Chicken and mushrooms team up in this easy crock pot chicken Marengo. It's a French dish, named for the battle of Marengo. In the late spring—June 14—of 1800, Napoleon defeated Austrian forces in the Northern Italian village of Marengo. Napoleon purportedly asked his chef to prepare a quick meal with local foods. The original chicken Marengo was made with the ingredients he found: chicken, eggs, tomatoes, olive oil, crawfish, and eggs. He created the quick and easy saute, and there are now many variations of the dish.
This slow cooker version is made with mushrooms instead of crawfish, and there are no eggs. The dish is also similar to Hunter's chicken. It's made with boneless chicken thighs, making it flavorful and easy on the budget.
Feel free to saute about 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped onions with the mushrooms and add them to the pot. Diced bell pepper is another flavor option; add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sweet green bell pepper to the mushrooms. A 16-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce or Italian marinara sauce may be used to replace the diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce mix. 1/4 cup of sliced ripe olives may be added as well.
Serve chicken Marengo with hot cooked pasta, rice, or egg noodles.
- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (1.5-ounce) envelope spaghetti sauce mix
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- Optional: 1 bay leaf
- Optional Garnish: chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning to brown both sides.
- Arrange the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Slice the mushrooms and add them to the skillet; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Spoon them over the chicken.
- In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, dry spaghetti seasoning mix, and the dry white wine. Stir to blend.
- Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken thighs. Add the bay leaf to the sauce.
- Cover the pot and cook on low for about 5 to 7 hours—high for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours—or until the chicken is tender.
- Serve with rice or pasta and garnish with some chopped parsley, if desired.
*Homemade Spaghetti Seasoning Mix: Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend, 2 teaspoons celery flakes, 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix well. Makes the equivalent of one envelope of sauce mix.
If boneless chicken breasts are substituted in this recipe, avoid overcooking. Check them for doneness after about 4 hours; the minimum safe temperature for poultry is 165 F.