That Night I Almost Made Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala was one of the first meals I ever cooked for my husband, back when he was maybe not even my boyfriend yet, I don’t think, and I just wanted to impress him so badly. Food memory is fascinating. Just thinking about this dish brings that meal immediately to mind, and all of the emotions and nerves I was feeling at that time while I was cooking almost frantically and waiting for him to get to my apartment for dinner. I hadn’t made it in a long time when it popped into my head the other night, and I just couldn’t shake it. Knowing I had the majority of the ingredients on-hand, I quickly decided to add it to our menu for the week. So I grabbed the missing ingredients on my way home from work and came home with a almostmarsala6well-intentioned plan. And that’s where all that organized planning ended.

Home in the kitchen, I got everything out. Except the Marsala wine. Yep. Didn’t have it. I was SURE I had it in the pantry (oddly, that’s a thing I keep around regularly, even though I don’t make this dish that often). But I was wrong. Unfortunately, the train had already left the station, so I had to wing it. And so I bring you Almost-Chicken Marsala, or Chicken Pinot Grigio/Sherry, as it turned out (also delicious). Here you go…

* 1.5lbs chicken tenders* salt and lemon pepper (of course lemon pepper)
* 1/3C + 1T flour
* 6T olive oil, divided
* 5T butter, divided
* 8oz sliced mushrooms
* 1/2 sweet onion, diced
* 2 cloves minced garlic
* 1/2C pinot grigio + 1/4C cooking sherry (or, if you want to go the traditional route, 1/2C Marsala cooking wine)
* 1/2C chicken broth
* dry or chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Prepare a dish with 1/3C flour and to the flour, add salt and lemon pepper (toalmostmarsala1  taste) to the flour and mix through with a fork. I like to add the seasoning to the dredge instead of to the chicken itself – I think the flavor comes through for the dish better this way. If you weren’t dredging the chicken, I’d say season the chicken directly. But that’s my style. You can also just lightly salt and pepper the chicken itself first, and then continue. Anyway, dredge the chicken in the flour to coat on all sides.almostmarsala2

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pa over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping occasionally to cook evenly. You may need to work in batches. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.

To the same pan, add another 3 tablespoons of oil and another tablespoon of butter and add the sliced mushrooms for about 6 minutes or so, until golden brown. Then add these to the plate with the chicken and leave on the side.almostmarsala3

Add the last tablespoon each of oil and butter to the same pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook just to soften for approximately a minute or two.

To that, add the last tablespoon of flour and stir lightly to break up any lumps. Cook for about a minute, then add the wine, sherry, and broth and continue cooking, scraping the pan and stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add the last of the butter and stir it in, then return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan and cook just enough to reheat, a few minutes should do it.

Taste and add a bit more salt or pepper if you need it, garnish with fresh or dried parsley, and serve over linguini or spaghetti, with a side of warm, crusty bread.


It’s not the same dish I made him almost 11 years ago, but it still did the trick!

Have a great weekend… eat something good, and tell me about it next week.

2 thoughts on “That Night I Almost Made Chicken Marsala

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