Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite meals. Don makes a great one. Each time I had a baby, the night before we went to the hospital (or in Alex’s case the night before the first of four times we thought we were going to the hospital) he asked me what I’d like for my “last meal” and it was Chicken Marsala every time.
Chicken Marsala is also one of those cheap meals that we keep in our rotation of meals. We don’t make it every pay period by any means, but maybe once every month or two. Did I mention it’s one of my favorite meals?
Here’s what we spent on tonight’s meal at PriceRite and Aldi’s:
Whole wheat spaghetti at Aldi’s: $1.09
Bag of frozen chicken tenders at Aldi’s: $5.99 but we only used six of the tenders, not the whole bag, which is usually about 18 tenders, so we used about $1.99 worth of tenders.
TOTAL: $5.00 plus we had a salad so add another dollar or so.
For our Marsala wine, we use Holland House Cooking Wine that I keep on hand all the time (I keep both Marsala and Sherry cooking wines on hand.) We used about 1/4 cup tonight.
Here’s the thing about Don though: he’d make a great video blogger chef or a great webinar blogger chef because he cooks without a recipe. He’s a fantastic cook but it’s almost always out of his head.
So tonight, we did our best to get his recipe out of his head and onto a piece of paper (rather, onto a paper napkin) so that I could pass it along.
Here it is:
Take 6 chicken tenders (or however many you think you need) thawed and cubed, and cook them. You can bake them, fry them or saute them. He fried them tonight, which in my opinion is the best, but not the healthiest way (shocker.) Tonight before frying them, he rolled them in flour first and added a little salt and pepper too.
Technically they don’t even need to be cooked all the way through because they’re going to go back into the pan in a little while.
Take them out and set them aside. He puts them in a dish that has paper toweling on it, to catch the grease.
In the same frying pan, saute the mushrooms in either butter or olive oil. We buy fresh, whole mushrooms and either slice them as we did tonight, or cube them, depending on what we’re cooking.
Put the chicken back in and saute together.
Next, de-glaze the pan by adding in the 1/4 cup of Marsala and 1 cup of chicken stock.
You can be cooking your pasta at the same time.
Cook the chicken, mushrooms, Marsala and chicken stock together for a minute or so until it comes to a boil.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic and basil.
At this point Don likes to thicken up the sauce to just how he likes it. In his words, “I take pats of butter and roll them in flour and add in enough pats of butter and flour until it’s the way I like it.”
He said you can also make a rue of butter and flour if you would like, or you can just add the flour to thicken.
Once the pasta is done, we toss it all into a serving bowl with the chicken and Marsala on top. He sprinkles parsley on top for looks.
We used to always make a bed of rice for under the chicken, and sometimes we still do, but when we lived in New Jersey, one of our favorite Italian restaurants served it over pasta, and ever since then, that’s an option for us as well. That’s the way the kids like it best. Using the wheat pasta makes it a bit healthier too.