Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo

While not historically a Greek dish, Chicken Marengo echoes the flavors of the Mediterranean. Napoleon is said to have requested Chicken Marengo the night before every battle. Whether that’s true or not, there are many interpretations of the recipe, all no doubt delicious. Here’s my Greek-style version, which can be cooked in a slow cooker or on top of the stove:

Serves six.

1 large onion, peeled, halved, and sliced

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

2 T. olive oil

2 cups cleaned, sliced white button mushrooms

½ t. dried oregano, rubbed between your fingers

½ t. dried thyme, rubbed between your fingers

½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

2 T. Metaxa 7 Star (a delectable Greek liqueur)

1 28-oz. can good quality, low salt crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted, sliced Kalamata olives

6 boneless, skinless, meaty chicken thighs

18 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 eggs

Handful of chopped, fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

In large Dutch oven, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil just until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes more. Add spices, wine or broth, and Metaxa, then stir in tomatoes and sliced olives.

If you are using a slow cooker (recommended for busy people!), transfer half the mixture to the crock, place chicken thighs on top, and cover with remaining sauce mixture. Cook on high for one hour, then turn to low and cook several hours or until chicken is tender (slow cookers vary).

If you are cooking on the stove, place chicken breasts into sauce mixture and spoon sauce over the meat. Cover, and cook on low for approximately an hour and a quarter or until chicken is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add shrimp to mixture in slow cooker or Dutch oven and cook several minutes, just until pink.

Using a nonstick skillet, fry 6 eggs over easy (in batches, if necessary) in additional olive oil.

Place one chicken thigh on each plate and ladle sauce over it, making sure each plate gets its share of shrimp. Top each serving with a fried egg. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the juices. Any leftover sauce is delicious the next day over pasta or rice.

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