Monday, January 23, 2012

Chicken Marsala

Some nights I feel so boring. I laugh and cringe at the same time when I realize that once again our options for dinner are chicken breasts, or...well....more chicken breasts. I like to think that I am creative and can make a million very different meals with the same cut of meat. Some nights I impress myself. Others, not so much. I know Dan is getting sick of chicken. Bless his heart, he hasn't complained yet. 

I need to go shopping. Just because chicken breasts were on sale last week, buy one get one, doesn't mean we need to ban all of the other delicious pieces of protein from the house until its gone. I did package and freeze them for a reason. 

However, last night I decided to go fishing with Dan out on the canal behind the house. This meant I was not getting to the store and we were once again eating chicken. 

Hooray!!!! (sarcasm)

The sun set, dark hit and we reeled in our lines. I came in the house, and opened the fridge hoping to find that a steak had magically made its way into our fridge. No luck. I had thawed chicken breasts and 12 oz of mushrooms that needed to be used up. We both L.O.V.E. mushrooms so I decided to make Chicken Marsala. Boy am I glad I did! It was absolutely delicious!! 

It came out tasting so darn good that I forgot all about that steak I had hoped for. So darn good in fact, that I am posting the recipe before I even have a proper picture! I just can't possibly keep it from you. It wouldn't be fair. These ingredients I always seem to have on hand, and the recipe is so easy. This is definitely going to be one of those "go to" recipes from now on when I don't know what to make.

Secretly simple, this dish will trick everyone into thinking you are Master Chef. After the first bite, nobody will even remember they are eating chicken for the 5th night in a row. 

It's that good. 

Serving a dinner roll or slice of bread along side to sop up the extra mushroom sauce, will make you feel like you are at your grandmothers dinner table. 

Chicken Marsala Recipe
(Adapted from Savory Sweet Life)

"True" Chicken Marsala uses Marsala wine. Who seriously keeps Marsala wine in the house on a regular bases? Not I! When I am in the kitchen, I am a big fan of using what you already have on hand. I used the wine I was drinking...Merlot... It was perfect!

2 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
Seasoning salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup peanut oil – or whatever you use for frying in your house
12 ounce container of mushrooms, sliced and cleaned

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Merlot - or whatever red wine you are drinking ;)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white cooking wine

2 tsp sugar (less is using a sweet red wine)
1/8 cup milk or cream

Garnish with chopped parsley or oregano

- Cut each chicken breast in half to make 2 pieces about the size of your palm.

- Place plastic wrap over them and pound each one flat using a meat tenderizer/mallet 
  until they are about 1/4 inch thick. 

- Season with a good amount of All Natures Seasoning Salt, pepper, and paprika on both 
  sides of all four pieces.

- Set seasoned chicken aside.

- On a plate, mix the flour and cornstarch.

- Reserve 1 tablespoon of this mixture in a chicken free area for later. Keep the majority of 
  the mixture on the plate.

- Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour/cornstarch mixture. Coat each side of the 
  chicken very well with it and set each covered piece aside.

- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a non stick pan.

- When the oil is hot, fry each piece of chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are 
  golden brown (this may require you to fry in 2 batches if your pan is small).

- Remove the fried chicken and place it on your serving platter covering it with foil.

- At this point if there is a lot of extra oil, use a spoon to ladle it out and discard. Leaving 
  only a tablespoon or so in the pan.

- Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, mushrooms, garlic powder, and onion 

- Sauté mushrooms for 4-5 minutes, making sure to season them with salt and pepper 

- While mushrooms are sautéing, combine the 1/8 cup milk or cream with the 1 TB 
  reserved flour/cornstarch mixture. In a small dish, stir it well so cornstarch and milk are 
  dissolved. Set aside.

- When the 4-5 minutes are up for the mushrooms sautéing, add Merlot, white wine, 
  chicken broth, and sugar to the mushrooms, allowing the liquid to reduce slightly as it 
  simmers…approx. 3 minutes. 

- Towards the end of the liquid slightly reducing, whisk in the milk/flour mixture. Let it 
  simmer about 30 seconds while whisking as it thickens almost like gravy.

- Take the tin foil off of your hot chicken and pour the mushrooms and sauce over the 

- Garnish with fresh parsley, oregano, or basil – whichever is your favorite.

- Serve the platter of Chicken Marsala with fresh steamed vegetables and buns or a good 
  whole grain bread to sop up all that good mushroom sauce.

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