|Found on Sicily’s western tip, the town of Marsla served as a major port city
after the fall of the Roman Empire, called by Arabs
“the port of Allah,” or “Mars-el-Allah.”
Chicken Marsala is very easy to put together. What’s not easy is making brown food look pretty, but Chicken Marsala is one of my husband’s favorites; it’s a great crowd pleaser, and easy to make-ahead, so I make it often. This is a recipe to feed a group, but cut it in half if cooking for less.
Dating back to 19th Century Sicily, where Marsala wine is produced, this recipe also has conflicts of origin. Some say the English introduced to Italy. Some say it’s French, who like to claim the origins of almost all dishes, and often rightly so. Others say the Arabs created it and now some even claim it’s Italian-American! Almost all agree the best recipes come from our grandmothers and get slightly tweaked over generations. Growing up in New Hampshire’s rural dairy country I can assure you my Nanna never made Chicken Marsala, but somehow this recipe has seeped into my DNA.
|Topped with freshly chopped parsley, the
Chicken Marsala would’ve looked much more appealing.
12 thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. oregano
3/4 cup flour
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
8 Tbsp. butter
8 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups marsala wine**
1/2 madeira wine
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1 pkg. stevia or 1/2 tsp. sugar
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
*If not using thin chicken breasts already cleaned from your grocery, cut breasts in half and pound to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each piece, if necessary into serving sized pieces.
**I like to use a combination of Marsala and Madeira wine, but ok to use all Marsala.
Add flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and flour to a large zip-lock bag. Drop in chicken. Seal and shake until all chicken pieces are coated evenly. Place chicken on a platter ready to saute. Save any leftover flour/seasoning from the bag.
Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. oil to a hot, heavy-bottomed pan and sear chicken breasts in batches for about 2 minutes per side until golden. Do not crowd the breasts in the pan. Continue adding butter/oil as needed and continue sauting chicken in small batches.
Set chicken aside and reduce pan heat to medium. Shake in whatever flour (about 3-4 Tbsp.) is left from the dredging of the chicken and the rest of butter and olive oil. Add at least 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. olive oil if you have used all to saute the chicken. Heat stirring the butter, oil and flour together. Scrape up brown bits. Add 11/2 cups Marsala, 1/2 cup Madeira, then all the mushrooms. Reduce to simmer. Add the sugar. Simmer until mushrooms become tender and sauce is a bit thick; 15-20 minutes. Add the cream and simmer another 10 minutes.
At this point, if you are serving next day, cover cooked chicken breast and reserve marsala sauce in a container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temp next day on counter and then add the chicken to the marsala and heat either on top of stove at low heat or in a low oven until bubbling.
If you are serving right away, slip the chicken breasts into the Marsala sauce and let simmer another 15 minutes until chicken is warmed through and takes on the flavor of the sauce. Serve over linguini with generous amount of sauce. Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the chicken. Add a veg of choice.
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