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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
HISTORIC CHICKEN DINNER
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By lindabcooks
Oct. 1, 2013 12:01 a.m.



 

Okay, here it is, as promised.  A chicken dinner for any Sunday.

But this is not my grandmother’s chicken dinner.  Not a whole chicken, unless you buy the chicken in cut it into serving pieces yourself.  Something I do not suggest as it takes up unnecessary time.  I usually go to my favorite meat guy, and have him do it for me.  I am perfectly capable of cutting up a whole chicken myself, but have no time to waste, either cutting or cleaning it up.  I have him cut out the backbone, cut off the wing tips, then cut the rest of the chicken into 8 serving pieces.  I take home the backbone and wing tips for stock.  (I don’t consider making my own stock a waste of time.)

Anyway, this chicken dinner long preceded my grandma, who I think threatened to leave heaven to slap me upside the head if I didn’t make a civilized Sunday dinner. Napoleon’s chef is said to have cooked this either before or after the battle of Marengo.  Versions of the story vary.  But since it was a battlefield dish, his soldiers pilfered most of the ingredients from nearby farms – chickens, eggs, etc.  Don’t ask me where they got the shrimp.

The fried eggs are very trendy.  Who knew Napoleon’s troops would be trendy in an American big city in the twenty-first century?





POLLO AL MARENGO  (CHICKEN MARENGO)

Makes 6 servings

2 ½ pounds chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces





olive oil to film the bottom of the pan

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 cup dry white wine

6 or 12 slices French bread rounds (for crostini)

6 large eggs

6 extra large shrimp

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon (4 tablespoons)



  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet.  Add chicken, and cook, in batches, until golden on both sides. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.  Pour off and reserve the remaining oil.






  • Heat 2 tablespoons fresh olive oil in the skillet.  Add garlic, swirling it around the pan until it is lightly golden, to flavor; discard garlic. Return chicken to the pan; add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and wine.  Cook until the chicken is tender, cooked through, and reaches about 155 to 160 degrees, 30 to 45 minutes.






  • Reheat pan.  Add the bread; cook until golden on both sides; set aside. 






  • Break eggs into pan, and cook as preferred, sunny-side-up or over-easy. Set aside.  Add shrimp to pan; cook until pink.






  • Arrange all the elements on a serving platter:  Place the chicken pieces in the center.  Surround them with the pan-toasted bread (crostini) and lemon wedges. Top half the  crostini with eggs, the   remainder with shrimp.  Sprinkle parsley over everything. 




 

 

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