This hearty stew has a colorful history that dates back to Napoleon. Over time this baroque recipe has become simpler but blander. Our recipe forgoes the canned soup base and instead builds flavor with rich ingredients like brandy, olives, and mushrooms.
Why This Recipe Works
Over time, chicken Marengo recipes have become simpler but blander. We wanted our Chicken Marengo recipe to bring back bold flavors without extra effort. To do this, we used bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts in our Chicken Marengo recipe: The bones add depth to the stew, and the skin browns and contributes even more flavor. Tasters didn’t think the crushed tomatoes added enough flavor, so we switched to fresher-tasting canned diced tomatoes, which can be roughly chopped in the food processor. A half cup of brandy adds a strong hit of flavor in the sauce. We liked kalamata olives in this recipe—adding them chopped at the outset allowed their briny taste to permeate the sauce. To prevent the chicken skin from becoming chewy during stewing, we made sure to have only enough sauce in the pot to come halfway up the chicken breasts as they cooked skin-side up.