Italy is one of my favorite places and so I goes without saying that I also love it's cuisine.
Which made us work up an appetite! We had made quick friends with a local restaurant owner and would visit him nightly for the special dinner he would have prepared for us. Each day was something different, not from a menu, but made special. Oh...the risotto...to die for! And every meal ended with a Baci or kiss! Such good memories of our time there.
One dish I adore, and my mom does as well, is Chicken Marsala. There is something special about the flavors in this dish. The wine and the cream marry so well and turn out a delicate but full of flavor sauce that tops a simple chicken and mushroom dish.
The technique is simple, by sauteing chicken and then creating a pan sauce. Deglazing the pan is important step so that you pull up the little brown bits (fond) that are in the bottom of the skillet, which lends great flavor to the sauce. To really get good brown bits use a stainless steel pan which allows for a little sticking in the pan.
Kitchen Tip: Pound chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4" thickness if desired. This will reduce the cooking time for the chicken by several minutes.
Here's my ode to Rome and my take on Chicken Marsala. I hope you enjoy it.
Some step by step pics.
stainless steel pan
See the brown bits?
scrape up the brown bits...
add the cream
Heaven in a pan!!!
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 c flour
1/3 c flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound sliced button mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add flour to a pan for coating. Take each piece of chicken and dredge it in the flour, shaking off any excess. In a large skillet, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side (4-5 minutes for thin breasts) Remove and keep warm. (refer to Kitchen Tip above for pounded chicken breasts.
In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in remaining oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by a third. Stir in cream. Return to a boil; cook until slightly thickened.
Return chicken to pan and cook to warm through spooning sauce on top of chicken. Garnish with parsley.