This chicken marsala recipe is the one I’ve been asked for the most and for the longest time, going on nearly a decade. It’s a deceptively easy chicken dish to make, though time consuming, and very much worth the effort. This is not your cafeteria chicken marsala. For starters, marsala sauce isn’t a cream sauce. It’s a wine sauce with butter and mushrooms that elevates meer chicken breast to something absolutely decadent. This makes for a fabulous dish for entertaining but also one that’s easy enough to make that it is a great Sunday dinner dish as well. Serve this on a platter covered in mushrooms and sauce and no one will even remember that it’s a holiday centered around a different bird.
4 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
flour for dredging
1-2 tablespoons dried Marjoram or Rosemary (preferably fresh or ground if using rosemary, in a pinch, Italian seasoning will do)
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
salt and pepper
olive oil for sautéing
12oz fresh mushrooms of nearly any kind, sliced
1/2 a bottle of marsala wine (note–do NOT use marsala “cooking” wine)
2-3 cups chicken broth or bouillon
1/2 stick butter
1/3 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Put the chicken in an open ziplock and pound to an even thickness of a little less than
half an inch. Use the marsala bottle if you don’t have a meat hammer. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and dredge in flour seasoned heavily (you should be able to taste it if
you taste the flour) with marjoram/rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic or whatever spices you are using. Brown in olive oil over medium low heat until nearly, but not quite done. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add mushrooms to the pan and brown over medium heat. Deglaze pan with the mushrooms still in with a good quantity of marsala, scraping up bits with a spoon. Add a few tablespoons of butter, bring up to a simmer and add bouillon or broth. Reduce the sauce to between 2/3s and half of the original volume, taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, sugar (optional–depends on the quality of the marsala you’re using) and more marsala if needed. When thickened enough to stick to the pasta and concentrated to your liking, add chicken back to pan and finish cooking. Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a platter, then pour mushrooms and sauce over top. Alternately, you can drain off a lot of the sauce from the mushrooms before topping the chicken and pass the sauce separately in a gravy boat. Chop a large quantity of fresh parsley and sprinkle generously over platter or plates.
-This works equally well with potatoes instead of pasta, but I wouldn’t recommend rice. Serve with bread and a salad or wilted spinach.
-This reheats pretty well, but be warned that the butter will solidify in the fridge and you’ll have to break chunks off if you don’t want to reheat the whole thing.
-This scales up pretty easily–just brown the chicken in batches. You can’t go wrong with too many mushrooms, so just add more as you see fit and adjust the sauce with more wine and broth. I’ve been known to use a whole bottle while making this dish just to have a ton of sauce leftover to add to more chicken or mushrooms another day.
-If the sauce is flavored to your liking but still looks too thin, go ahead and thicken with a little cold water/cornstarch slurry. Start small and add a little at a time, as this sauce can thicken very quickly with just a little starch. The bonus to using starch to thicken the sauce is that it’s less likely to separate if it sits for a bit or goes into the fridge for any period of time, but I’d still stir it before serving or after reheating.