À la Marengo is a French cooking term used to describe a garnish for sautéed veal, rabbit or chicken.
The ingredients for the garnish are garlic, mushrooms, olives and olive oil, onions and tomatoes. Sometimes mushrooms and / or crayfish are included; sometimes wine or brandy as well.
Sautéing was very in fashion at the turn of the 1800s. The garnish is named, in theory, for the village Marengo, in Piedmont, Northern Italy where one of Napoleon’s successful battles took place on 14 June 1800. The popular tale goes that Chicken Marengo was an improvised dish by Napoleon’s chef Dunan on the battlefield, and that crayfish was one of the ingredients. Dunan, however, didn’t start working for Napoleon until 1805.
Another theory is that this garnish is named after a village in Algeria, which used to be called Marengo (it is now named “Hadjout”.)