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Chicken Marengo

April 12, 2023

The name of this dish already sounds like a celebration, and once you make this simple one pot chicken recipe with tomatoes and mushrooms you’ll be celebrating too!

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homemade chicken marengo topped with fresh parsley in a skillet made with mushrooms, shallots, diced tomatoes and spices
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Chicken Marengo, A Dish With History

Chicken Marengo, not the first thing you think of when you hear the name Napoleon, right? But the chicken Marengo original recipe was Napoleon's favorite dish. It’s a simple one pot meal that highlights some of Italy’s best ingredients–tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh herbs serve as the backdrop for this chicken and mushroom dish.

ingredients for chicken marengo in prep bowls: bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, mushrooms, shallots, diced tomatoes & spices

Chicken Marengo Ingredients

It’s the summer of 1800, and you are Napoleon’s chef. Your authentic chicken Marengo recipe features specialties from the region. There’s olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs because this is Northern Italy. There’s also chicken, eggs, crayfish, and reportedly truffles made their way into this dish. Fast forward to The Modern Proper kitchen in 2023 and you’ll find our recipe for chicken Marengo contains:

  • Chicken thighs

  • Canned tomatoes and tomato paste

  • Olive oil

  • Mushrooms

  • Garlic and shallots

  • Herbs and seasonings

  • Dry white wine

  • Chicken stock and AP flour

  • Fresh orange Zest

bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs seasoned with salt being cooked in olive oil in a skillet until golden brown
mushrooms, shallots and spices being cooked in a skillet for chicken marengo

How To Make Chicken Marengo

  1. Brown the chicken in a large skillet, and then remove from the pan.

  2. Cook the mushrooms and shallots until soft, and then add the herbs and seasonings.

  3. Make the simmer sauce: Add the wine and cook, stirring, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. In a small bowl, combine the bouillon, flour, and chicken stock; mix until smooth. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, orange zest, bouillon mixture, and remaining salt to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  4. Nestle the chicken into the sauce, and cook until the inner temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  5. Serve! You can scoop this over rice or noodles, with crunchy bread on the side.

chicken marengo sauce being cooked in a skillet made with mushrooms, shallots, stock, tomato paste, orange zest & spices
chicken marengo cooking in a skillet made with mushrooms, shallots, diced tomatoes, orange zest and spices

What Is Chicken Marengo?

Here’s one to put in your Jeopardy research files under Culinary History for $400. Alex Trebek voice: This iconic chicken and tomato dish was created by a French chef in a town in Northern Italy from ingredients he found in the countryside. Your finger is on the buzzer and you correctly respond: “What dish is named after a Napoleonic battle?” The full chicken Marengo origin story is a classic example of necessity being the mother of invention. When Napoleon, victorious and battle-weary, demanded a celebration meal after defeating Austrian troops near the town of Marengo, his chef scoured the surrounding area for ingredients. He returned with a chicken, tomatoes, herbs, eggs, and crawfish. The recipe has evolved over time, and we have pared down the original chicken à la Marengo recipe to suit the modern pantry.

homemade chicken marengo topped with fresh parsley in a skillet made with mushrooms, shallots, diced tomatoes and spices

What To Serve With Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo is delicious on its own, but we like to prepare a side of Garlic Bread for dipping into the savory tomato sauce. Marengo chicken is great over White Rice, pasta or egg noodles (check out our guide for How To Salt Water if you’re making pasta). We also suggest a side salad, like our Caesar Salad or Mediterranean Wedge Salad. If you’d like to venture out on your own salad journey, we have a roundup of all of The Best Homemade Salad Dressings. We also recommend vegetables to serve with chicken Marengo, like Creamed Spinach or Zucchini Bake, with our best chicken Marengo recipe.

homemade chicken marengo topped with fresh parsley in a skillet made with mushrooms, shallots, diced tomatoes and spices

Tools You’ll Need

Chicken Recipes For Any Occasion

Whether you’re celebrating a good day at school or a work win, this easy chicken Marengo recipe makes any meal feel special. Here’s some other great one pot meals for your weeknight dinner plans:

chicken marengo in a skillet topped with fresh parsley next to bowls of white rice and garlic bread

Chicken Marengo–For Winning Battles Or Hearts And Minds

We hope your family loves this Marengo chicken recipe. Share your dinner win with pictures and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Chicken Marengo

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 614

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • Cooked rice, pasta, or egg noodles, for serving (optional)
  • Garlic bread, for serving (optional)
  • Minced fresh basil or flat leaf parsley, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons of the salt.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the chicken skin sides down. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook until browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Reserve 4 tablespoons of fat in the pan.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms and shallots to the fat and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

  4. Add the wine and cook, stirring, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the bouillon, flour, and chicken stock; mix until smooth. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, orange zest, bouillon mixture, and remaining salt to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes.

  5. Serve chicken over rice or noodles with garlic bread on the side. Sprinkle chicken with basil.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories614
  • Protein42 g
  • Carbohydrates14 g
  • Total Fat39 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol190 mg
  • sodium1189 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Chicken Marengo

Questions & Reviews

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  • Judy

    To make chicken marengo for 16 people, should I make it in 3 different skillets? Can I use a large le creuset pot to cook it in. I have 2 large le creuset dutch ovens and 1 large iron skillet. If I cook it 1 day ahead how long should I reheat the 3 pots/pan in the oven. Will it take longer to reheat because I'm doing a large amount.

    Since it is 3 pounds of meat per batch, I personally would cook it in 3 different vessels. The pot/skillets should work great. Yes, it will take a while to reheat and make sure you don't overcook the chicken.

  • Judy

    How do I make chicken marengo a day ahead and still have the skin of chicken thighs crispy?

    Unfortunately, chicken skin doesn't usually stay crispy after being refrigerated.

  • Cindy

    Can this be made in advance?

    Sure! just reheat in the oven on 350F until heated through.

  • Allen

    Would olives work well if added to this recipe?

    Yes! Would be a lovely addition.

  • donna

    do you think the chicken would be too dry if made with skinless thighs?

    I think it would be lovely!

  • Laurie

    Oh my gosh this was so delicious! The addition of orange zest really made it, well, WOW. We’re doing low carbs so served with french sliced string beans on the side to soak up the sauce.

    Thanks Laurie, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Brooks

    This was so amazing my boyfriend and I couldn’t get enough!

    Thanks Brooks! We are so happy you both loved it!

  • Jenn

    This was incredible. Served over rice and my husband and I couldn't stop talking about good it was!

    Thanks Jenn, so glad you guys loved it!