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The Napoleon Series > Resources > 18th And 19th Century Society

Chicken Marengo

By Martin Liechty and Dominique Contant

The following background information is from a posting in the History Forum by Dominique Contant:

Marengo is more often quoted in the 'Parisian bistros' than in the French books of history. Dunand, cook of Bonaparte, had at his disposal only some local ingredients which he knew how to prepare in a completely convincing way for Bonaparte. The name of 'Marengo way' remains, even though today the variants are numerous: one prepares them with chicken, rabbit or veal.

The original receipt also contained crayfish from the Bormida, briefly poached in the white wine. The onions sauce or white pickling onions are rarely fresh in France. The Italian cultivated this onion especially in the north of Italy and are intended mainly for the food-preserving industry. You have to use pickled onions rinsed under cold water.

Dunand decorated the dish with 'soldiers Biscuits', today, replaced by toast. Chicken Marengo without toast, is not the true Chicken Marengo. TOAST is a must!!!.....

Recipe: In all the good books of cuisine... chicken, flour, butter, garlic, dry white wine, chopped tomatoes, hen bubble, parsley and basil, nutmeg, white mushrooms, small fresh onions, slices of bread for toasts, fresh eggs


  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add chicken and quickly brown on all sides. Add onions and cook until onions are slightly browned. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add the water, wine, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove chicken to serving dish and keep warm. Add mushrooms to skillet and cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Pour mushroom mixture over chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Can be served over rice or pasta.

Makes 6 Servings

Serving Size: 8 ounces

Nutrients per serving:

  • Calories: 192
  • Total fat: 7 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 49 mg
  • Sodium: 350 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Protein: 22 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2 grams