Sometimes the easiest things to make are the best. That rings true for chicken marsala. Ever had it? If not, you're missing out. It's seriously good. Like, lick the bowl good! It comes together fast, and the end result is pretty darn impressive! When you take time to cook for someone, you're sharing a lot more with them than just food. You're sharing your time, and you're sharing something YOU made. It's quite personal and I love to cook for people I love. They will love that you took time for them, so give this dish a try. Recipe available at the bottom of the page.
Chicken Marsala sounds a lot more swanky than it is. It's basically just a chicken breast in a lovely wine, mushroom, and cream sauce. The wine used is a sweet variety called Marsala, and it's often used for cooking. It's from Sicily, and it's nice and sweet and goes so well with cream and mushrooms. Generally the chicken is coated in flour, sautéed, and then added to the cream sauce at the end to allow the flour to thicken the sauce up a bit. I've also had it where the chicken is breaded in panko and the sauce is poured over the crispy chicken filet. It's really all about preference! Just make sure your chicken is sliced nice and thin--I like to cut my boneless breasts in half so that each breast yields 2 filets. Mushrooms are pretty necessary, people. If you don't like them......Well, I don't know what to tell you. Leave them out, I suppose. But it's just not as good. I happen to be a lover of pretty much all mushrooms, so I say the more the merrier. In this recipe I use baby portabella mushrooms. You could use porcini or button mushrooms with an excellent result, too.
The sauce is pulled together with the addition of heavy cream. If you want to make the dish dairy free, then you'd just want to use vegetable or chicken stock. But what a travesty!! The cream makes the dish!! If you want to keep the dairy but go with something lighter, you can always substitute the cream for half & half, or plain milk. But you will have to watch the sauce like a hawk if you don't use the heavy cream. It will split very easily and then you're left with a clotted sauce rather than a smooth, creamy one. Heavy cream is very forgiving; the milk proteins in the cream can withstand cooking at a higher temperature, therefor the chance of the sauce splitting is minimal. Milk will split in a heartbeat, so if you use milk, make sure to keep the heat low and just barely at a simmer.
I finish things off with fresh, minced herbs. Fresh thyme and parsley are my favorites in chicken marsala. They add a depth of flavor and brightness that compliment the other ingredients. If you don't have them on hand, you can use dried. Dried herbs are very concentrated so go easy.
The process isn't hard. Take a look through my slides to see it come together:
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Recipe available in Word format for downloading or printing:
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