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Whit’s Version of Chicken Marsala

Sep 16, 2015 | 1 comment

I’ve always liked chicken marsala…a classic Italian dish that is a great combination of chicken with a rich mushroom and marsala wine sauce. I tend to like my sauces to pack a punch with flavor, so wanted to vary the traditional recipe with a few touches of my own, adding a bit of mustard and lemon juice to give the sauce a tang. I also avoided the usual dredging of chicken in flour, as I feel the end result can often be gummy. I added a roux (a mixture of flour and butter) to thicken the sauce instead. It worked beautifully, and the result is a very flavorful dish. Serve it with pasta, rice, or smashed potatoes and either broccoli or green beans, all of which are a great way to mop up extra sauce. 🙂

The heart of the dish is based on dry marsala wine, which is a fortified wine from Italy that tastes a bit like sherry or Madeira. It has a bit of sweetness to it, but is still dry, which makes it wonderful in sauces. You can generally find Marsala at your grocery store, and you do not need a particularly high quality Marsala for cooking. Just make sure to get the dry variety, rather than the sweet. Here is one brand pretty readily available:

Time to Make (start to finish):
Ingredients (serves 2):

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 Tbsp butter, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts evenly pounded to about 1/4″ thick
2 shallots, diced
8 ounces of white mushrooms, thickly sliced
salt & pepper
3/4 cup dry marsala wine
1 cup chicken broth
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 generous tsp Dijon mustard
a roux, made by mixing 1 1/2 Tbsp of softened butter with 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts on both sides with salt & pepper. When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. In the same skillet, add an additional tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. When hot, add the shallots to the pan and sauté until just translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and salt & pepper them generously. Sauté until they’ve released their juices and are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the marsala, return the heat to medium high and reduce the liquid by half, another 4-5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and chicken broth and continue to simmer over medium high heat until reduced by about 1/3, another 6-7 minutes. Using a whisk, add the mustard and mix well. Again, using the whisk, add the roux and blend into the sauce, stirring constantly until sauce is nicely thickened. Reduce the heat to medium, add 1 Tbsp of the parsley, and return the chicken breasts to the pan. Turn to coat the chicken, and cook until breasts are warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Place a chicken breast on each of two plates, and spoon the sauce over the top. Enjoy with a rich pinot noir.

Bon appétit!


1 Comment

  1. Sandy

    just what I was looking for 🙂


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