There is no need to go out for dinner for Valentine’s Day. Chicken Marsala is a perfect dish to make for a Valentine’s Day dinner. It is quick and easy to make with plenty of flavor. If you made my Chicken Piccata recipe, you will have no problem making Chicken Marsala.
Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish dating back to 19th century. It is believed to have originated with English families who lived in western Sicily, where Marsala wine is produced. Marsala wine is a type of Sicilian fortified wine, similar to a sherry.
Similar to Chicken Piccata, you start by butterflying two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Then flatten each chicken breast (now 4 pieces) with a meat pounder between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. The key is to get each piece thin. Once flattened, you dredge each paillard (definition below) in flour and brown in butter/olive oil.
Remove the chicken paillards from the pan and sauté the sliced mushrooms. Add the Marsala wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and chopped parsley to the pan. Simmer and add the remaining butter to enrich the sauce. Return the chicken paillards to the pan and simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thicken slightly.
This finished dish is great served with a side of rice or pasta.
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Paillard – A French term for a boneless piece of meat that has been butterflied and pounded thin, thus tenderizing the meat. This also allows the meat to cook faster without losing moisture. [Chef Thomas Keller]
Chicken in a luscious, velvety mushroom Marsala wine pan sauce.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and paillard
- Freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and a pinch of Kosher salt
- Flour for dredging
- 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned off and sliced
- 1 cup Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
NOTE: Use the juice of a fresh lemon for this. The sauce will not taste as good with bottled lemon juice. I have tried it in the past and the sauce lost that fresh flavor.
- Step 1 Butterfly each chicken breast.
- Step 2 Flatten (paillard) each chicken breast with a meat pounder between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper.
- Step 3 Dredge each paillard in flour and shake off.
- Step 4 In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Lightly brown the first two floured paillard in butter and olive oil, 2-3 minutes per side.
- Step 5 Season with freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Once browned, remove the chicken breasts from the pan and transfer to a plate.
- Step 6 Repeat until all of the paillards have been browned. You will probably need to add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil after you have browned the first two.
- Step 7 If you have any dark brown flour in the pan, remove it and wash the pan. It’s better to have a clean flavor with the sauce then trying to save the fond. You will get the chicken flavor back once you return the chicken to the pan.
- Step 8 Add the mushrooms to the pan and brown.
- Step 9 Add the Marsala wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and chopped parsley to the pan. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Step 10 Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Simmer for an additional minute.
- Step 11 Return the chicken to the sauce and simmer on a low heat for 4-5 minutes turning the chicken breast once to ensure they are evenly cooked. The sauce will have thicken slightly.
- Step 12 Serve with rice or a side of pasta.