Chicken Marengo, Napoleon’s favorite

Chicken Marengo, Napoleon’s favorite

Have you ever thought about favorites of men who ruled the world centuries ago? They were powerful and invincible. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of them. So what was his diet? What did he like to eat? Maybe there was a magic in the combination of food or he was that clever that knew if eating healthy meant a lot to his well-being and strength. In fact Napoleon Bonoparte was not a gourmand. He tended to eat quickly, rarely spending more than 20 minutes at a meal. He often suffered from indigestion as a result. He preferred a good soup which he liked to eat very hot and a good piece of boiled beef to all the complicated and succulent dishes which his cooks could make for him. Boiled or poached eggs, an omelette, a small leg of mutton, a cutlet, a filet of beef, broiled breast of lamb, or a chicken wing, lentils, beans in a salad were the dishes which they habitually served at his breakfasts. Napoleon was not a big drinker. With his meals he took wine diluted with water. At the top of its food list was Chicken Marengo, which still exists as a recipe even though modified a little bit.

 Chicken Marengo


  • • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, each cut into two or three pieces
  • • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • • 1 tbsp plain white flour
  • • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • • 100 g mushrooms, sliced
  • • 150 ml dry white wine
  • • 150 ml stock
  • • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • • 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • • 150 g long-grain rice
  • • 2 eggs


Cooking method

Heat a frying pan and add the oil. Dab the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel and coat thinly with flour. Sauté over a medium heat for five minutes.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a medium-sized, lidded saucepan. Add the onion and mushrooms to the frying pan and sauté these for around six minutes. Once tender, add to the saucepan. Take the frying pan off the heat and add the wine, before pouring this enriched wine into the saucepan.

Add the stock, garlic and tomato purée to the saucepan and stir well. Bring it to the boil and then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the sauce is reduced. Meanwhile, cook the rice and fry the eggs.

Serve the chicken and sauce on a bed of rice. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with a fried egg.


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