups dry white wine
2 14-1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 teaspoons dried thyme
24 ounces mushrooms, washed, dried and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil

Sprinkle the skinned chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in one skillet on Medium heat and gradually add half of the chicken pieces.  In another skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on Medium heat and gradually add the rest of the chicken pieces.  Brown the chicken on all sides and remove from the skillets.
When all the chicken has been browned, add half of the onion and 2 garlic cloves to one skillet and cook on Medium heat, stirring occasionally for five minutes.  Do the same with the other half of the onion and the other 2 garlic cloves in the other skillet.  Add 1 cup of white wine to each skillet and scrape any bits clinging to the bottom and sides of the skillets into the wine.  Add one can of tomatoes to each skillet as well as one bouillon cube respectfully.  Add 1 teaspoon of thyme to each skillet and add the browned chicken pieces back in dividing up between the two skillets.  Cover the skillets and simmer on Low heat for 30 minutes. 
Add 12 ounces of mushrooms to each skillet and continue cooking with the lids on for 15 minutes on Low heat.  Stir in the chopped herb just before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

If you are only using 4 pieces of chicken, make the dish in one skillet only using half of the ingredients listed above. We usually serve potatoes, a fresh vegetable saute as well as some bread with this dish.  Here are a few savory pictures to whet your appetite.






That's it for Poulet `a la Marengo.  Thank you for popping in for a visit.  I hope all of you lovelies enjoy making your own Poulet `a la Marengo...it's also really good the next day after it has been in the refrigerator overnight.  Make sure you warm it up in a pot over a low heat.  Much better than the microwave.  Have a grand day and remember to be kind to one another. 

Bon App├ętit!

Toodles,
Kathryn 

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