skip to Main Content
Menu

Chicken Marsala

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.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more)

Chicken Marsala
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Saute the mushrooms at high heat in the olive oil and butter.
  2. Remove to a platter.
  3. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and dust lightly with the flour.
  4. In a saucepan, place the 2 T. olive oil and when hot, add the chicken breasts.
  5. 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.
  6. Flip once and brown quickly on the other side.
  7. Remove the breasts to a plate and turn off the heat.
  8. Add the chopped shallots to the pan, without turning on the heat.
  9. The residual heat will cook the shallots in a couple of minutes.
  10. When the shallots are softened, add the chicken and the mushrooms back to the pan.
  11. Turn the heat to medium and pour in the Marsala wine and the chicken broth.
  12. Let everything cook and blend together for only about five minutes.
  13. If the sauce is too thick, add more broth or water.
  14. If not thick enough, add a bit of cornstarch (1 teaspoon), mixed with 2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth.
  15. Keep in mind, that the sauce will thicken a bit more when you add the butter.
  16. Just before serving, add the 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice and sprinkle with minced parsley.
 

Pork Chops and Mushrooms in Marsala Wine Sauce

If you’re like me, dinner is often a consequence of what’s in the refrigerator, and on this particular night, I found a bunch of baby portobello mushrooms that needed to be used before they spoiled. I could have served them as a separate vegetable, but they seemed like a natural pairing with the pork chops I had just bought. A little marsala wine, plus a small bit of cream that was left over, would elevate those pork chops from ordinary to sublime.

It’s easy to overcook pork chops because they’re so lean. If you can find some with a little marbling, great, but that isn’t so easy. Marinating or brining helps, but knowing when to pull them off the grill or the stove is the most important step in avoiding a tough piece of meat.

I don’t use a meat thermometer for pork chops or steaks, but instead have learned to test meat with the finger test. It’s got to have a little softness in it when you touch it, like the fleshy part of your hand. If you let it cook until it feels hard, then it’s overcooked. It takes getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll never overcook meat again. Click here to get a more detailed guide on using the finger test for doneness of meats.

Pork Chops and Mushrooms in Marsala Wine Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 2 thick pork chops (about ¾" thick)
  • To marinate the pork chops:
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. butter
  • 8 ounces baby portobello (or button) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ¼ marsala wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock (or water)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • parsley, minced
Instructions
  1. About an hour before cooking, marinate the pork chops in the olive oil, soy sauce and minced garlic.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the mushrooms on high heat. You want to get a nice sear on the mushrooms and let the water in them evaporate.
  3. When the mushrooms have turned a nice golden brown color, remove them from the pan and set aside with any remaining liquid from the mushrooms.
  4. Drain the pork chops from the marinate and dredge them in flour, salt and pepper. Shake off any excess flour.
  5. Place the oil in the same pan as you cooked the mushrooms and turn the heat to medium high. Add the pork chops and quickly sear on each side. This should take only a couple of minutes on each side.
  6. Lower the heat, add the marsala wine and the chicken stock, stirring to incorporate them.
  7. Flip the pork chops once to give both sides exposure to the liquid, then add the cream and swirl in, flipping again. Add the mushrooms back to the pan and cook until everything is heated through and just until the pork chops are done. Do not overcook. The meat should still have some "give" in it when you press it with a fork or with your fingers. If it's overcooked, it will feel hard.
  8. Sprinkle with minced parsley.
 

Baked Pears in Marsala Wine

 Somehow or other, when I decide to cut back on desserts, fruit gets a free pass. OK, forget that scoop of ice cream nestled beside the pear on the plate above, and the sugar and butter in the recipe, below.

 It’s still fruit as the main event, not cake or pastry. And fruit is your friend, right?
Pears poached in red wine has been one of my standard winter desserts for years, but after receiving a copy of Rachel Roddy’s new book, “My Kitchen In Rome,” I knew that I had to try her recipe for baked pears in Marsala wine and cinnamon.
Many of the recipes in this new book by a young English woman transplanted to Rome had me pining for the Eternal City, and will be familiar to anyone who’s a fan of Roman cuisine. You’ll find old favorites like spaghetti alla carbonara and carciofi alla romana, but also some unusual and tempting recipes like a sausage and cabbage cake that looks like an oak tree’s trunk and branches when flipped out of its pan.
And if you love octopus, she’s got a recipe for cooking it that ensures a perfectly tender and flavorful result every time.
What I also love about this book is the writing.
Rachel’s got a real way with words and telling stories, so it’s not surprising that she also writes a column for the British newspaper, The Guardian.
But back to those pears. The recipe calls for comice pears, and I don’t know if what I bought were comice pears. They were on the smallish side, so they could have been, but I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter though, because I think you could easily make these with any type of pear.

First you smear the pears with butter. Then sprinkle with sugar and pour the Marsala and other ingredients over the pears.

Bake in the oven for about a half hour, covered, then another half hour uncovered, until the pears are tender and slightly shriveled.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream, or a spoonful of mascarpone, as Rachel suggests.

 

Ciao Chow Linda is also on Instagram, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Click here to connect with me on Facebook, here for my Pinterest page, here for my Twitter feed and here for my Instagram page to see more of what I’m cooking up each day.

Baked Pears with Marsala and cinnamon
printable recipe here
from “My Kitchen in Rome” by Rachel Roddy

6 Comice pears (or other types)
3 Tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 cup dry Marsala wine (I used sweet Marsala)
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
mascarpone (or ice cream), to serve

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Slice the bottom off each pear so that they sit flat. Using a sharp knife, cut out the central core as best you can. Rub some butter over the skin of each pear and sit them, stalk upward, in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the Marsala, sprinkle on the sugar, and break the cinnamon sticks roughly over the pears. Cover the dish loosely with foil.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking for another 25 minutes, or until the pears are very tender and slightly shriveled. Serve warm or at room temperature, with some of the sticky juices and a scoop or ice cream or mascarpone cheese.