Julia Child’s Napoleon’s Chicken
Recently, a cooking channel featured Julia’s popular napoleon’s chicken recipe. She related the fable of the Chicken Marengo recipe’s origin as created by Napoleon’s chef from the ingredients he had with him when they were at the battle of Marengo. Since it was the Italian countryside where he was trying to regain control from Austrians, the food items available there included crayfish, chicken, olives, olive oil, eggs, bread, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, local herbs, wine, and cognac. The food was definitely fit for an emperor!
- Chicken: 1 (uniformly cut into pieces for frying)
- Dry white wine: ¼ cup
- Olive oil: 4 tablespoons
- Medium-sized Onions: 2 (diced)
- Brandy, or preferably Napoleon’s Cognac: 1 tablespoon
- Garlic: 2 cloves (crushes)
- Tomatoes: 2 lbs (seeded, peeled, cored and diced)
- Italian Seasoning: 1 teaspoon
- White Mushrooms: 8 large (caps with stems)
- Extra virgin olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Dry white wine (once again): ½ cup
- Shrimp: 12 large ones (shelled and deveined)
- Sliced Italian Bread: 8 rounds (each slice should be ¼ inch thick)
- Eggs: 4
- Parsley: 1 teaspoon (freshly chopped)
- Salt: According to your taste
- Black pepper: According to your taste (freshly ground)
- Black olives
Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a chicken fryer. Heat the oil on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add the chicken and cook it until it is browned well on every side.
Next, you need to add white wine and cover the fryer. Let the chicken cook for 10 minutes. Add cognac and onions, and let the chicken cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the cooked chicken to a platter.
Rid the mushrooms of the stems. Dice the caps and reserve them. Spoon a little grease from the pan, and sauté mushroom stems and garlic. Next, you need to add some white wine, Italian seasoning and tomatoes, stirring up the chicken bits. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Bring it to simmer. Return the pieces of chicken to the skillet, letting it fold into the tomato sauce. Next, you need to reduce the flame a little, cover the skillet and let everything simmer gently for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
Add some extra virgin olive oil and white wine to a sauce pan and heat it. Add the mushroom caps you preserved into the mixture. Toss them slightly until they are tender. Be careful not to overcook them or make them too soggy. The mushrooms caps must be white and hold their shape. Set the cooked caps aside, and keep them warm.
Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan, and heat it gently. Fry the bread lightly until it turn brown. Put the bread pieces on paper towels and set them aside, preferably in an oven to keep them warm.
Put shrimp into hot oil for frying. Fry them for 1 to 2 minutes until they curl up. Put them on paper tower to soak up extra oil. Set them in an oven to keep warm.
Put generous amount of extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan and heat it. Cook each egg in the hot oil individually for about a minute. Stir lightly to keep the egg together. Take each one out and set on paper towel to drain.
Putting the entire dish together
Set the cooked chicken pieces on a platter. Put the tomato sauce over it, and garnish it using black olives.
Place the croutons around the chicken. Put eggs on crouton, and use parsley for garnishing. Put three shrimp on the remaining croutons that aren’t covered with eggs. Serve and enjoy!