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IMG_7217Poulet à la Marengo was created in 1800 for Napoleon Bonapart after his victory over the Austrians at the battle of Marengo in northern Italy. The dish, prepared by Napoleon’s personal chef, Dunand, on the battlefield, is said to have been made with pieces of chicken in a tomato, garlic and brandy sauce, garnished with lobster (crayfish) and fried eggs. The recipe I am sharing with you today is a slightly simplified version but is absolutely delicious nonetheless.
Shrimp and chicken are a winning combination. Here they are teamed in a rich tomato based sauce. I have added fresh coriander for a spicy fresh finish. This is not strictly authentic and you may use flat leaf parsley instead if you prefer. I prefer to use skinless chicken as it makes the dish less fatty and have used thighs today but breasts are equally as good. The recipe can easily be doubled and is a superb dish to serve at dinners as it can be prepared in advance and leaves you free to spend time with your guests instead of alone in the kitchen. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

IMG_7215Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 to 12 chicken thighs, skinless (depends on size, and how hungry you are)
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
1 400 g / 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
225 g / 8-oz peeled, cooked medium shrimp
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

Preparation:

Melt the butter and the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat
Add the onion and the garlic and sauté until soft and translucent
Add the chicken pieces, sprinkle with the flour
Sauté until it is golden brown
Add the wine and tomatoes and bring to a boil while stirring
Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper and lower the heat
Cover and simmer gently for about 30 to 40 minutes
Add the shrimp, stir and heat a few minutes
Remove from the heat
Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro
Enjoy!

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