“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco


Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest Post: Chicken Marsala


Ciao a tutti!! Today I have a wonderful guest post to share with you by DB at Crazy Foodie Stunts. His site is a passion project, just like mine. Not a professional chef, but an everyday guy with a passion for food. I highly recommend taking a look at his blog and seeing what goodies he has to offer!!




Hi everyone! My name is DB, also known as The Foodie Stuntman. If you're unfamiliar with me, I write http://crazyfoodiestunts.blogspot.com/, Crazy Foodie Stuns,  where I make food at home that is often taken for granted and can easily be bought at any supermarket, cooking methods that are not common to many Americans and dishes that are challenging to prepare for someone with no formal culinary training. In the past couple of months, I've made my own ricotta cheese from scratch, boiled spaghetti in red wine to create purple pasta, and prepared a gelato without an ice cream maker. Quick and easy is just not my style.

I chose this dish out of curiosity, more than anything. It's a classic that has made it onto countless chain restaurant menus (Buca di Beppo, Carino's, Carrabba's, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Maggiano's Little Italy, Bertucci's, Olive Garden, The Old Spaghetti Factory and Pasta Pomodoro, just to name a few), but I wanted to improve the dish, in part because I've made my disdain for casual dining chains well known.

In many of the recipes I saw, the chicken was sautéed and then a pan sauce was made but I've adapted this recipe from Williams Sonoma because the chicken is braised for better flavor.http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/chicken-marsala.html"

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, minced
4 ounces bacon, diced
2 1/4 cups Marsala
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup mascarpone
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley (for garnish)

Method
1. On a plate, combine the flour, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.


2. In a large sauté pan, melt half of the butter with half of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, sauté the chicken breasts and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.


3. Add the shallots and bacon to the pan and sauté until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups marsala, increase the heat to high to reduce and thicken, stirring, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Add the broth and oregano and return to a boil.


4. While the marsala is reducing, melt the remaining butter with the remaining olive oil in a second sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone, bring to a boil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the mushroom mixture, the chicken and the remaining 1/4 cup marsala back to the first sauté pan. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes more over low heat. Spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve immediately with mashed potatoes or pasta.




Before I went shopping for this dish I saw that I had some mascarpone in my refrigerator, but unfortunately, when I was ready to use it, I found it had already expired so I omitted it from the dish. I think it is used primarily as a thickening agent because the sauce was so flavorful on its own. My only reluctance to prepare this dish again is not with the dish itself; put the price of the marsala, which stretched my limit for cooking wine.


Please visit my blog, 'Like' me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/crazyfoodiestuntsa , follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/FoodieStuntman, on pinterest at http://pinterest.com/foodiestuntman or add me on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/?tab=wX#110507062230736999883.
As an incentive, I consulted a friend of mine who owns a micro bistro in San Jose who reworked this dish but head over to my site now to get http://crazyfoodiestunts.blogspot.com/2012/09/guest-post-at-la-cucina-prima-donna.html for the reworked version.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Carolina for hosting my dish on her site. It was a pleasure to be here.