The Story of Chicken Marengo.
Napoleon had just routed the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in Northern Italy. But it had been a near run thing. After the battle, Napoleon was hungry, so he dispatched his personal chef, Dunand, to fix him a meal.
The supply wagons were still far from the battlefield so Dunand went scrounging. He found a chicken, some mushrooms, tomatoes, crayfish from the local river, some hard army biscuits, and two fresh eggs and so on.
He roughly chopped the chicken with a saber, since his field kitchen was with the supply wagons, and then prepared the chicken with the other ingredients in a cast iron pan taken from a farmhouse, over a camp fire.
Napoleon was impressed with the meal and demanded that he eat it after every battle.
Actually, while that is a good story; the real story is that the a restaurant, likely in Provence, since the dish is closely related to Chicken à la Provençale, created the meal in honor of Napoleon’s victory.
4- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
½ Cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Cup chopped white onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
16 Oz diced canned tomatoes
3-4 shrimp per piece of chicken
3 tablespoon butter
1 egg per person being served
1 slice French bread, toasted per person being served
Season the flour with salt, pepper, and thyme, dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a pan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Using the same pan over low heat, add garlic and onion to the hot oil and sauté until softened, Add mushroom and sauté about 3 minutes. Add wine and tomatoes to pan, return chicken, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes on low to medium heat or until chicken is completely done.
In another pan, heat remaining oil and cook shrimp until done. Remove from heat.
To fry the eggs, melt butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Break the eggs into the pan careful not to break the yokes. Continue cooking until done. Yokes should be slightly runny.
To serve, divide the sauce between plates. Place chicken breast and shrimp on top with the fried egg and toast alongside.