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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chicken Marsala for Two! - Cooks Illustrated


1 + ⅛ cups dry Marsala
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
2 x (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup all-purpose flour
7 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 ½ ounces pancetta, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 small shallot, minced
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley


It is worth spending a little extra for a moderately priced dry Marsala ($10 to $12 per bottle). Serve the chicken with potatoes, white rice, or buttered pasta.

1. Bring 1 cup Marsala, gelatin, and porcini mushrooms to boil in small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer until reduced by half, 4 to 6 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast in half crosswise, then cut thick half in half again horizontally creating 3 cutlets of about same thickness. Place cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently to even 1/2-inch thickness. Place cutlets in bowl and toss thoroughly with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes.

3. Strain Marsala reduction through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Return Marsala reduction to saucepan, add broth, and return to boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

4. Spread flour in shallow dish. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge cutlets in flour, shaking gently to remove excess. Place on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place cutlets in skillet and lower heat to medium. Cook until golden brown on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 3 minutes. Return cutlets to wire rack.

5. Return now-empty skillet to medium-low heat and add pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits, until pancetta is brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom, until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms and pancetta to bowl. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and shallot to skillet and cook until softened, 1 minute. Add tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add reduced Marsala mixture, remaining 1/8 cup Marsala, lemon juice, and oregano and bring to simmer.

6. Add cutlets to sauce and simmer for 3 minutes, flipping halfway through simmering. Transfer cutlets to platter. Off heat, whisk in butter. Stir in parsley and cremini mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.


This is our new favorite chicken dish.  It's a bit more effort than other chicken dishes - but only really because of the sauce preparations - which, of course, is what makes this meal exquisite.  I'm sure it would be better with better mushrooms, but I used regular old mushrooms from the produce department here in remote Truckee and kept them in the dish, although separated from the sauce before serving using a slotted spoon.  I served the chicken on a bed of spinach leaves, but you could also used steamed kale or pasta.

This recipe came from the Cooks Illustrated November 2015 web site.

1 comment:

  1. It certainly looks deee lish!! Miss you two. Hope it will not be too far into the future.
    Yer pal,
    (p s had to use Morgan's Google acct.)


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