Sunday, 6 October 2013

Chicken Marsala in Mascarpone Mustard Sauce

How many different things can we do with chicken? We seem to ask ourselves that question very often, don't we?  I really like chicken Marsala and I am always looking for different ways to jazz up any classic dish.  As I was browsing recipes and considering what to do, I came across this recipe by Giada on the Food Network site.  This is one of the very few recipes I decided to experiment with and make for the first time for our dinner gathering of fifteen.  This recipe is so fool-proof, you do not have to do a practice run.  The mascarpone cheese provides a nice creaminess and the tartness from the Dijon mustard provides a nice dimension of flavor that makes this dish taste like it came straight out of a restaurant kitchen.  The only thing I did differently from the original recipe is to double the sauce and it's ingredients.  I like a lot of sauce so that is just my personal preference.  This will be a HIT at your next gathering or potluck!

Cut your chicken breasts in thirds or fourths. 

Season both sides with salt, pepper and onion powder.

Heat your olive oil and add chicken to brown on both sides.  I'm using a 5 1/2 qt low saute pan, which fit this entire sauce with chicken perfectly.  You'll have to work your chicken in batches.

Getting brown! The chicken will not be cooked all the way yet but it will finish cooking in the sauce.

Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.  You'll notice the crusty residue that is left over from the saute. YUM!  Add onions and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp salt. Adding salt will help the onions release their moisture and will deglaze the pan.

Add mushrooms and garlic and about another 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.

Once the liquid has evaporated as your cooking the mushrooms, add the Marsala wine and let it simmer away until the wine is reduced by half.  This will take about 10 minutes.

Once the wine is reduced, add the mascarpone cheese and Dijon mustard.

Once incorporated, add the chicken and let the chicken simmer in the sauce and finish cooking for about another 10-15 minutes

Chicken Marsala in Mustard Mascarpone Cream Sauce

Feeds 4-6
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4), each breast cut crosswise into 3-4 pieces
Salt + Black Pepper + Onion Powder
1/4 Cup or so olive oil (for chicken saute)
2 tablespoons butter 
1 1/2 onions, chopped
1 pound or 1 1/2 lbs cremini mushrooms, sliced
12 garlic cloves, minced
2 C dry Marsala wine
2 C (16 ounces) mascarpone cheese
1/4 C Dijon mustard
1/4 C chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish
1 lb pasta, your choice (I used linguine)

Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and onion powder. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and work on the next batch.

Meanwhile in the same skillet you'll now notice lovely residue left over from your chicken saute. YUM!  Melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat, then add the onion and sprinkle it with 1/2 tsp of salt and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Salt on the onion will release moisture and deglaze the pan. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms (and about 1/2 tsp or so salt and about 1/4 tsp more pepper) are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper if desired.  Serve with your choice of pasta.

Recipe adapted from Food Network