Chicken Marsala

We don’t often go to Olive Garden (and an Actual Italian Restaurant is directly out). It’s a bit pricey for our budget (we are sooooo cheap), and it’s not very preschooler-friendly. But every time we do go, I get the Stuffed Chicken Marsala. It’s gloriously delicious. I’d always kindof assumed that it was a difficult recipe, so I’d never tried it. But if there’s one thing that food blogging has taught me, it’s that the fancy recipes that we think are difficult are actually easier than takeout.

Chicken Marsala has a very small ingredient list, and many of them are things you already have. If I want to make this, I do need to plan ahead because I don’t generally keep mushrooms or Marsala wine in the house, but they’re both easy to obtain. I based this on the recipe in my BHG cookbook (they don’t seem to have it online) – the main difference is that I stuffed the chicken with cheese and herbs and they don’t.

Here is my ingredient list:
– chicken breasts (I used 2 big ones – in the future I’ll use smaller ones)
– 1/4 cup flour
– 1/2 tsp dried marjoram (or substitute as you like)
– 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper
– 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
– 1/4 cup sliced green onions
– shredded Italian cheese (a single kind like parmesan or a mix, as you prefer)
– 3 tbsp butter
– 1/2 cup chicken broth
– 1/2 cup Marsala wine

For equipment you will need:
– small bowl
– something to pound chicken with
– cutting board
– plastic wrap
– skillet (cast iron is, of course, recommended)

Watch carefully; this recipe is so short that you might miss it.

Step one: Mix the flour, seasoning, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.

Step two: Lay the chicken on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap, and pound it until it’s around 1/4 inch thick.

Step three: Careful now! Use a sharp knife to cut a “pocket” in each piece of chicken. Stuff this pocket with cheese and any herbs you may want (I used marjoram, to match the breading).

Step four: Dip the chicken in the flour mixture (step one) and shake off excess – they only need a light coat. Set aside.

Step five: Melt one tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Saute the mushrooms and green onions in it, over medium-high heat, until they’re softened. Remove from skillet. (I just put them back into the measuring cup.)

Step six: Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and allow to melt. Add the chicken breasts (don’t crowd the pan) and allow them to brown on each side. This’ll take about 6 minutes or so.

Step seven: TURN OFF the heat. Move the skillet to a different burner. Add the mushrooms and green onions back to the pan. Make sure there are no flames about, and add the Marsala wine to the pan, followed by the chicken broth. (I actually mixed the two together in a measuring cup.)

Step eight: When the liquids have calmed down a bit, put the skillet back on the heat and bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. The liquids will thicken into a lovely sauce.

Serve! It’s really good with pasta, but I suspect it’d also go well with rice! You can put it on a plate and stage it all pretty if you want, or you can just devour it, your choice.

I was absolutely amazed at how SIMPLE this recipe really is. It took less than 30 minutes, only a few ingredients, and the hardest part was pounding it out! (Bonus for doing it on a busy weeknight: take your frustrations out on the chicken.) Seriously: this is how difficult it was to make:

That’s right: wearing a Legend of Zelda hoodie, one hand in the pocket. You can practically do it in your sleep. (That’s also how glamorous it is to be a nobody food blogger.) This is only marginally more difficult (if at all) than any of the typical “weeknight” recipes you’ve got in rotation, and definitely adds a touch of class to your Wednesday night.

Do you have any restaurant recipes that you love, but are afraid to try at home?  (Make a suggestion and maybe I’ll try it for you!) Have you ever tried a “fancy” recipe and been surprised by how easy it was?