23 years ago, Nick and I were living in Germany. That' s the Federal Republic of Germany, aka Western Germany, as it was known back in the 80s.
I hosted an important work dinner, and I served Chicken Marengo, using a recipe from Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet. This was prior to the scandal that derailed his public TV cooking career.
At the dinner, were my boss, Major Livingston, his wife, Cheryl, my co-worker, Captain Dennis Barletta and his wife, and Elke Dressler, the Third Infantry Division Protocol Officer. Manohmanischewitz, was I a nervous wreck. I didn't know what to play for music, so I left on one of the classical Bavarian music stations (we were stationed in Wurzburg, Germany). It so happened, that the radio station was playing lots of Strauss that night. Elke, who was a worldy - or, should I say, world weary, said, with a critical edge to her voice"What, is this Strauss Rememberance Night?". At that time, I was not good with comeback repartee, so I just smiled and drank another glass of Barolo. And I was happy that everyone ate their chicken peacefully and seemingly, gratefully.
Tonight, I served another version of Chicken Marengo. This version is all mine, for sure. Using the pressure cooker!
- Dredge 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts in flour, salt, and pepper. Brown in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Take out of the pot.
- Brown 1 onion, chopped,and 2 cloves garlic. Add 1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes. Put the chicken on top.
- Add 1/2 cup dry white wine, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Then add 5 springs parsley, some celery tops, and a bay leaf.
- Cook at 5 pounds pressure for 10 minutes.
- Take off the stove, and let sit for 10 minutes more.
- Chop some parsley.
- Put the chicken on a platter, discarding the bay leaf, the celery, and the parsley.
- Put the newly chopped parsley on top.
Serve with mashed patatoes and steamed brocolli.
And this time, if only in my mind...When Fraulein Dressler says, "Is it Strauss Remembrance Night??", with that critical edge to her voice, I'll reply "Yepper...and next you're gonna hear Wagner. Followed by the Skorpions".
With age does come wisdom. Yeah, yeah, I'm over it. Finally. Now.