May 19th, 2014
Growing up in New Jersey, I developed a taste for classic Italian-American dishes like cheesy eggplant parmigiana, baked ziti and, my favorite, chicken marsala. I rarely make these dishes at home because, well, they aren’t the healthiest and I like saving them for when I go to old school, red sauce Italian restaurants. I recently had a hankering for marsala, though, and couldn’t wait to get myself to a restaurant. So, for the first time, I made Chicken Marsala at home and, oh boy, was it good!
Making chicken marsala at home may be a new thing, but cooking with marsala wine isn’t. I make a marsala sauce for my Shrimp Marsala and even riff on the classic for this Pappardelle with Sausage Marsala. But there’s something about making restaurant-style chicken marsala that is so satisfying. This dish takes me back.
Even if you don’t attach the same childhood memories to this dish that I do, you’ll love this just the same. It’s buttery and rich, a perfect Sunday dinner that comes together easier than a slow cooked meal. Serve alongside rice or the way my kids love it, nestled on top of a pile of buttered linguine. Sans mushrooms for the little one, of course.
This is my kind of happy meal.
(Can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
1 1/2-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Flour, for coating chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8-ounce package white button mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into 1/4″ slices
2 tablespoons neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed (you can substitute olive oil)
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
Chopped fresh parsley
1. Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap and place a chicken breast on top. Cover the chicken with a second piece of plastic wrap and pound using a meat tenderizer (or a rolling pin) until it is about 1/4″ thick evenly throughout. Remove from between the plastic and dredge in flour that has been seasoned generously with salt and freshly ground pepper, shaking off the excess. Set prepped chicken breast aside and repeat with the others.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan set over medium heat. Just as the butter begins to froth, add minced garlic. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until they are cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms from the pan.
3. Add oil to the pan (which should still have some butter and garlic in it). Once the oil heats up—this should take less than a minute—add as many chicken breasts that will fit with space between them. Cook, untouched, for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, as well, and the breast is cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside; repeat with remaining chicken breasts. If you have to do this in batches and the pan starts burning, add a little more oil as necessary.
4. Once all the chicken has been cooked and set aside, add marsala wine, broth, and lemon juice to the pan. Swirl and scrape to pull up all the bits that have stuck to the pan. When the sauce has reduced by about one-third, swirl in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. As soon as it has all melted, return chicken and mushrooms to pan just to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and remove from the heat. Finish with chopped parsley; taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately.