How to make classic Chicken Marsala (with double the mushrooms!) in a rich, earthy, complex Marsala Sauce. Serve over creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or roasted spaghetti Squash! (Vegetarian Adaptable-see recipe notes!)
Chicken Marsala is an Italian-inspired meal that is believed to originate from Sicily in the town of Marsala where the wine was created. It has become a classic on Italian-American restaurant menus, and a dish that was often requested in our catering business.
So often in fact, I needed a break from it, so it has been a long time coming here to the blog. 😉 It takes about 45 minutes to make and we love this best served over a bowl of creamy polenta, which can be made in the Instant Pot while you are cooking the chicken. You can also serve this with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower or roasted spaghetti squash!
A very doable weeknight dinner, or special enough for Sunday Super.
Sweet Marsala or Dry Marsala?
- The key ingredient in Marsala Chicken is Marsala Wine. While there two kinds -sweet Marsala and dry Marsala, either can be used. I personally prefer the taste of dry Marsala, which keep in mind, is still sweet, just a little less sweet.
- If sweet Marsala is what you have, just use it. Sweet Marsala works fine too.
- Regular red wine, will not work the same here.
How to make chicken marsala (in a nutshell):
- Cut or pound chicken into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
- Coat the chicken in flour salt and pepper.
- Pan sear the chicken until each side is golden,and set aside.
- Saute the mushrooms until caramelized.
- Make the Marsala Sauce and nestle the chicken into the sauce and continue cooking through.
- Garnish with Italian parsley.
Can this be made vegetarian?
Yes. In our catering business, for vegetarians, we would substitute tofu “filets” dredged in the flour mixture, pan-seared the same way. Instead of chicken broth substitute veggie broth. A decadent vegetarian dinner!
In a bowl or zip lock bag, mix flour with salt and pepper- see recipe card for exact measurements.
Cut the chicken in half widthwise. You want pieces that are no thicker than 1/2 inch.
If they are smaller pieces of chicken to begin with, you can alternatively pound the chicken into 1/3 inch thin cutlets.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake them off.
In an extra-large skillet, begin searing each side until golden. Don’t worry about cooking them through here- just focus on getting the crust, beautifully golden.
While the chicken is searing, slice the mushrooms, dice the shallots, garlic and herbs.
Once the chicken is golden, set it aside and cover.
Saute the mushrooms in the same pan.
Here we are doubling the mushrooms so it will take a bit more time. Add the shallots, thyme and season with salt and pepper.
After the mushrooms release their liquid, be sure to let this cook-off and they will begin to caramelize. Be patient and wait for this… this is where the flavor is!
Then add the Marsala wine, the broth and the cream.
Reduce this down, letting it simmer and thicken a little, about 12 minutes.
Nestle the chicken back into the pan, and gently simmer 5-6 minutes uncovered until the chicken is heated and cooked all the way through.
Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley and serve over a bowl of creamy polenta.
The leftovers can be easily reheated and actually taste even better.
More recipes you may like:
- Creamy Mushroom Soup
- Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff
- Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Shallots
- Tarragon Chicken (or Tofu) with Asparagus, Lemon and Leeks
Hope you enjoy this take on Chicken Marsala- and be sure to look to the recipe notes for a yummy vegetarian version!
Hope you are having a great week.
A classic recipe for Chicken Marsala with double the mushrooms! An Italian-inspired dinner served over creamy polenta. A delicious weeknight dinner idea! Vegetarian Adaptable- see notes. 😉
- 1/4 cup flour (or sub GF flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 3/4 pounds chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, more as needed
- 1 lb mushrooms- cremini, portobello, shiitake, button – sliced
- 1 large shallot, finely diced (or sub 1/2 a red onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or use both)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup dry Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
- Flat-leaf parsley for garnishing
- Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl (or place in a large zip lock bag).
- Cut the chicken in half widthwise, so each piece is no thicker than 1/2 inch thick. You can also pound the chicken down to under 1/2 thick, then cut in half. (see photo)
- Heat oil and butter in an extra-large skillet over medium-high heat. Cast-iron works great here. Dredge each piece of chicken, shaking off excess, and carefully place in the hot skillet, searing each side until beautifully golden, 3 minutes on each side. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through, just focus on getting a nice golden crust. Set aside on a plate.
- Lower heat to medium. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the pan. Add the mushrooms and saute 5-6 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, oregano, thyme and season with a five-finger pinch of salt and pepper. Keep sauteing until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown slightly.
- Add the chicken broth, Marsala wine and heavy cream, scraping up any browned bit. Simmer gently uncovered for 12-15 minutes, over med or medium-low heat, letting it thicken and reduce, deepen in color. It won’t be thick sauce- just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste- about another 5-finger pinch of each. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. For extra richness, add more cream, or for a looser sauce, add more broth.
- Nestle in the chicken to the Marsala sauce and simmer another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Sprinkle with flat-leave parsley and serve over a bowl of creamy polenta.
The key ingredient in Marsala Chicken is Marsala Wine. While there two kinds -sweet Marsala and dry Marsala, either can be used. I personally prefer the taste of dry Marsala, which keep in mind, is still sweet, just a little less sweet. If sweet Marsala is what you have, just use it. Sweet Marsala works fine too. Regular red wine, will not work the same here.
VEGETARIAN OPTION: In our catering business, for vegetarians, we would substitute tofu “filets” dredged in the flour mixture, pan-seared the same way. Instead of chicken broth substitute veggie broth. A decadent vegetarian dinner!
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