Chicken Marsala


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The first time I tried this dish was when I worked at the Cheesecake Factory. It was during my week-long training class. Every day we ate lunch in the restaurant dining on the various dishes so we would know what the food tasted like and be able to describe the dishes and make recommendations.

The Cheesecake Factory served their Chicken Marsala on a huge platter with bow tie pasta. I thought it was OK, but I never ordered it after trying it. This was back in 2005.

Eight years later may taste buds have either expanded or deadened (I’m still trying to figure out which). Because this dish seemed like such a classic and relatively easy to make, I thought I would give it a whirl.

ingredients.

  • 1 whole chicken breast trimmed of all fat and cut into cutlets (aim for 4 roughly even pieces)
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher-style flake salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 to 3 T. butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1 12 oz. package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch of green onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. Marsala wine
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes

directions.

  1. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Cut into pieces and combine the flour, marjoram, salt and pepper in a wide, shallow dish. Coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture, covering all pieces completely. Set aside for a few minutes. Reserve any leftover flour mixture for thickening the sauce, if needed.
  2. In a good large frying pan, over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms and onions in 1/2 of the butter or oil until nice and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan to a separate bowl and add the rest of the butter or oil.
  3. Get the pan good and hot again and then lower the heat to medium. Add the chicken pieces cooking until browned nicely on one side. When you flip the chicken pieces add the mushrooms and onions, placing them on top the cooked chicken. Move the chicken around a bit with tongs or a spatula to avoid sticking. When the bottom layer is decently browned add the chicken broth and wine.
  4. Lower the heat and cover the pan. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or so and then remove the lid. The flour from the chicken will make a nice gravy. if your gravy isn’t thickening, sprinkle in a bit of the flour 1/2 teaspoon at a time, stirring well to dissolve and thicken. Serve immediately over egg noodles. Garnish with parsley.

A few things. The recipe didn’t say how much chicken to use. I went with one and a half pounds (two chicken breasts) and cut them in half lengthwise, then pounded them flat. This seemed to work well for the recipe.

My gravy did NOT thicken. I had to add a bunch of flour and then turn the heat up higher to make it bubble. Then it thickened slightly.

I decided to garnish with additional green onions. Because I had so dang many of them.

Also, I didn’t have egg noodles on hand. Inspired by the Cheesecake Factory’s decision to serve the dish with bow tie noodles, I scavenged my cupboard until I found the only acceptable noodle to pair with the dish. (I didn’t think shell noodles or elbow noodles would work well. Obviously I only keep noodles on hand for making macaroni and cheese.)

After having to add just a little bit of salt to my serving, I was happy I decided to try making this dish. I loved the slight wine flavor in the ‘gravy.’

I garnished mine with parmesan cheese. As a server at the Cheesecake Factory it was ingrained in my mind to always offer parmesan cheese with pasta dishes. (It was a must!) We could never quite figure out if this was a pasta dish (it was an entrée served with noodles as opposed to being listed with the other pastas). Plus doesn’t it seem rude to not offer a sprinkling of cheese when you’re offering other customers (eating actual pasta dishes) some? Customers seemed equally as confused as to whether or not parmesan cheese went with the dish but hardly ever did they turn down my offer.

Recipe rating: 

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