Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chicken Marsala

The best part of chicken marsala is the mushrooms. Flavor-packed slices. Umami overload.
Warm gooeyness going down, down, down to your belly. 


YIELD: 2 servings
TIME: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 chicken tenders about 1/4 inch thick (mine had been marinating in Worcestershire sauce overnight but you don't have to)
  • grape seed oil (for coating your pan; you can use olive oil but it'll alter the flavor some, grape seed oil is pretty flavorless)
  • 3/4 cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken or beef stock)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 green onion, chopped
DIRECTIONS
  1. Coat chicken tenders with flour in a plate. Tap off any excess. Tip: Using tongs or chopsticks makes this process much less messy than using fingers.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and allow it to warm. After warming, gently lay in the chicken and cook until browned, about 3 minutes a side (depending on how thick your tenders are). Transfer to plate and keep warm - I covered my chickens with a dish towel in the microwave (you may have other tricks up your sleeve).
  3. Add marsala to the pan - stand back! It'll steam and make all sorts of noise and you'll feel like a real chef. This exciting action deglazes your pan. After deglazing, let the wine reduce by 75% volume, stirring here and there. Keep an eye on it though because it cooks down pretty quickly.
  4. Add mushrooms to the pan, stir and scrape the sides down as needed. 
  5. Pour in stock and allow mixture to thicken for about 5 minutes before removing from heat.
  6. Stir in chopped green onion.
  7. Spoon sauce over chicken. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley! I served my chicken marsala with angel hair pasta coated in butter and grated Parmesan.

DID YOU KNOW?
Marsala is imported form Sicily and made from local grapes. Marsalas have a rich, smoky flavor, much of which comes from oxidation during aging, as with sherry and madeira. Marsala wines are made in various styles - secco (dry), semisecco (semisweet), and dolce (sweet). The quality levels are Fine (the lowest level), at least 17% alcohol and 1 year wood aging; Superiore, at least 18% alcohol and 2 years wood aging; Superiore Riserva, at least 4 years wood aging; and Vergine (the highest quality), at least 5 years wood aging.  (Food Lover's Companion 4th Edition)

I used California Marsala, 17% alcohol. I have no idea how many years it has aged. This bottle came home with me because it was on sale (but also wasn't the cheapest one). It got the job done!

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