You’ve got to love the classics – Books, movies, cars, and of course FOOD! And Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite classic dishes. It’s easy, quick and uses just a few ingredients; chicken, shallots, mushrooms, stock and Marsala wine. Now if you don’t have a bottle of Marsala hanging around waiting to be turned into a sauce, try Madeira wine. If you don’t have a bottle of Madeira from your last trip to Portugal in the wine closet then try using Sherry. But if you just had Dr.’s Frasier and Niles Crane over and they drank your last drop, then from what I gather you can mix white wine and brandy for a similar-ish taste since Marsala is a fortified wine anyway (that means a spirit, like brandy, has been added to the wine). I guess what I’m trying to say; not only is this dish quick and easy but also versatile and forgiving if the bottle you have on hand isn’t Marsala.
And that brings me to my other point about versatility...I pulled this recipe out of the archives after Mr. Crown and Ginger (that’s my I’m too old to call him a boyfriend boyfriend) had an amazing grilled trout with a Marsala sauce the other evening at Charlies Etoille Verte (here on the Island and one of our favorites). Now I would have never put Marsala and fish in the same sentence before, I guess since I’ve always reserved it for a classic scaloppini (chicken, veal or pork) dish. Plus, I don’t have many fish dishes on this site (trying to improve that, in fact, also trying to improve my posting frequency – I’ve been a slacker). But like I said, it did get me thinking of the classic dishes in that “go to” category, adaptable, straightforward and deserving of a re-visit on a regular basis. Enjoy!
4 chicken breasts pounded to about a ¼ inch thick
All purpose flour
5 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
3 cups thinly slice mushrooms
¾ cup Marsala wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper then dredge both sides in flour.
Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter begins to foam, working in batches, cook chicken until golden brown on one side about 3 minutes. Continue cooking the other side for another 2 minutes. Add more oil if necessary. Remove breasts and set aside.
Drain fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in skillet then add shallots. Cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until they brown. Pour Marsala wine over mushrooms and continue cooking until wine turns slightly syrupy. Add remaining butter and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper. Boil until sauce is reduced by half. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Continue cooking until sauce thickens and chicken is heated through, turning occasionally to coat in sauce. Add parsley and serve spooning sauce over each serving.