We had a lunch meeting yesterday and my staff wanted to order from a well known Italian restaurant. It seems to be a popular restaurant. I don’t go there much so was not sure what to order, but figured that I could order one of my favorite Italian dishes, Chicken Marsala, and that an Italian restaurant could do a good job with that dish. Well, I was sorely disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am some kind of food expert, but I know what real food is suppose to taste and look like. What I got was more like a frozen dinner. Sorely lacking in flavor and appeal. The chicken was extremely thin and the texture not very appealing. It made me want to come home and make the real deal. So for those of you who like the real thing and want an easy version that looks and tastes great, here is my recipe for Chicken Marsala. Hope you like it.
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces of baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup Marsala wine (use a wine that you would drink, a good quality wine)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Chopped fresh parsley
While the chicken breast are partially frozen, take each one and holding them down with your hand, carefully slice them in half, down the center to create two chicken cutlets. Safety tip: lift your fingers and use just the palm of your hand to hold down the breast while slicing. This protects you from accidentally cutting your fingers, start at the widest part of the breast and draw your knife back and forth till you reach the tip. Cutting them slightly frozen makes this a much easier job and this method produces a better textured chicken cutlet than pounding it out. Do this with each breast. You should now have 8 nice sized chicken cutlets. You can find these already done at a lot of stores. I just like to do my own.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 tsp. salt and the pepper. Add the cutlets to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes (3 minutes each side). They should be lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer cutlets to a plate and keep warm. Add the mushrooms, shallot and 1/2 tsp. salt to the skillet and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and broth, stirring to loosen all the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. In a small bowl stir together 1 tablespoon water and the cornstarch. Whisk this into the sauce and simmer, whisking constantly until thickened. This takes about 1 minute. Serve chicken cutlets with Marsala sauce and mushrooms and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. I like to serve this with linguine or Parmesan Rosemary mashed potatoes. Makes 4 generous portions.