January 24, 2010

Chicken Marengo (Poulet á la Marengo)

Apparently Napoleon (Bonaparte… yes, that’s the one) liked to fight on an empty stomach.  (No eating before fighting!)  In 1800, when Napoleon’s army won the Battle of Marengo, he had his personal chef whip up a victory dinner. 

The chef fried up a chicken along with some tomatoes, garlic and onions.  He added some crayfish and a shot of cognac and put that on a big piece of bread.  He topped the now-famous dish with a fried egg, and voilá, Chicken Marengo was born!

The dish really hit the spot with Napoleon.  He considered it his lucky charm (because after all, he had just won the Battle of Marengo) and had his chef make it again and again.

I found several recipe variations for this dish.  Some recipes called for black olives, some for green olives, or no olives at all.  Some called for prawns or shrimp.  Some recipes had you brown the chicken first and others called for braising it… no browning allowed. 

I figured pretty much anything goes (and Napoleon isn't around to argue with me).  Here this is my version of Chicken Marengo… based on several recipes I found on the interwebs.




  1. I have never heard this dish but the background on it and the look of it has me wanting it!

  2. Karen: My mom used to make a dish by the same name, but the sauce was some sort of soup and was awful. I never ate it again after I left home.

    Yours looks and sounds really tasty and I'm going to give a try this next week.

  3. Karen this looks gorgeous and sounds scrumptious. We've had a version of this often. It's a wonderful entree for family or guests.

  4. sounds like a winner,,, rumor is Napoleon had stomach issues, that's why the hand on the stomach when he posed for paintings.

    He did like bland food

  5. Karen, it looks soo good!

    You've jogged my memory... dh's grandmother used to make a version of this dish. I would love to make it again. Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  6. I love the background history of this dish and can't wait to try it!

  7. Ole Bonaparte eh. Well I like his chef, what a very good meal he made up. I am a science teacher at my kids' school but worked as a nurse several years before kids. When the headmaster at the school found out I had my degree in nursing he asked if I could teach biology and science. It is a fun job, very part time, only 6 hours per week and I get to see my kiddos. I even teach my oldest. I am still an RN but currently not practicing anywhere- for money anyway ;-) but I do have to take care of all my family and friends!!

  8. This dish sounds soul satifying. Served with a good glass of wine and the meal is considered top notch. I like it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Napoleon was an interesting guy. I feel like he was the kind of dude who thought that being hungry while fighting fueled his resolve to win...so he could go home and eat!

    This dish looks delicious. I would consider requesting after winning a war.

  10. Karen I love your version of the dish, I have never seen this either but am glad you have though! Love the history behind it and the fact that the dish is versatile.

  11. I love this dish Karen and the history must intensify it's flavor by making wonderful dinner conversation too! Interesting!


Thanks for visiting... I love to read your comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...