From The New York Times Cook Book by Craig Claiborne, 1961. Chicken Marengo is one of our most popular family dinners, often requested for birthday celebrations. The original called for a whole chicken, but I have always used chicken breasts either whole or boned and cut into pieces. More and more people eat only boneless chicken nowadays, so boneless chicken breasts are easy for Chicken Marengo. Or cut them into bite-size pieces. Serve the chicken over rice to enjoy the rich gravy. Even little children lap it up.
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 pounds of chicken pieces
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup butter
1 cup dry white wine
1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes, including juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
8 mushrooms, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and tarragon in a brown paper bag (or a plastic bag) and place the chicken pieces in the bag. Shake it up so that the chicken pieces are covered in the flour mixture. Save the leftover flour mixture.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter, add the chicken, and brown on all sides. If the chicken pieces won’t all fit into the skillet, cook half of them and then cook the other half. That way you’ll avoid cooking just a few chicken pieces while the remaining fat and brown bits in the skillet burn. You will use this fat and brown bits for the wonderful gravy so you want it to be unburned.
Remove the chicken to a heavy casserole. Add the leftover flour to the fat remaining in the skillet and, using a wire whisk, gradually stir in the wine. When the sauce is thickened and smooth, pour over the chicken and add the tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms. Cover the casserole with a heavy lid and bake until the chicken is tender, about forty-five minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
SLOW COOKER: Instead of baking the casserole in the oven, put the ingredients in a slow cooker for 3 1/2 hours on High.