Napoleon’s chef was ordered to cook a sumptuous meal on the eve of the battle of Marengo. He gathered everything possible to make a feast, and this was the result.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 chicken pieces
- 300 g/10½ oz passata (tomato paste)
- 200 ml/7 fl oz/¾ cup white wine
- 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 8 slices white bread 40 g/1½ oz butter, melted
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed oz
- 100 g/3½ mixed mushrooms (such as button, oyster, and ceps)
- 40 g/1¾ oz black olives, chopped
- 1 tsp sugar fresh basil, to garnish.
- Using a sharp knife, transfer the bone from each of the chicken pieces.
- Heat the in a large frying pan (skillet). Add the chicken pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, or until browned all over.
- Add the passata (tomato paste), wine the mixed herbs to the frying pan (skillet). Bring to the boil and then remove to simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the juices run obviously when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
- Mix the melted butter and crushed garlic together. Lightly toast the slices of bread and brush with the garlic butter.
- Add the remaining oil to a separate frying pan (skillet) and cook the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes or until just brown.
- Add the olives and sugar to the chicken mixture and warm through.
- Change the chicken and sauce to serving plates. Serve with the bruschetta (fried bread) and fried mushrooms.
If you have time, marinate the chicken pieces in the wine and herbs and leave in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This will make the chicken more tender and accentuate
the wine flavor of the sauce.
Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar
A rich caramelized sauce, flauoured with balsamic vinegar and wine gives this chicken dish a piquant flauour.
- 4 chicken thighs, boned
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 200 ml/7 fl oz/¾ cup red wine
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp oil 15 g/½ oz/
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 shallots
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme salt and pepper cooked polenta or rice, to serve.
- Using a sharp knife, make a few slashed in the skin of the chicken. Brush the chicken with the crushed garlic and place in a non-metallic dish.
- Pour the wine and white wine vinegar over the chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove the chicken pieces with a perforated spoon, draining well, and reserve the marinade.
- Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan (skillet). Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften.
- Add the chicken prices to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning, until browned all over. Reduce the heat and add half of the reserved marinade. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, adding more marinade when necessary.
- Once the chicken is tender, add the balsamic vinegar and thyme and cook for a further 4 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken and marinade to serving plates and serve with polenta or rice.
To make the chicken pieces look a little neater, use wonder skewers to hold them together or secure them with a length of string.