Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Marsala

I had never made Chicken Marsala until I tried the recipe that I found in the Nativity cookbook. It is an old recipe from a restaurant that isn't around anymore, but used to be a standard for really good, authentic Italian cooking.
We have been making it for about 5 years now, and have made it out own by kicking the flavor up a notch. It's relatively low fat too. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did.....

Chicken Marsala

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
salt and fresh ground pepper
2-4 tbsp olive oil
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp flour
1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked and drained
1-2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
parmesan cheese

Preface, I buy our skinless, boneless chicken breasts at Sam's Club and they are HUGE; we will use two of those for this recipe. Laying one flat on the cutting board, with your palm holding it firmly in place, carefully slice the chicken breast in half (half as thick...). If you don't buy your chicken breasts at Sam's Club and have "normal" sized breasts, pound it out gently between plastic wrap so that it's about 1/2 as thick. Combine the 1/2 c. flour, salt and pepper in a flat container (pie pan works great) and dredge the chicken pieces in the flour so they are well coated.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil at medium-high heat until it shimmers in the pan. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on one side (4 minutes) and then turn over for another 4 minutes. (with the big breasts, they are a little thicker, cook until it reaches about 155-160 on an instant read thermometer).

Remove the breasts from the pan.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil until simmers and then add the sliced mushrooms.
Saute until they are lightly browned and the moisture is beginning to be released (about 5 minutes). Add the 3 cloves of pressed garlic, saute until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. Add the wine and chicken broth (some people don't care for a lot of wine in this dish, we happen to like the taste of it, so we will sometimes use all wine and eliminate the chicken broth). Reduce heat to medium and simmer for a few minutes (I put the chicken breasts back in the pan for this step, but remove before the next). In a small bowl, mash the softened butter and flour with a fork until it forms a paste. Remove the chicken from the pan, if you added it in the last step. With the butter paste on the fork, stir it into the wine and mushroom mixture until the butter has melted. Combine thoroughly with a spatula.
For serving, I add the spaghetti to the pan to coat with sauce, place the chicken on top. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan and serve. (I serve it right out of the pan at the table, we don't like to dirty too many dishes...)
Salt and pepper to taste, individually. Enjoy!

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