Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of golden pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce.

  Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of golden pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce. Though it’s a classic restaurant dish, it’s really easy to make at home. With just one pan, you can have it on the dinner table in 45 minutes. The recipe makes a lovely sauce that is delicious over pasta, polenta, rice, or mashed potatoes.

how to make chicken marsalaMarsala is a brandy-fortified wine from Sicily that is 100% worth adding to your pantry, if only to make this dish time and again. It will keep in a cool, dry spot for months.
  Chicken Marsala

I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts and pound them thin myself, as opposed to using the ultra-thin sliced cutlets sold at the supermarket, since pounding tenderizes the meat. This adds an extra step but you can save time by using pre-sliced mushrooms. (And you can skip all this hassle by using chicken tenderloins.)

how to make chicken marsalaIf your chicken breasts are large, like the ones in the photo above, it’s best to first cut them in half horizontally. (If you pound them without first halving them, they’ll be ginormous and oddly shaped.)

Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Use a stainless steel pan for the best browning. Nonstick will work too, but you won’t get that nice golden color on the chicken.) Place the flour-dusted chicken in the pan, shaking off any excess first.

Cook, turning once, until the chicken is golden and just barely cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the broth, wine, heavy cream, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper; use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the pan into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

Gently boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by about half, slightly thickened, and darkened in color, 10 to 15 minutes (you’re going for a thin cream sauce; it won’t start to thicken until the very end of the cooking time).

Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce thickens a bit more, 2 to 3 minutes.

1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded ¼-inch thick (see note), or chicken tenderloins
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 (8-oz) package pre-sliced bella or button mushrooms
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from 1 medium shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup dry Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving (optional)

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