|Italian Chicken Marengo – recipe serves 2
2 large skinless chicken thighs, bone in
3 tablespoons flour
Olive oil; 3 tablespoons to fry chicken in and an addition 2 - 3 for the sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground, black pepper
¼ pound (6 – 8 oz.) fresh cremini (baby Portabella) mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup finely minced shallots (a nice, big one)
5 – 6 small cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ cup dry white wine – I like to use sauvignon blanc
1, 14½-ounce can whole Italian San Marzano tomatoes, undrained
⅓ cup chicken broth
¼ - ½ pound mixed olives, pitted
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian or dry parsley
Wash off the chicken pieces under cold, running water. Mix the flour, salt, red & black pepper and garlic powder together. Dredge the chicken pieces in it, shake off the excess (I shake the chicken and flour mixture together in a paper bag). Reserve 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture.
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 3 tablespoons oil into the pan. When hot, place in the chicken pieces and brown well, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer chicken to a small baking pan, cover it and set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
Place skillet back on medium-high heat. Put mushrooms, shallots, garlic and oregano into the pan and stir a minute or two. Deglaze pan with the wine. Whisk the reserved tablespoon of flour into about a tablespoon of the juice of the tomatoes to make a thin paste. Add about 2 - 3 tablespoons more olive oil to the pan, then pour in the tomatoes with juices, chicken broth, olives, the red-pepper flakes the flour-juice mixture and a sprinkling more of salt & pepper. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes, stirring well. Reduce heat to very low setting and simmer 3½ hours, covered, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley at the very end.
When the sauce has about 45 minutes left to go, preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the chicken in the oven and bake it uncovered for a good 25 minutes so it’s cooked through.
Spoon the sauce onto plates, then place the whole pieces of chicken on the sauce. Or slice the chicken from the bone, put back into the sauce and simmer gently for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve with a few ounces of boiled rigatoni or other chunky pasta and the rest of the bottle of wine!