Chicken Marsala Recipe

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Chicken Marsala: A Weeknight Classic

Chicken Marsala is a beloved Italian-American dish that’s surprisingly easy to make at home. It features tender, pan-seared chicken cutlets bathed in a rich and flavorful Marsala wine sauce, often accompanied by earthy sauteed mushrooms.

Chicken Marsala

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Type of Cuisine

Chicken Marsala is considered Italian-American cuisine. While there are likely related dishes in Italy, the specific version we know today developed in the United States amongst Italian immigrants.

Main Ingredients

Chicken breasts: Thin, boneless, and skinless chicken breasts are ideal for this recipe.

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is used to dredge the chicken for a crispy exterior.
  • Olive oil and butter: The combination of olive oil and butter provides healthy fats for cooking the chicken and building the sauce.
  • Marsala wine: This fortified wine is the star of the show, lending a nutty and slightly sweet character to the sauce.
  • Mushrooms: Typically, cremini or button mushrooms are sliced and sauteed for an earthy depth of flavor.
  • Chicken broth: Low-sodium chicken broth adds body and savory notes to the sauce.
  • Heavy cream: A touch of heavy cream creates a luxuriously creamy texture in the finished dish.
  • Fresh herbs: Chopped fresh thyme or parsley add an optional pop of freshness to the sauce.

  • Cooking Steps

    1. Prep the Chicken: Butterfly the chicken breasts (slice them horizontally in half without cutting all the way through) and pound them to a uniform thickness of about ¼ inch. Season them with salt and pepper.
    2. Dredge and Sear: Set up a dredging station with flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Heat a mixture of olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
    3. Saute the Mushrooms: In the same skillet, add more butter (if needed) and saute the sliced mushrooms until softened and golden brown. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
    4. Deglaze and Simmer: Pour in the Marsala wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
    5. Finish the Sauce: Stir in the heavy cream and fresh herbs (if using). Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Return Chicken and Serve: Nestle the cooked chicken back into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes to heat through and absorb the sauce flavors. Serve immediately with the Marsala sauce spooned over the chicken, accompanied by your favorite pasta or rice.

    Level of Difficulty

    Chicken Marsala is a beginner-friendly recipe. The steps are straightforward, and most cooks can achieve delicious results with a little practice.

    Flavors or Variations

    The classic Chicken Marsala boasts a complex flavor profile with savory notes from the chicken and mushrooms, a touch of sweetness from the Marsala wine, and a rich, creamy texture from the sauce.

    Here are some variations to explore:

    Chicken Marsala with Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with the mushrooms for a tangy and umami twist.

  • Creamy Chicken Marsala: For an extra decadent version, use full-fat heavy cream instead of the lighter version.
  • Chicken Marsala with a Twist: Experiment with different types of mushrooms like portobellos or shiitakes. You can also substitute Marsala wine with dry sherry or Madeira for a slightly different flavor profile.

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