Chicken Marsala isn’t usually found on any menus in Italy. If anything, you’ll find the more popular veal Marsala, but not chicken. However, with the cost of veal (not to mention the ethical reasons), chicken is the meat I prefer to use here in the U.S. It’s a meal you can partially prepare ahead of time, making it perfect for company. You can use any kinds of mushrooms, and for this post, I used baby portobello mushrooms.
Sautè the mushrooms in some butter and olive oil, then remove to a plate.
Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pat dry, then season with salt and pepper, and dust with a little flour.
Brown the chicken breasts in the same saucepan you used for the mushrooms, adding a little more olive oil, then remove them to a plate before they’re thoroughly cooked through. You can do this step, and sautè the mushrooms ahead of time, then finish the recipe later.
Add the shallots to the pan with the heat turned off. The residual heat will cook them well enough in just a couple of minutes. Then add the chicken and mushrooms back into the pan, and pour in the Marsala wine. Let it cook for a minute or two, and add the chicken broth. It will take only a few minutes to cook completely through. Add the butter and swirl it around, then turn off the flame and add the lemon juice.
Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve.
Rice makes a nice accompaniment to soak up the juices, but so do noodles or polenta. Add a green vegetable and you’ve got a great meal for family or for company.
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- 4 cups sliced mushrooms, or more if you like
- 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil and 2 T. butter
- 3 boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half and pounded flat
- salt, pepper
- flour to dust the chicken breasts
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced finely
- ½ cup Marsala wine
- ⅔ cup chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- juice of half a lemon
- minced parsley
- Saute the mushrooms at high heat in the olive oil and butter.
- Remove to a platter.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and dust lightly with the flour.
- In a saucepan, place the 2 T. olive oil and when hot, add the chicken breasts.
- Make sure the pan is really hot or you won't get a nice brown color, and you also don't want to cook the breasts completely -- just to brown them.
- Flip once and brown quickly on the other side.
- Remove the breasts to a plate and turn off the heat.
- Add the chopped shallots to the pan, without turning on the heat.
- The residual heat will cook the shallots in a couple of minutes.
- When the shallots are softened, add the chicken and the mushrooms back to the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium and pour in the Marsala wine and the chicken broth.
- Let everything cook and blend together for only about five minutes.
- If the sauce is too thick, add more broth or water.
- If not thick enough, add a bit of cornstarch (1 teaspoon), mixed with 2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth.
- Keep in mind, that the sauce will thicken a bit more when you add the butter.
- Just before serving, add the 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice and sprinkle with minced parsley.