Friday, June 22, 2012

Chicken Marsala Rotini

Now, I know what you must be thinking.  I thought these recipes were supposed to be approachable!  This one has a bunch of ingredients, fancy wine and two different kinds of mushrooms!  How can that be approachable?  Well, I will show you.  Don’t be intimidated – this recipe might take a few steps, but it’s completely do-able even for the novice chef.  It’s perfect for a special occasion or just an evening when you need a lil’ bit o’ comfort.  And it’s RULL good! 

I’m very proud of this recipe because it has such a perfect mix of elements and ingredients.  The onion provides a natural sweetness; the mushrooms give earthiness (and each kind of mushroom tastes different); the pasta adds some hearty love and the sauce brings it all together harmoniously.  Maybe it should be called ‘Sweet Earth Lovely Pasta Marsala!’

You’ll find this meal to be robust and tempting, and soon a forget-me-not in your recipe box.  Call me if you can resist a second bowl!  I’ll be impressed…and then I’ll eat your extra serving.

3 chicken breasts, sliced
1 pint button mushrooms
2 Portobello mushrooms
1 small onion
1 1/2 C. Chicken Stock or low sodium chicken broth
3/4 C. Marsala Wine (don’t let this scare you – it’s cheap and easy to find)
2-4 T. heavy cream

Water, to cook pasta
Rotini pasta
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a shallow dish, season the chicken with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Allow the chicken to marinate for 20 minutes or more.  Slice onion and mushrooms and set aside. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook chicken until golden brown.  Remove and set aside.  Allow to rest.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until caramelized.  Remove and set them aside.  Add the mushrooms and a little extra olive oil and cook until they are browned.  Remove and set them aside. 

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. 

Meanwhile, pour the chicken stock into the pan where you cooked the chicken, onion and mushroom and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all of the brown bits.  Bring the stock to a boil and reduce by half.  Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce by half again.  The sauce may taste salty – don’t worry!  Once you add the ingredients back in, the flavors will level out. 

***’Reduce by half’ can be scary.  But, it’s not.  It just means cook it down until it’s about half of the amount you started with.  By doing this, you are really accentuating the flavors.

Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.  Whisk the sauce until it is well combined, light and creamy brown.  The sauce will be thin.  Add the chicken into the sauce and allow the chicken to reheat. Add the onion and mushrooms to the sauce as well.  Toss gently so everything is coated in the Marsala sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  If your skillet is big enough, add the pasta as well.  This way, all the ingredients begin to soak up the delicious sauce. 

Spoon the pasta, chicken and vegetables into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese. 

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