Chicken Marsala


Bob's Chicken Marsala Recipe

This classic Italian dish probably originated in western Sicily, in a town called—you guessed it—Marsala. The vineyards in that area produce the best Marsala wine in the world; it’s far superior to the American version. I urge you to use an Italian version in this recipe. Florio is a good brand, and comes in dry and sweet. You will use dry for this recipe.

Note: And if I may preach, please don’t use anything called “cooking wine.” There’s an old saying: Don’t cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink.

Here is what you will need.


1 lb chicken breast filets, about ¼-inch thick, boneless and skinless (You can buy them pre-sliced or purchase two large ones and slice them into filets, which is easy if you put them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes first.)
1 c flour, for dredging
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
2 T shallots or onion, finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, fresh, any type or a mixture, thinly sliced
½ c dry Marsala wine
2 T butter, unsalted
½ c chicken broth
1 T parsley, chopped, for garnish

Pat the chicken filets dry, season on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour. Prepare all the filets this way, before you begin to sautéing. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the filets well on both sides, and remove to a platter. Depending upon the size of your filets, you may need to sauté them in two batches. Because the filets are thin, this browning usually cooks them through.

In the same skillet, sauté the shallots (or onions) until they start to wilt. Add the mushrooms, stir until they are all coated with oil, and cook until they’ve given up most of their fluid. Turn the heat to high and add the Marsala wine; you can tell by the smell when the alcohol has burned off.

(If this were a TV show, this is where you’d see a flash of flames as the wine caught fire on the gas burner. I don’t recommend this for you.)

Turn the heat to medium and sprinkle a little flour over the mushrooms. Add the butter and broth, and salt and pepper, to taste. As the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, add the filets to the skillet to heat them through. Remove to a platter, garnish with parsley and you’re ready to eat.

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