Chicken Marsala is a classic restaurant dish that is actually really easy to make at home. Really easy. You can do this one on a busy weeknight or for friends on the weekend.
What is Chicken Marsala?
It is lightly pan-fried chicken cutlets that are topped with a sauce made out of Marsala wine. It usually also includes mushrooms. Oh wait, I bet you’re wondering what Marsala wine is, huh?
What is Marsala Wine?
I first heard about Marsala via one of Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks. I think it was Feast, which is one of my favorite cookbooks ever, actually. She raves about the stuff (and it seems I’m not the only one who noticed because other people have caught Marsala-fever from her as well!). After trying Marsala, I totally understood why she uses it in so many dishes. It’s so delicious.
If you’ve never tried it before, I urge you to get a bottle. You can find some very inexpensive ones and they’re just fine. I will say that I don’t love it to drink. Not really at all. But it’s really delicious to cook with. You can make it the star of the show, like in today’s recipe, or you can add a splash of it to all kinds of things. It adds just a touch of sweetness and tons of flavor. It’s great in soups and stews and in all kinds of gravies and sauces.
What exactly is it though? Marsala is a wine that comes from the part of Sicily (in Italy) that surrounds the city of Marsala. For a wine to be called Marsala, it must come from this area. The same way that Champagne has to come from the Champagne region of France to be correctly given that name. It’s a fortified wine (similar to Port and Sherry) and can be either dry or sweet. It is the sweet version that is used in Chicken Marsala.
How To Make Chicken Marsala:
Start with some chicken cutlets (learn how to pound chicken breasts into cutlets over here, just do step #1 and #2 though). Dredge them in seasoned flour and then lightly pan-fry them. Remove them from the pan and add mushrooms. Cook for a bit and then stir in sweet Marsala wine. Cook the wine until it is thickened like a syrup. Then you add a bit of chicken stock and simmer it a bit longer. Return the chicken cutlets to the pan and heat through. Serve the chicken topped with the mushrooms and sauce. Ta da!