Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo 2I don’t want ordinary.  It’s not in my nature…

What an easy dinner for a pretty April day a retro family style dinner that I think I made for the first time in the in the late 60’s-70’s and now I find numerous versions to peruse, but I hardly glance at a recipe since it is such an easy saucy chicken dish.   My first recipe came from Julia Child another one from Craig Claiborne and it appears that many of us add little touches according to our own tastes or family recipes.

We enjoyed a Romaine leaf salad with tomatoes, crispy pancetta, fresh herbs and dressed with a homemade herb dressing and a side of seasoned roasted baby Dutch potatoes.  As you can see someone likes a lot of sauce, but there is chicken under the sauce!

Chicken Marengo
Servings: 4

1 chicken, quartered and seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, as needed
1/4-1/2 cup red or white wine
1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes in sauce (I used Cento)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1-2 Portobello mushrooms, gills removed, sliced into 1 inch pieces, 2 shrooms for mushroom lovers
1 medium carrot, small dice
2 medium celery ribs, small dice
1/4 large sweet onion, small dice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley a little for the sauce and some for garnish
a few fresh basil leaves
a pinch or two of fresh thyme leaves
*optional small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Prepare a quick sauce:  Add about 2 tablespoons EVOO to a medium-sized sauce pan, sauté  the veggies and garlic for a couple of minutes, splash in the red or white wine and reduce for a minute or two.  Add the tomatoes smash-up little with a spoon and when the sauce begins to bubble turn heat to low, toss in a tablespoon of parsley, cover and simmer for 25 minutes stirring now and then.  Remove lid and cook down for a few minutes until thickened.  Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir to melt, puree the sauce and strain through a food mill for a smooth sauce.  I like to just whiz it up with an immersion blender, I don’t strain the sauce.  Cover and set aside off heat.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat add about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil sauté the chicken until golden,  move the chicken to a smaller skillet or baking dish and finish in a 350º oven (my chicken pieces took another 10-15 minutes to cook through).  While the chicken is roasting, remove some of the oil in the sauté pan, add a tablespoon or so of butter reheat the sauté pan and sauté the mushrooms for several minutes until they brown a bit.  Add about 1 3/4 cups sauce to the mushrooms, stir in and heat thoroughly.  Place the hot chicken pieces on a serving platter and spoon sauce over, garnish with a little fresh chopped parsley.