BIG TONI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Pollo alla Marengo (Napoleon’s Chicken)            Feb 2018

The Battle of Marengo was fought in June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Napoleon was the victor.

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The night before the battle, Napoleon's cook was unable to find the wagons containing the supplies and was forced to wing it using appropriated chickens from a local farm. 

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Napoleon loved the dish and it became known as chicken Marengo, and it's said that Napoleon enjoyed it from that day. I can understand why, it is an easy and flavourful dish that tastes almost as good as a glorious victory.

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For 4 people you will need:

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  • 1 free range Chicken
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Plain flour
  • Half a glass of Italian White wine
  • Chicken stock
  • Freshly chopped parsley.

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How to make:

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Joint the chicken into 8 pieces. Seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg 

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Sauté the pieces in a large pan in the butter and oil 

Once the pieces are browned on all sides, drain off the fat.

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Sprinkle the meat with a level tablespoon of flour, and dredge it with 1/2 glass of dry white wine and 1/2 cup of broth This keeps it from drying out.

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Cover the pan, and simmer the chicken until done 15 to 20 minuets.  Before serving, sprinkle it with chopped parsley and a squeeze half a lemon.  This is a dish fit for any Emperor or family.

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Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, and again briefly in 1815 (during the Hundred Days). Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. One of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.