This chicken Marsala recipe is the perfect choice for an elegant meal at home. The Italian dish is made with deliciously coated chicken breasts, then covered in a Marsala wine and mushroom sauce
This recipe calls for pancetta, which many chicken Marsala recipes omit. Pancetta is an Italian bacon that is cured with salt, pepper, and other spices, but not smoked. It's moister and has a mellower flavor. You can find it in any good Italian market and many supermarkets, it's definitely worth the extra effort to get.
Some cooks may want to substitute the pancetta, but we caution against it. You can substitute bacon for pancetta by blanching it in boiling water first to subdue the smoky flavor. However, according to OChef, "your friends will mock you and your self-esteem will suffer". We agree. It's what helps to make this recipe incredibly magnificent. Settle for nothing less.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 ounces each)
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1 x 1/8 inch pieces
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups sweet Marsala wine
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons butter, cut into four pieces
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F, with rack in lower middle position. Place a large heatproof plate on the rack.
2. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Place the flour in a shallow baking dish. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, the coat each side in flour. Shake gently to remove excess flour. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a 12 inch heavy bottomed skilled over medium high heat, until simmering.
4. Place the floured cutlets in a single layer in the skillet and cook until golden brown (about 3 min.).
5. Turn the cutlets with tongs and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the cutlets to the heated plate and return to the oven.
6. Lower the skillet heat to low and add the pancetta. Sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until the pancetta is browned and crisp (about 4 min.).
7. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels and drain.
8. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté, stirring occasionally and scrape the pan bottom until the mushrooms begin to brown (about 8 min.).
9. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and cooked pancetta. Cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste begins to brown (about 1 min.).
10. Remove the pan from heat and add the Marsala. Return the pan to high heat and simmer, scraping the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 1 1/4 cups (about 5 min.)
11. Remove the pan from heat and add the lemon juice plus any juice from the chicken that has accumulated on the plate. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well blended.
12. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.
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