Chicken marsala is an Italian-American dish made from chicken cutlets, mushrooms, and Marsala wine (who doesn't like a recipe with wine as an ingredient?) The dish originated in the western Sicily region, where Marsala wine is produced. The art of cooking this dish lies in the Marsala wine sauce, made by reducing the wine to nearly the consistency of syrup while adding shallots, mushrooms, and herbs. The sauce is then poured to smother the chicken and completing the dish! I love the challenge of getting the consistency and taste of the sauce just right. Are you up for the challenge?

YIELD: Makes 4 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 50 min
TOTAL TIME: 50 min

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 lb total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

 

PREPARATION

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.

Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.

Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Transfer to sheets of wax paper, arranging chicken in 1 layer.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer.

Add 1/2 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and 1/2 teaspoon sage.

Serve chicken with sauce.

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