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Chicken Marsala at Long Last

February 1, 2008

ChickenĀ Marsala

I have been thinking about making chicken marsala for a long, long time. I bought a bottle of marsala expressly for that purpose months and months ago. It might have actually been a year ago. But I never got around to making chicken marsala, for reasons I really don’t know or understand. I’ve never actually HAD chicken marsala, so I wasn’t entirely sure what a good recipe would look like, or what it is supposed to taste or smell like, and perhaps that uncertainty prevented experimentation. Who knows? But this week, I finally decided it was time for chicken marsala.

I’m not sure what my expectations were, not having had any previous experiences with said dish, but it was kind of not what I expected. I wanted the sauce to thicken up a little more. But honestly, other than that it was pretty delicious so I don’t have any real complaints. And it was easy peasy, so I’m not sure what took me so long. It’s actually a pretty fancy-seeming dinner requiring very little effort, which meant it was perfect for movie night with Mr. X. I love it when I can cook things that seem so much more impressive than they are.

I used Giada’s recipe from Everyday Italian, and yes, I’m so geeky about cookbooks that I brought the damned book over to Mr. X’s house, because I didn’t trust myself to remember the recipe. Even though it’s really super easy. I’m forgetful! I don’t trust my sad, pathetic short term memory! Thankfully this turned out to be pretty intuitive, so I should have no trouble re-creating it for you all.

What do I mean by intuitive? The recipe was cooked the exact way I would have expected. It just makes sense in a rules-of-food-preparation way. First you cook chicken, then you cook mushrooms, then you add liquid and cook everything down to a saucy sauce. Simple.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and the sole picture taken was taken on Mr. X’s crackberry. Oh well.

Chicken Marsala

  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken breast halves, which I guess is what they actually are)
  • about 1 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. marsala
  • 1/4 c. chicken stock
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • some pasta, preferably something stringy (stringy?) like spaghetti or bucatini

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a deep skillet, and once the butter’s melted and the olive oil is hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook them for about two minutes on each side, with the skillet covered, to brown the chicken and steam it at the same time! Whoo! (This is a good way to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through and still moist. At least in my little kitchen magic world.)

Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate, and add the second tablespoon of butter. Once it’s melted, add the mushrooms and spread them out in a single layer in the skillet. Cook them for about two or three minutes, then add the garlic and stir everything up. Spread it all out again and cook for another two minutes.

Add the marsala and scrape up all the chicken-mushroom bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the marsala cook down a little bit, and then add the chicken stock and the rosemary. Add the chicken back to the pan, cover it, and cook for another four minutes or so. Then remove the cover and let it cook down over high heat until the marsala/chicken stock thickens and reduces. Remove the chicken breasts, slice them up, and then serve it all together over some lovely pasta.

Voila. Chicken marsala. Delicious.

Sorry I don’t have much more to say about that. It’s a pretty simple dinner, and…yeah, I cooked it three days ago, so I don’t remember a ton of the details. Yeah, I’ll try to get better about that.

I have class tonight until 9, so there will certainly be no cooking tonight. Sigh. Kicking off another semester. Right on.

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