Homemade Chicken Marsala – when made right – is much better than any Italian restaurant. This recipe is wonderful and perfect for a family week night dinner. The chicken breasts are quick fried in butter and olive oil. Baby portobello mushrooms, onions and Marsala wine simmer to make a luscious sauce. I season my sauce well with red and black pepper, and add a splash of heavy cream at the end for that extra richness. I was lucky to have some fresh oregano in the garden for the perfect touch. One important tip is to always use a good DRY Marsala wine imported from Sicily. Do not use anything called cooking wine. Ugh.
The order you cook the ingredients is important. First, saute the flour-coated chicken cutlets in butter and olive oil. This will create those little brown bits in the pan. Set the chicken aside to keep warm. Next, in the same pan, brown the mushrooms which will absorb all the flavor from the pan. Add the onions next. They will give off moisture as they wilt and caramelize. At that point, add the Marsala wine and chicken broth and simmer for 10 minutes until it becomes a thick, rich sauce. Add a dash of cream, and then nestle the chicken back in in the pan. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
If you made it right, the chicken will be fork tender and juicy and the sauce will be syrupy, spicy, and lip-smacking good. Some people like Chicken Marsala with pasta such as penne rigate, or roasted potatoes on the side. My favorite way to eat Chicken Marsala is with a glass of Valpolicella and a few slices of crusty Italian bread for dipping.
Please let me know if you try this!
The Best Chicken Marsala
- 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 12 ounces baby portabella or crimini mushrooms sliced
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 cup dry Marsala wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried or fresh
- Remove the tender from the underside of each chicken breasts (if still on).
- Place each chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper, and pound on the thick end with a heavy mallet to get the cutlets even as possible, about, ½ inch thick. This helps the cooking time be even for the whole breast.
- Sprinkle each chicken cutlet and tender with salt and pepper.
- Liberally coat both sides with flour and shake off excess.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium high heat.
- Add flour-coated chicken cutlets and tenders and saute on one side until light golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the chicken in batches if needed. Set the cooked chicken aside on a platter and keep warm.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the same skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Cook until mushrooms are slightly brown and caramelized. Set the mushrooms aside.
- Add the last tablespoons of olive oil and butter to the hot pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and fresh oregano and cook until the onions start to caramelize, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms back to the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Off heat, add the Marsala and chicken broth scraping any browned bits from the skillet. Place the pan back on the medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 - 12 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens.
- Place the cooked chicken back in the pan let simmer over medium high heat in the sauce another 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add the cream at the end and heat through.
- Sprinkle with fresh oregano and serve over pasta.