Friday, October 25, 2013

My Go to Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is an Italian dish made from chicken cutlets, mushrooms, and Marsala wine. The chicken is coated in flour, briefly sauteed, and then removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce.


Marsala wine is Italy's most famous version of fortified wine, hailing from Italy’s sunny southern region, Marsala is an ancient city on the coast of Sicily. Like its other fortified cousins - Port, Sherry and Madeira, Marsala is a higher alcohol fortified wine (usually around 17- 20%) that is available in both sweet or dry variations. While Marsala wine is often recognized more for its use in various cooking and culinary combinations than its sipping status, this has not always been the case


Though there are other ingredients that you can substitute for Marsala wine in this dish to achieve something similar, it is impossible to really replicate the taste without using real Marsala wine. If that is hard to find in your area, you could substitute sherry or even just use dry white wine and chicken broth. The dish won't be Chicken Marsala, but you can create something delicious nonetheless. The version of Chicken Marsala that I made uses Marsala wine, butter and chicken stock to create a delicious sauce. However, you can also add a little heavy cream to the sauce if you wish to make it even creamier and more decadent.



This is an alternative to pounding out your chicken breasts.  Using a very sharp knife cut the chicken breast in half.  Some grocery stores carry thin chicken breasts although they cost more per pound.  Most butchers will  cut your chicken breasts for you.   I sometime use chicken tenders and put them in a ziploc bag and gently pound them with a meat mallet until they are thin.



I add my seasonings directly to my flour and mix well.  Pat your chicken dry
and dredge in the flour mixture.


Using a combination of EEOV and butter help the chicken to brown nicely.


I like Baby Bella mushrooms, but use what you like.  Some people use shallot instead of onion,
 but I prefer the taste of  the sweet yellow onion in this dish.  And of course garlic.
 Feel free to add more or less according to your taste

This is a sweet Marsala.  It is amber in color.  Some chefs will tell you that you should not use anything but
an imported Marsala for this dish because the only place that the grapes are grown for Marsala are in Sicily.  I'm not sure if that is right or wrong.  Some of my research said that the grapes were brought here in the 1800's when Americans became taken with Marsala, Port and Brandy.  I think it is a matter of taste.  The imported Marsala Lombordi has a much darker color and fuller body.  Cost wise is only a few dollars more a bottle.  Make sure you let the alcohol cook off the sauce before adding the broth.  The easiest way to do this is to smell!  Yes, just give it a whiff! (and about 2 minutes)


This is my secret weapon to finishing my sauce to give it that smoothness and thickening.   Using a fork incorporate 1 T of flour in 2 T of  softened butter,  When sauce is finished and you have removed the chicken, take the pan off the heat and add butter mixture, whisking until smooth.
Your sauce will be fantastic!!


The finished dish.  The chicken just falls apart!!  This is my go to Chicken Marsala.
 Easy, delicious and stunning enough to serve for company!

My Go To Chicken Marsala

Serves 4-

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts  Pounded to 1/4 inch thick  (see my note above)
 Rosemary Sea Salt about 2 tsp or to taste
Fresh ground pepper - 1 tsp or to taste
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
1 Tablespoons of minced garlic
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter softened with 1 T of flour
2 tablespoons of fresh snipped parsley




Process:
Pound the chicken out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Put the flour on a plate. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, just until the chicken is golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and put on a plate. Cover to keep warm.
Saute onion and mushrooms and garlic, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated  (about 2 minutes).  Be sure to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan so you get all the flavor in your sauce.  Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.

 Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter that has been incorporated with the flour  stirring until butter is just incorporated  This process finishes the sauce with a glossy and smooth texture. Spoon mushroom sauce around chicken and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve hot with pasta.

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