Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fabulous Chicken Marsala

Despite having an impending organic chemistry final tomorrow, at a weak moment I logged onto Pinterest. I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest.  I love it because it has so many wonderful ideas, but hate it because it has the tendency to lead to hours and hours of procrastination.  
Ah, procrastination.  Why do today what I can do tomorrow? 

 Of course, after scrolling through all sorts of flavorful fare, I just had to try out one of the new recipes I pinned.  And so, suddenly needing a break from my study of Nucleophilic Substitution reactions, I decided that I would make this Chicken Marsala for dinner!  It did not disappoint! 

Chicken Marsala

For the pan-fried chicken:
1-1/2 lb. chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1/2 c. flour
vegetable oil

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, coat with flour, and pan-fry in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. (If chicken breasts are thick, slice in half or pound out before frying.)  Allow cooked chicken to drain on paper towels. Reserve drippings for sauce.

For the marsala sauce:
3-4 strips of bacon, chopped
8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
1-1/4 c. Marsala wine
1/2 c. chicken stock
4 t. lemon juice***
4 T. butter
salt & pepper

To drippings leftover from chicken breasts, add your chopped bacon.  Fry until crispy and remove--drain on paper towels.  Toss in sliced mushrooms.  Saute until soft and golden over medium heat.  Drain off any excess oil, especially if there is a lot (I prefer blotting with paper towels).  Add in garlic, continue sauteing until golden.  Add tomato paste to sauteed mushrooms, and stir to dissolve paste and coat all of the mushrooms.  Allow the tomato paste to brown a little bit (~1-2 minutes), then deglaze the pan with marsala wine.  Over medium-high heat, allow the sauce to come to a simmer and begin reducing.  Add in chicken broth.  Continue simmering and reducing.  After a couple of minutes, once sauce has reduced and is no longer a thin liquid, cut heat to low and stir in lemon juice and butter. Add crisped bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Return chicken breasts to pan.  Turn to coat with sauce.  Best served with egg noodles.

***The original recipe called for lemon juice.  Although I did add it, it seemed pointless.  I think the tomato paste provided enough acidity, and the lemon flavor was also masked by the wine, for the most part.  If you don't have lemon juice on hand, then I would consider skipping it altogether.  

Adapted slightly from Pass the Sushi

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