Mad for Marsala

Okay.  Yesterday’s post.  Bright flavors, shaking up veggies with a fun, zesty and filling dip.  I’m all for that, but when my bike lock froze in place today, I decided it’s time to officially get cranking on some hot meals.  Piping hot, satisfying and delicious that is, happiness making on an otherwise dark and icy night.  As luck would have it, at my family’s house over the holidays I spied a bottle of Marsala wine and got curious about Marsala dishes.  When I researched Chicken Marsala, and saw that #1 it’s easy to healthify the recipe, and #2 that many versions call for chicken stock, I was sold.  I am so glad I gave this a go because it checks all said boxes!  This Chicken Marsala is delicious, easy, light, and is best served piping hot right off the stovetop.  Mainly, the deliciousness cannot be overstated.  Here goes…

Total Time: 1 hour *including cleanup*

Special Equipment: Kitchen Tongs

Ingredients (for four servings):

– 1 & 1/2 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast

– 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

– 1 Scant Tsp Salt

– 10 Turns worth of Pepper from Mill

– 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 5-6 Oz Crimini Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

– 1/2 Cup Marsala Wine

– 1 Tbsp Capers

– 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock (Homemade recommended!)

– 1 & 1/2 Tbsp Butter

– 1/4 Cup Parsley, Torn

Steps:

Phase 1: Mise en Place

– Place a heavy bottomed pot or large sauce pan on the stove top.

– Measure out all ingredients other than the chicken and set them next to the stove top.  (Applying Mise en Place (Putting in Place) was particularly helpful in this instance as this was my first time with this dish –  knowing I had everything I’d need right at my fingertips gave me much more confidence that the results would turn out well.  AND, by prepping everything in advance, I got a jump on the clean up – counters and cutting boards were already wiped up/put away, and measuring cups and vessels went straight into the dishwasher or sink as each was used.  A Mise en place approach will elevate almost all cooking and baking and make your life easier in the process!)

– Add the salt and pepper to the flour and whisk gently to combine.

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Ready to roll with confidence as I faced this new dish!

Phase Two: Chicken Prep & Olive Oil Pre-Heat

The chicken in Chicken Marsala is pounded, then cut into smaller portions.  We don’t have a meat pounder/hammer, but a rolling pin worked just fine.

– Add the olive oil to the pan and turn on low heat.

– Set the chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap.  It will make a gross mess otherwise!

– With conviction, but not staging an all out attack, pound the chicken with the meat hammer or rolling pin to create even, flat pieces.  Here’s my before and after:

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– Next, remove the top layer of the plastic wrap, and slice the flattened chicken into 4 pieces per breast.

– Dredge each piece in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess before setting down.  You should have just the finest coating of flour.

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Ready to jump into Phase 3

Phase 3: Putting it all together!

– Turn the heat on the oil up to medium.

– *Using kitchen tongs*, add the chicken to the oil.  The oil will sizzle and spatter, and irritate your hands if they are close to the surface!

– Cook the chicken in the olive oil to brown on each side, about 5-7 minutes total.  Work in batches if necessary.

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– Set the chicken aside on the serving platter you plan to use for this dish.

– Add the sliced mushrooms right to the pot, stirring on medium – low heat until most of the water is evaporated.  This step will help deglaze the pan, so not to worry about any leftover brown bits from the chicken.

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– Next, add the Marsala wine.  Stir for 2-3 minutes to cook down the alcohol.  The kitchen will start to feel and smell quite soul warming.

– Add the capers and the chicken stock, and stir over medium heat for about five minutes.  The liquid will cook down some but not be thick.

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– Add the butter and stir until melted/well incorporated.

– Add the cooked chicken into the mixture and stir gently to coat the pieces/incorporate flavor, about three minutes.  Maintain medium heat.

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– Using the tongs, again transfer chicken pieces to the serving platter.  Place the mushrooms on and around the chicken.  No bites yet!!!

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– Finally, garnish with parsley and serve while hot – you will warm up in no time!  I hope you love it!

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