Okay, here it is, as promised. A chicken dinner for any Sunday.
But this is not my grandmother’s chicken dinner. Not a whole chicken, unless you buy the chicken in cut it into serving pieces yourself. Something I do not suggest as it takes up unnecessary time. I usually go to my favorite meat guy, and have him do it for me. I am perfectly capable of cutting up a whole chicken myself, but have no time to waste, either cutting or cleaning it up. I have him cut out the backbone, cut off the wing tips, then cut the rest of the chicken into 8 serving pieces. I take home the backbone and wing tips for stock. (I don’t consider making my own stock a waste of time.)
Anyway, this chicken dinner long preceded my grandma, who I think threatened to leave heaven to slap me upside the head if I didn’t make a civilized Sunday dinner. Napoleon’s chef is said to have cooked this either before or after the battle of Marengo. Versions of the story vary. But since it was a battlefield dish, his soldiers pilfered most of the ingredients from nearby farms – chickens, eggs, etc. Don’t ask me where they got the shrimp.
The fried eggs are very trendy. Who knew Napoleon’s troops would be trendy in an American big city in the twenty-first century?
POLLO AL MARENGO (CHICKEN MARENGO)
Makes 6 servings
2 ½ pounds chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
olive oil to film the bottom of the pan
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
6 or 12 slices French bread rounds (for crostini)
6 large eggs
6 extra large shrimp
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (4 tablespoons)