Oak Park Eats is eager to begin sharing favorite family recipes! Whether your best homemade bites are holiday worthy fare or suitable for serving on a manic Monday, we are excited to get busy in the kitchen and share recipes for your go to dishes right here. To submit a recipe shoot me an email at melissa@oakparkeats.com and look for the recipes HERE.

This week we continue to explore the favorite dishes of our own Oak Park Eats team. Wednesday Journal Publisher, Dan Haley, credits his wife, Mary for making his favorite family meal; Mary’s Chicken Marengo tops the list of his ideal dishes.

“Chicken Marengo is one of those dishes that everyone likes, and it’s nice to have happy campers at dinner time! It’s easy, and relatively fast, so it makes it into the rotation pretty often.” says Mary Haley of her braised chicken dish.

About Chicken Marengo: The Haley family has made a lot of happy memories around the dinner table. Mary has been serving up a simplified version of Chicken Marengo, for more than 40 years. She’s been cooking the dish for such a long time she can’t remember where the recipe for this simple French dish came from.

Oak Park Eats Thinks: Traditional Chicken Marengo is garnished with crayfish and fried eggs, but Mary’s version does away with a bunch of fussy ingredients. We added a splash of white wine to bring some more flavor to the sauce and enhanced the accompanying rice with herbs and wine, too.

Let’s get cooking!

Chicken Marengo Inspired by Mary Haley (4-6 servings)

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Chicken thighs
  • 4-5 Chicken legs
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 Sweet onion, finely diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 Cup white wine
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • Oregano Rice for serving (recipe follows)
  • Snipped chives for garnish

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until melted and hot. While the fats are heating season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in batches on all sides until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the onion to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until begining to soften (about 3 minutes).  Add the garlic and oregano; saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the tomato paste and mix well; allow the tomato paste to cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine to the pot and scrape up all the brown bits. Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil, return the browned chicken (and any accumulated juices) to the tomato mixuture. Sprinkle the mushrooms over the chicken. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer gently for 35-40 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Serve the chicken with the sauce over oregano rice and garnish with chives.

Oregano Rice (makes about 3 cups)

  • 1 Cup Texmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 Cup white wine
  • 1 1/4 Cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Simmer the rice for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered, 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

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