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Chicken Marsala

This is another comfort food for me. I always make it after shopping at my favorite Asian market because they always have a great variety of fresh mushrooms. This recipe is great when you use a lot of different kinds of mushrooms because it will also give you a chance to try-out varieties of mushrooms that you might not know about [believe me, any mushroom you can possibly get your hands on will work in this recipe!]. Keep in mind if you use enoki mushrooms add them late in the cooking process as they have a tendency to melt away quickly. I love to use oyster, shiitake, wood ear (black fungus), crimini or portabella, and the list goes on. This dish is always different from the time before: it always has to do with what is in stock on the day I am at the market.

Of course if you are an idiot that never goes outside the box than a "vanilla version" with just regular boring common button mushrooms is just as tasty [and boring!]. I like using a variety because it really make for an interesting dish! This dinner can get a little expensive if you are cooking for many depending on the amount and type of exotic mushrooms you use but, it is always worth the expense if you are a mushroom lover. Definitely start with a huge colony of oyster mushrooms because I have found that purchasing mushrooms from the Asian market is cheaper the buying them at my regular grocery store.

Here is what you will need:

Boneless skinless chicken breast
(If any one buys bone-in/skin-on chicken and processes the breasts themselves and freezes the skin and bones to use for a stock later; you will not only save money but you will have clearly impressed me! )
Olive oil
Touch of stock
Marsala Wine: I prefer dry over sweet

I like to serve this particular recipe with garlic mashed potatoes but, any starch will do. If you are also serving a vegetable I suggest keeping it real simple like steamed broccoli or asparagus . Let the Chicken Marsala be the star here!

Prepare mushrooms by removing any compost left on them by wiping gently with a paper towel or with a mushroom brush. NEVER USE WATER TO CLEAN COMPOST OFF OF A MUSHROOM! Slice mushroom and set aside. Make a paste by blending smooth 2 tablespoons of softened butter and 2 tablespoons of flour in a small dish. Set aside.

In between plastic wrap pound out chicken breast. This will ensure even cooking time: Personally, I pound them pretty thin. I usually figure ½ breast per person [this will be plenty of protein by the time you get the mushrooms and onions in there!]. Cut chicken into random 3” x 4” pieces (or so) and add kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

In a large skillet on medium heat melt a pat of butter with olive oil. Lightly coat pounded chicken in simple flour making sure that the entire surface of the chicken in completely coated. When the butter stops sizzling add some sliced garlic and place floured chicken in skillet. Do not over crowd the chicken in the skillet. If you have pounded the chicken thin enough the portions should cook in about 2-4 minutes per side. Cook until the chicken is opaque (just until the it looses pinkness). Slightly underdone is fine because you will be adding the chicken back to the mushrooms and Marsala gravy. You may need to cook the chicken in batches depending on how much you are making.

Place cooked chicken and the sliced garlic on a plate until needed. Every time you add another fresh batch of chicken to the skillet add another pat of butter, more olive oil and more sliced garlic. Here’s what I love about this dish the most, [right after all those incredible mushrooms!], you are about 20 minutes to eating once you have cooked all the chicken! *Do I hear singing angels?*

After all the chicken is cooked, add more olive oil, butter and garlic to the skillet. Add sliced onions to cover the bottom of the skillet and a pinch of salt. Just as the onions start to wilt down add all of your wonderful mushrooms to the pan. Salt and pepper the mushrooms. The mushrooms will suck-up all of the moisture, oil and butter in the pan. If you pan seems a little too dry add a tiny bit of stock until the mushrooms start to release their juices. *Do I hear angels singing?*

So, when that happens, (about a little more the half way before the mushrooms are finished) add ¼ - ½ cup Marsala wine simmer a few minutes and add another ¼ - ½ cup Marsala and simmer a couple of minutes. This is how you start building the gravy. At this time you need to a little stock to kind of “soup-up” the mushrooms. You will want to have about a cup to a cup and a half of liquid swimming around the mushrooms. Just when the liquid starts to bubble push the mushrooms and onions away from the center of the skillet making a well in the center of the pan. Add the flour and butter paste to the center of the skillet and let the bubbling liquid dissolve the paste into the sauce. Stir thoroughly into sauce and add the chicken back into the pan and gently get all of the ingredients aquainted with each other. Simmer a couple of minutes until ckicken is heated through and you are ready to serve.

Of course, you can easily turn this dish into something a little more special by finishing off the dish with heavy cream just before serving. **Imagine a chorus of Angels, sounding trumpets with harmonizing vocals.**


  1. I'm here to testify that this is hands down the best Marsala dish in the universe. I heard the angels sing, and you will too! What he failed to mention was that he took 1st Place in a cooking competition with this dish!
    Oh yeah, it's that good...

  2. Thanks Mockie! UMMM, I actually forgot about that...