I recently had the honor of preparing the food at the wedding of two dear friends of ours. The menu was fun and varied, with roast pork and my Jameson’s Barbecue sauce, freshly baked whole wheat bread with an herb compound butter, green beans, and a nice ratatouille. The dish that I received the most comments and compliments on, however, was my Chicken Marsala. I’ve been reminded a time or two now by a certain Lion-y friend of ours that I promised to post the recipe for it, so here it is in all its glory… and uh… sauce.
4 Chicken Breasts, skinless/boneless
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Large Shallots, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
¼ lb. White Button Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
½ Cup Marsala Wine (or similar white wine)
½ Cup Chicken Stock
¼ Cup Salted Butter, cut into pats
Ground Black Pepper
Method of Preparation:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
In a medium or large bowl, combine flour with a healthy dose of salt and pepper. I’m not talking about a pinch or a dash here… I want you to season that flour like you damn well mean it. At least a teaspoon of salt, maybe even 2… and about a Tablespoon of pepper. Don’t skimp on the seasoning.
Heat up your fry/sauté pan, good and hot. If you have a pan that ISN’T nonstick (like stainless steel or cast iron), use it. Nonstick will work here, but not as well. Once the pan is good and hot, drizzle it with enough blended oil to coat the bottom. Once your oil is shimmering, you’re ready for the chicken.
Season both sides of each chicken breast with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. I know you’re thinking, “but I already seasoned the flour! What is he thinking?” Trust me. Season the bird. You’ll be happy you did. We’re fighting the good fight on the front lines against blandness here, people.
Chicken’s seasoned? Good. Dredge it in your seasoned flour, shake off the excess flour and set it into your hot, oiled pan. It should sizzle like a fajita plate. If it doesn’t, your pan wasn’t hot enough.
Allow the chicken to brown on one side (a couple of minutes… the goal here is not to cook the chicken through, but to brown the outside) and then give it a flip to brown the other side for the same amount of time. Once it’s good and browned on the outside, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and get it into the oven. You’ll want to check it from time to time while you’re finishing your sauce to make sure you’re not overcooking it. Once it hits an internal temperature of 165 F, it’s done. The trick is to move fast enough making the sauce that once the chicken is done, so is the sauce.
Now, in the pan in which you browned your bird, on the same heat (add a tad more oil if there’s not enough left in the pan) add the shallots and garlic. Keep them moving… don’t let ‘em burn. Once the shallots and garlic have softened and become nice and fragrant, add the mushrooms. Again, keep that stuff moving. After a few short minutes, the ‘shrooms ought to be much smaller, softer and browner. At this point, deglaze your pan with the wine. Bring it to a nice simmer and let it reduce. You don’t want to reduce it all the way to dry, but you want it close. When you get it to that point, add the chicken stock and bring it back to a simmer.
Continue to simmer and reduce until the sauce just starts to thicken a bit. As it simmers, taste it. Season it will salt and/or pepper until it’s salty/peppery enough for your tastes. Right at the very end, whisk in one pat of butter at a time until your sauce achieves a nice, velvety texture.
Pour your sauce over your chicken and serve it all with your favorite starch and vegetable. That’s it. Simple as a pimple.
I hope there are a few people out there that will give this one a try and let me know how it works out for them. It’s a classic, and super tasty.
That’s all for tonight! Now… go cook… THIS!
PS. > Congrats again, Drag and Ixy!