chicken marsala

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Chicken Marsala is a delicious, easy dish to prepare. There are few ingredients, it takes less than 30 minutes to make, and it is seriously impressive.

I love to serve it with roasted potatoes. but it is also delicious with pasta or rice.

The Best Way to Tenderize the Chicken

Pounding the chicken into thin pieces is essential to chicken Marsala to ensure the chicken cooks evenly and quickly but most importantly, makes the chicken breasts more tender.

Put the chicken inside a gallon zip-top bag and pound the chicken in the bag! The bag can also be used for coating the chicken in flour. The cleanup will be so easy.

If you do not have a mallet; a rolling pin, a heavy skillet,  or a large 28 oz  can of vegetables can be used in place of a mallet. If you do own a mallet, be sure to use the flat side for pounding the chicken. Pound the chicken to 1/4 to  1/2 inch thick.

Dredge the Chicken

Lightly dredging the chicken in flour helps it brown quickly, prevents it from overcooking, and also gives it a silky, velvety texture.

Marsala Wine

Marsala is a fortified wine which means that a distilled spirit, like brandy, has been added. The same is true for both Madeira and Sherry, other popular cooking wines. One great thing about fortified wines is their long shelf life. Some like to refrigerate their open bottles but I store mine in my cool, dark pantry and it stays well for many months. Marsala is also quite inexpensive and widely available in the liquor section of most grocery stores. Marsala comes in both sweet and dry varieties. For cooking, the difference is minimal. A good rule of thumb is to use sweet Marsala for desserts like tiramisu, and dry Marsala for savory dishes.

Buy a bottle of Marsala and any other wine you cook with that you would like to drink. Avoid buying cooking wine from the vinegar section of the grocery store shelves  — the Marsala found there tends to be a lower-quality.


Chicken Marsala


Prep Time   10 min                     Cook Time   15 min                        Total Time   25 minutes


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

¾ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging

1 teaspoon course salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced lengthwise

1 cup Marsala wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley



Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 200°F.

Season the flour: Combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a wide shallow bowl; set aside.

Butterfly, pound  and flour the chicken: Butterfly the chicken breasts and cut into pieces lengthwise, on a diagonal.

Place the chicken breasts into a gallon size ziplock bag; pound with a flat meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about 1/2 to 1/4-inch thick. If available, can use thinly sliced cutlets and skip the pounding step.

Dredge each cutlet in flour, tap off excess, and transfer to clean plate.

Cook the chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high flame in a large skillet. Gently place the cutlets into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once.

Cook the chicken in batches if the pieces all do not fit comfortably in the pan. Remove the chicken to a large ovenproof dish or platter and place in oven to keep warm.

Cook the mushrooms: Heat another 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5-8 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Deglaze and prepare the Marsala sauce: Add the Marsala wine to the mushrooms and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned pieces. Add the broth and simmer until reduced by half and starting to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, chicken stock, garlic, lemon juice and parsley. Simmer for a minute or two to reduce the sauce slightly, scraping up any brown bits with a spoon. Return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for a few minutes to heat the chicken through, turning the chicken halfway through. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Top with chopped parsley.


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