My mom was a caterer for over 15 years. One of her most popular dishes was her chicken marsala. This was also one of her most coveted recipes and refused to give it out to anyone – even me! For my wedding shower, she gave me a collection of her recipes and DID NOT INCLUDE the marsala recipe! Somehow, I talked my mom into sharing her secrets to one of her most loved dishes at April’s monthly cooking class.
For those of you unfamiliar with this dish, check out the wiki:
Chicken marsala is an Italian dish made from chicken cutlets, mushrooms, and Marsala wine. The chicken is coated in flour, briefly sautéed, and then removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce. The sauce is made by reducing the wine to nearly the consistency of a syrup while adding onions or shallots, as well as mushrooms, herbs and possibly other ingredients. The sauce is then poured over the chicken, which has been kept in a warming oven, and served immediately. In an alternative method, the chicken breasts may be braised in a mixture of Marsala, butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and spices. The dish is commonly served with a side of rice pilaf, potatoes, or pasta.
A PERSONAL NOTE: This is epic that I am able to share the following information with you. I have made a promise to my mom to not fully divulge the entire method of preparing this recipe or the measurements of the ingredients. She actually had NO CLUE how much of each item to use because she always just threw it together! I hope you can make it work for you based on what I’m giving you so you can enjoy it yourself.
MAMA LAVECCHIA’S CHICKEN MARSALA
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
- Marsala Wine
- Chicken Broth
- Bread crumbs (Italian style preferred)
- Canola Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Chicken breasts, without skin or bones, are split length wise to a cutlet shape.
The chicken is dipped in a egg and milk mixture and then coated with bread crumbs:
Once breaded, the chicken is then fried in canola oil:
…then removed from the pan to drain off the excess oil.
To keep the chicken warm and to ensure they are fully cooked, place your fried chicken pieces in a roasting pan and put them in the oven at 350 degrees while preparing the marsala sauce.
In a separate pan, begin the sauce by sautéing the mushrooms with some butter.
Marsala sauce is made with marsala wine, chicken broth, water, flour and spices:
…all which are reduced over heat with the mushrooms and butter.
Once the sauce is at your desired consistancy, pour the sauce over your breaded chicken:
…and serve to your very hungry guests:
MY THOUGHTS ON THE RECIPE: These are the few tips I can share with you:
- My mom always split her chicken breasts while catering to get more bang for her buck. It also helps to speed the cooking process along. Otherwise, the chicken would be frying/baking well through you game of dominoes (inside family joke).
- Traditionally, the chicken in this recipe is not breaded, but just sauteed. My mom felt the breading gave the sauce something to hold on to, therefore enhancing the flavoring.
- Peas are usually thrown in with the mushrooms, but we’re not that kind of group. When my friend Pam asked for another veggie to use instead of the mushrooms, my mom suggested onions. I’m interested to try that sub/add myself.
- Based on my research, my mom used A LOT MORE WINE than the other recipes I came across. Strangely though, the alcohol cooked off pretty quickly, leaving that yummy marsala taste.
We all sat down to our meal comprised of mom’s Chicken Marsala, Confetti Cole Slaw, Aunt Linda’s Broccoli Salad and Rachael Ray’s Chicken with Tarragon Cream last Saturday afternoon and ate like royalty. Funny how a room goes dead quiet once a really great meal is served! I think it was the only time that day my parents’ house was silent! Thanks again to my mom for being her awesome self and teaching us some great family recipes!