Campbell’s easy Chicken Marengo recipe (1967)

Vintage 60s Chicken Marengo recipe (1)

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The original Chicken Marengo was created in France back in 1800. It was a victory meal for Napoleon after he won the Battle of Marengo.

Although the went was auspicious, there was little planning involved. It was basically a recipe his chef made up on the spot — something that could be conjured quickly using ingredients on hand, including chicken, tomatoes and garlic.

The version shown in the retro recipe below was created by the Campbell’s soup company back in 1967. They recreated the dish with a few things not on hand a couple of centuries ago — namely, two flavors of canned soup.

Napoleon Bonaparte eating Chicken Marengo - AI generated art via Dall-E
Napoleon Bonaparte eating Chicken Marengo – AI generated art via Dall-E

The original French Chicken Marengo recipe was created for the victorious Napoleon

Text from The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana) September 7, 1967

When an emperor sits down to dine, he likes chicken just as much as the rest of us. Chicken Marengo, one of the great French classics, was invented on the battlefield at Marengo for Napoleon by his master chef, Dunand. A dish to honor an occasion.

When the Austrians finally retreated on that historic day, Napoleon, who had eaten nothing before that battle, asked his chef to prepare a victory celebration feast.

The chef at once dispatched his staff in search of provisions, for food was in short supply throughout the war-torn Italian countryside. All that could be found were a chicken, tomatoes, and garlic. Dunand made the dish now famous as Chicken Marengo.

Chicken Marengo with mushrooms
Photo by Zoryanchik |

Bonaparte, having feasted upon it, said to Dunand, “You must feed me like this after every battle.”

You don’t have to go into battle to enjoy Chicken Marengo — or any chicken dish for that matter. Chicken and tomatoes are an irresistible combination, and the garlic and spices add even more flair.

The dish is simple enough to make just for the family dinner, too. With the Chicken Marengo, you need only French bread and a crisp salad.

Keep the bread handy at dessert time to serve with cheese, accompanied by fresh fruit, and you will have a splendid meal in the French tradition.

ALSO SEE: 20 recipes from Campbell’s emergency dinner cookbook (1968)

The inspiration: Campbell’s easy Chicken Marengo recipe from 1967

Chicken Marengo recipe (1967)

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Vintage 60s Chicken Marengo recipe (2)

Campbell's easy Chicken Marengo

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 10-3/4 ounces condensed Tomato soup
  • 10-3/4 ounces condensed Golden Mushroom soup
  • 3 pounds chicken parts
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 16 small whole white onions
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced


  1. In a large skillet, brown chicken in shortening; pour off fat.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover; cook over low heat 45 minutes or until tender.
  4. Uncover; cook until desired consistency.


Serve with fine buttered noodles, tossed green salad, broccoli. Top it off with chocolate pudding and sliced bananas.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 709Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 219mgSodium: 605mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 59g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. I have made chicken Marengo for years. My three sons always smiled when I made that. Always made it alonf with baby peas and mashed potatoes. the boys would make a big dip in the middle of their mashed potatoes and the luscious red gravy would beep poured into that. They never went away hungry. To this day they still love this meal! Thank you Campbell Soup. Now my sons have grown children who, yes, love Chicken Marengo. Anyone I ever served it to were never disappointed. Linda D…..😘

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