How to Make Chicken Marsala

This Italian chicken dish is special enough for company but quick enough for a weeknight one-dish meal. Spoon a mushroom-Marsala wine sauce over sauteed chicken breasts that have been pounded thin and serve over twirled pasta.


What Is Marsala?

Chicken Marsala showcases Italy's most famous fortified wine, Marsala. This smoky, aged wine is usually served as an aperitif or dessert wine, and it comes in a variety of styles from dry (secco) to sweet (dolci). Select a dry Marsala for this recipe or substitute dry sherry.

This dish takes only 35 minutes to make, start to finish. Here's how:

Season the Flour

In a shallow bowl combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed; 1/8 teaspoon salt; and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. This will be used to dredge the chicken.

Tip: You can substitute dried thyme or Italian seasoning for the marjoram if you like.

Pound the Chicken Breasts

Chicken Marsala starts with skinless, boneless chicken breast halves that are pounded thin before dredging them in the seasoned flour. These thin pieces are called chicken cutlets. Pounding them allows the chicken to cook evenly and quickly in melted butter. The seasoned flour browns and gets slightly crispy in the butter, infusing the chicken breasts with flavor.

  1. Place one piece of chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to lightly pound the chicken, working from the center to the edges until the breast is uniformly 1/4 inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap and repeat with three more skinless, boneless chicken breast halves.
  2. Place each pounded chicken breast into the seasoned flour and coat all sides, shaking off excess flour.

Saute the Mushrooms and Chicken

  1. In a 12-inch skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups sliced mushrooms and 1/4 cup sliced green onions, and cook until tender. Remove the mushrooms and green onions from the skillet and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet melt an additional 2 tablespoons butter. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until evenly browned and no longer pink inside, turning occasionally.

Tip: White button mushrooms or brown cremini mushrooms work well. Five ounces of mushrooms yields 2 cups sliced.

Make the Sauce

  1. Remove the skillet from the heat, and add the mushrooms and green onions back to the skillet.
  2. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup dry Marsala or dry sherry to the skillet. The butter may splatter a bit, so add the liquids slowly and carefully. Return skillet to the heat and bring the mixture to boiling over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will cook out the alcohol.
  4. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

How to Serve Chicken Marsala

This chicken is saucy enough to serve over hot cooked pasta such as capellini, linguine, or fettuccine, if you like. If using pasta, cook it according to package directions, preparing about 1 cup cooked pasta per person. Or instead of pasta, consider serving the chicken Marsala with sliced Italian bread to mop up the sauce.

Our Favorite Chicken Marsala Recipes

Peppered Chicken in Marsala Sauce

Thyme Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala


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