This recipe is one that I found in the New BEST Recipe Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen and the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. It’s amazing!

I used a Sweet Marsala Fine from Italy, but you can use whatever Marsala you can find. Just remember, the sauce is only as good as the wine you put into it. I served spaghetti noodles with this dish.  Once again, I barely put this on the table before the family ate it all gone, so no pictures from me, I’m afraid.  But this is a fair approximation of what it looked like:

Also, you might be worried that the chicken isn’t cooked all the way through, but remember, it spends about 15 minutes in the oven as you make the sauce, which finishes whatever cooking you started on the stove top.

Chicken Marsala

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5 to 6 oz each), trimmed of fat
1 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 ½ ounces pancetta, cut into 1 by 1/8 inch pieces
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 ½ Cups sweet Marsala
1 ½ Tablespoons juice from 1 large lemon
4 Tablespoons ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

How To:

1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a large heatproof dinner plate on the rack and heat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Place the flour in a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to tastes. Working with one cutlet at a time, coat both sides with flour. Lift the breast from the tapered end and shake to remove excess flour; set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place the floured cutlets in a single layer in the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn the cutlets and cook on the second side until golden brown and the meat feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to the heated plate and return the plate to the oven.

4. Return skillet to medium-low heat and add the pancetta. Sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosened brown bits, until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain.

5. Add the mushrooms to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom, until the liquid released by the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and cooked pancetta and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute. Off the heat, add the Marsala. Return the pan to high heat and simmer vigorously, scraping the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced to about 1 ¼ cups, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, add the lemon juice and any accumulated juice from the chicken. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

To participate in other Mouthwatering Monday recipes, check out Rachel’s site, From the Land of Monkey’s and Princesses: A Southern Fairytale!

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