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Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo was invented by one of Napoleon’s cooks as the general’s first meal after the Battle of Marengo, which Napoleon considered his greatest victory. The original recipe included crawfish, but that has disappeared from most modern versions. Since we have crawfish here, I’ve returned it.

Grilled chicken breast, garlic herbs lemon

  • 1 whole fying chicken, 3- 31/2 lbs.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 2 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 medium, firm tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 cup Louisiana crawfish tails

1. Cut the chicken into the standard pieces. Combine the flour with the salt and Creole seasoning and mix with a fork. Dust the chicken pieces with the flour mixture to coat thoroughly but lightly. (You probably won’t need to use all the flour.)

2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.

3. Add the chicken pieces and brown, all round. Add the brandy and (if you like and are very careful) flame it off. (You can also just let it boil mostly away.)

4. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring the pan to a light boil, then lower to a simmer and cover. Cook on the lowest heat for 50 minutes, turning the chicken now and then.

5. After 50 minutes, add the mushrooms, crawfish tails and lemon juice. Cover and continue simmering for another ten minutes.

6. Place two pieces of chicken per person on plates. Adjust salt and pepper in the sauce and serve around and over the chicken.

Serves four.

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