Chicken Marsala

Another cross country season is well under way, and it never ceases to amaze (and confuse) me that all three DamKids share the freakish desire to pound their feet into the pavement every day after school, and most Saturday mornings, too.  With all the running and training they do, it really isn’t any small wonder that they become rabid carb’ivores for a nearly four-month period every fall.  It’s also no great surprise that by 8:20 every night they’re all either incredibly crabby or nearly falling over in a comatose state.  If you’ve got student athletes, you know what I’m talking about.

For them, I try to keep the calories coming, while at the same time (as discussed last week), watch what I’m eating.  This Chicken Marsala is from cookinglight.com, and is always a hit with the whole DamFam.  For the runners, I serve it over some sort of starchy something – usually linguine, but sometimes a big scoop of hot mashed potatoes.  You could also serve it on a bed of rice if you felt moved to do so.  It’s not a very involved recipe, so it’d be perfect for a busy weeknight, but I’d also be comfortable serving this simple chicken dish to guests.  Have a great week!

CHICKEN MARSALA
SERVES: 4
SOURCE:  cookinglight.com

4 T. butter, divided
Cooking spray
1 (8 oz.) package mushrooms, sliced (Whole White Mushrooms are on sale)
2 T. finely chopped shallots
1 T. minced fresh garlic (about 4 cloves)
4 (6 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breast halves (Sendik’s Natural Boneless Skinless Value Packs are on sale)
1/4 t. salt, divided
1/4 t. black pepper, divided
3 T. all purpose flour (Gold Medal Flour is on sale if you’re running low)
3/4 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. dry Marsala wine
1/2 c. frozen green peas (Westpac Basic Frozen Vegetables are on sale)
2 T. half and half

8 oz. hot cooked linguine or fettucine, or hot cooked rice, or mashed potatoes for serving
Fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish (optional)

Place 3 tablespoons butter in a small glass measuring cup.  Microwave butter at medium-high 45 seconds or until melted.  Let stand 1 minute.  Skim foam from surface and discard (mixture will appear separated).  Pour melted butter through a fine sieve over a small bowl, and discard the milk solids.  Set the clarified butter aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add mushrooms, shallots, and garlic.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms give up their liquid and the liquid evaporates.  Remove mushroom mixture from pan and set aside.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap; pound to a 1/4″ thickness using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or small saucepan.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken breast halves in flour.

Add clarified butter to the pan; place pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken (do this in batches if necessary; do not crowd your pan); cook 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned.  Remove chicken from pan.  Return mushroom mixture to pan; add broth and Marsala, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.  Stir in peas; cook 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon butter, half and half, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring until butter melts.  Return chicken to pan; cook until thoroughly heated.  Serve chicken and sauce over hot pasta or rice, or mashed potatoes.  YUM. : )

NOTES:
  This is the recipe as originally written.  Although I did use four pieces of chicken, the chicken breasts in the value packs are pretty big and the clarified butter wasn’t enough, so I added a bit of olive oil to my pan during the saute step.  Because of this, I left out the additional tablespoon of butter at the end.  As you can tell from the photo, I left out the peas (we’re not crazy about them).  What you can’t tell from the photo is that I added way (WAY) more salt than was called for.  At least a whole teaspoon of kosher salt because (and I know I have a problem, but) a quarter of a teaspoon, really?  Pffft, c’mon.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | October 2nd, 2012