Whenever I’m in the mood for Chicken Marsala, I often worry that if I don’t pound the chicken breasts into thin patties, I’m not really doing it right. However, there are times when I’m feeling wimpy, and I don’t want to pound anything. Don’t you have those, “Let’s let things develop slowly,” types of evenings? This recipe is good for one of those nights. The taste of the dish is in the sauce — that subtly sweet Marsala wine, reminiscent of warm summer Italian evenings, combined with the inherent richness of a mushroom sauce. This version simmers the chicken in a covered deep skillet or Dutch oven, eliminating the need to hover over a hot stove. The steam infuses the chicken breasts with flavor, and tenderizes them, too. All in all, it’s an Italian masterpiece.
Chicken Marsala Recipe
4 T all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 T unsalted butter, divided
3 T olive oil
3 shallots, minced
2 cups Marsala
1 cup low salt chicken broth
1 lb white mushrooms, rinsed, dried, stem ends removed, and sliced 1/4 inches thick
1/4 cup half and half, or coconut milk
3 T Italian parsley, chopped
In a shallow glass dish combine flour, salt, oregano, basil, and pepper. Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, shaking off excess. They only need a light coating.
In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, melt 3 T butter with olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken breasts on both sides, in batches if necessary, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken to clean plate.
Add 1 T butter to skillet and add shallots. Sauté until lightly golden. Add wine and broth to pot and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of skillet, about 2 minutes.
Return chicken and any collected juices to skillet, lower heat to simmer, and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.
In separate skillet, melt remaining 2 T butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, browning until the liquid they release has been reabsorbed.
Add mushrooms to pot, stirring into sauce to combine, and continue cooking on simmer, covered, for an additional 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and is no longer pink.
Add half and half to pot and stir. Increase heat to low boil, stirring as sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
Serve chicken nestled up to creamy mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. Garnish with parsley.
Stephanie Davis, Certified Wine Educator from Winacea told me, “Hello, Pinot Noir!” when I asked her for a wine recommendation. She thought the accents of mushrooms and herbs will pair especially well with a Pinot Noir. She recently tasted the 2010 vintage of Scribe Winery’s Pinot Noir on a Colorado mountain Girl’s Trip. She thought it was a divine wine! The 2013 vintage is available now, and although it is a little pricey at $42 a bottle, the expense will be worth it. Stephanie also said if you’ve got a favorite Pinot Noir, go for it. The Chicken Marsala will thank you.
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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, because living brings its own humor, angst and heroism. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, or https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme where she hopes you’ll find illumination of the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Vodka and recipes optional.