Thursday, April 14, 2011

CHICKEN FLORIO MARSALA



Chicken Marsala has become an easy go-to dinner in our household, ever since I discovered the recipe from Cooking for Engineers  That recipe used sweet Marsala wine.

When our local Harris Teeter had one of their regular case sales for wine, I bought a few bottles of Florio Marsala along with our favorite drinking wines.  Marsala is a fortified wine and, once opened, it will keep in the fridge for about 6 months.  You can also drink it like a port or sherry as an after-dinner drink (that's where you will find Marsala -- near the ports and sherries).  Florio, the original maker of Marsala wine, has two kinds:  dry and sweet.  On the day I was shopping, the dry Marsala bottle had a recipe on a piece of cardboard that hung over the neck like a necklace.  It was entitled "Chicken Florio Marsala."  I decided to give the dry Marsala, and the recipe, a try.

The Cooking for Engineers recipe calls for brining the chicken for 1 hour, and has fewer ingredients.  We liked it a lot, but the sauce cooks down and doesn't leave you with much.  This recipe doesn't cook down quite as much, and there's plenty of the wonderful sauce to enjoy.  You can serve this with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.  Since I mostly eat low carb, I have it with a salad or low-carb veggie.  I've made the Chicken Florio Marsala three times now, first exactly as written with the dry Marsala, next with brined chicken and some tweaks and last with tweaks and sweet Marsala.  While I enjoyed the sauce made with dry Marsala, I prefer the sweet Marsala.  And the chicken is moister and more tender when it's brined first.

P.S.  Save yourself some time, but maybe not money, by only buying Florio Marsala (about $10-$12).  No one makes Marsala like the Sicilians.

Chicken Florio Marsala
Adapted from Florio
Rating:  9.5 out of 10
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INGREDIENTS:
2 cups cold water
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 1 lb. chicken tenders)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
4 oz. fresh white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup Florio Marsala, dry or sweet (I prefer sweet)
1/2 cup heavy cream
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

In resealable plastic bag, combine water, salt and chicken.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Drain.  Rinse chicken well under cold running water.  Pat dry with clean paper towels.  If using whole breasts, cut breasts in half to make thin cutlets, and pound to even out.  For chicken tenders, just pound to even out.

In large, heavy skillet (an iron fry pan would be perfect, and is what I used), heat oil over medium-high heat.  When it's sizzling, add chicken and brown, without moving, for about 3 minutes per side.  Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and saute for one minute.  Pour wine over pan and simmer for one minute.  Add cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Lower heat to medium and simmer 3-5 minutes, or till chicken is done and sauce is bubbling.  Serve chicken with sauce and sprinkle with parsley.  Serves 3-4

4 comments:

  1. I just discovered this dish a few months ago and I love it!!! But I've been ordering from this delivery place and they're not that nice, despite my repeat business, so I decided to just try and make the dish myself. Thanks so much for generously sharing your amazing recipe!!!!

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  2. Anonymous, You are so welcome and I'm glad it worked for you. It's cheaper to eat at home and you know what you're putting into your dish.

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  3. I made this over the weekend. First time ever for this dish and the family just raved over it :-) Thank you so much for sharing this easy, delicious recipe! I used boneless skinless tenders because they were what I had on hand, sliced baby portabella mushrooms (also what I had on hand) and doubled the recipe. Heated up great for another meal the next night.

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  4. Anonymous, thanks for your feedback. I use the tenders a lot, also, because they are perfectly sized, no need to cut them, just pound them a little. I love cremini mushrooms (baby portabellas), but my hubby thinks mushrooms should be white (go figure).

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