Want to make a dinner that inspires a little romance? Chicken marsala is one of those classic dishes that sounds fancy, but it really isn’t hard to make. With a few common pantry items, some marsala wine, and some basic cooking skills, you can impress like a chef! Only takes one pan, about 40 minutes, and you are good to go! Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes, polenta, or by itself!
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
1 (8-oz) package sliced crimini mushrooms
3 tablespoons onions or shallots,
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup dry Marsala wine NOTE: If you do not have or cannot find marsala wine, you can always use white wine, red wine, or sherry wine. It just won't taste quite the same. Marsala lends a specific sweetness to the dish. Try to find it if you can, it is common at most stores that sell wine.
2/3 cup heavy cream (optional)2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving (optional)
Before you start decide how you would like to serve this dish. By itself? Over pasta? Mashed potatoes? Polenta? All the above work well. If you plan to serve it over something, just remember to cook and prepare that before serving.
If you have a meat tenderizer mallet or even a rolling pin, wack the chicken breast until it flattens out to about a quarter inch. Tip (if you put them in a ziplock bag prior to doing this you can avoid chicken splatter. You can also choose to skip this step all together. The dish will still be delicious.
Place the flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a ziplock bag. Add the chicken to the bag; seal bag tightly and shake to coat chicken evenly. Set aside.
Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons 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, and 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 onions, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the broth, Marsala, heavy cream (optional), fresh herbs (optional), 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 and 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. Sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley, if using, and serve.