DIVINE DINING: Chicken marsala — a complete show-stopper

Sep. 02, 2014 @ 04:05 PM

Chicken is, for me, a bit like opera (just go with me, here). It can totally wow you, or wind up terribly boring. This chicken recipe is the former — a complete show-stopper. There’s nothing boring about seasoned chicken simmering in a rich sauce of marsala wine and mushrooms. This is the Carmen of chicken, y’all. It’s decadent, memorable and just downright classy.

This recipe is the invention of The Sanford Herald’s own news editor, Jennifer Gentile. She prepared it (with me watching her every move) for a little dinner party and, as we all took a first bite, there was stunned silence at just how delectable this moist chicken was. Chicken marsala is a staple in the culinary world, but one that often involves ridiculous maneuverings and extemporaneous preparations. Not so with this recipe — it is simple, with few ingredients, but tastes like you’ve spent all day in the kitchen. Break the routine of boring baked chicken, and give this marvelous marsala a try today.

Chicken Marsala

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts (or 6 smaller ones)

1 cup flour

1⁄3 cup olive oil

1⁄2 stick butter

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1-1⁄2 bottles marsala wine (about 5 cups)

salt and pepper

Heat olive oil on medium-high in a very large sauté pan. Tenderize chicken with a mallet, until about 1 inch thick. Season well with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, coating evenly. Brown the chicken in the oil, about 5 minutes per side, until you get a good caramelization. Pour marsala wine in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add wine to the browned chicken and simmer an additional 20 minutes. Add mushrooms and butter and simmer another 20 minutes. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and a side vegetable of your choice (green beans are wonderful).

Share your beloved recipes with me at heraldfood@gmail.com.

The Rev. Whitney Wilkinson is pastor of Cameron Presbyterian Church.