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Recipe File

Chicken & Mushroom Marsala

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Good marsala wine is obviously a key ingredient in Chicken Marsala, but what else is needed to make a successful version of this sweet and savory Sicilian classic? Not much else except some patience and attentiveness. Mushrooms are a necessity, but I left out the onions, shallots, chicken stock, tomatoes, flour, capers, lemon, and whatever else all the internet recipes tell you to put into the dish. I wanted to create an easy, no mess version of Chicken Marsala that captured the fundamental essence of the dish and here it is.

Chicken Marsala, like any dish that's been around for generations, comes in a variety of forms with all sorts of family secrets or preferences. I've prepared the easiest, good tasting recipe that I've been able to come up with for this dish and still be called a great Chicken Marsala. As in all the recipes that I post on this website, additional ingredients can be added to your liking. Not only that, I encourage you to do your own experimenting as well!

A lot of recipes call for thin sliced chicken breast meat. The breasts should be washed, patted dry, and lightly floured. The idea is that the thin cuts will not require much cooking time and the flour would protect the breast from drying out while it's cooking. This is true, but there's always potential for making a mess when you flour the chicken. I also found that flouring the chicken wasn't as easy as it looked. If you use too much, then the flour falls off in chunks as you cook it. Use too little and it seems like it was pointless to flour the chicken in the first place. My solution? Brine the chicken breasts, skip the flour.

Brining is the act of soaking ingredients (in our case, chicken) in water with salt (and sometimes sugar). This soak causes salt to penetrate into the chicken meat and at the same time pulls more water in. The meat becomes more plump and flavorful. Brining a chicken breast prior to cooking makes it much easier to produce a tender, juicy breast. I brined my chicken breasts in a plastic bag with 4 cups water with 4 Tbs. table salt for one hour. After an hour, remove the breasts and rinse off the breasts (or they will be too salty).

I brought together the three brined chicken breasts (about 1/2 lb. or 250 g each), 1 cup sweet marsala wine, and 4 ounces sliced button mushrooms. I did not cut my breasts into thin pieces (to show that it's not necessary), but some people prefer a thinner cut. If you're one of them, go ahead and cut your breasts in half and poudn them down with a meat mallet. The sweet marsala wine should be of drinkable quality. I cut the mushrooms into thick cuts, but quartering, halving, or even leaving the mushrooms whole work well.


Salt and pepper the breasts. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high and pan fry the breasts for a few minutes. The exact time depends on the thickeness of the breasts. The breast will change color while it's cooking from pink to white. When the bottom half has changed color, flip the breasts over and cook the raw side of the breast.


Here's where extra attentiveness is important. The objective is to cook the breast until it has just fully cooked. In the Grilled Skinless Chicken Breast article, I advocated learning to tell is chicken breast is done by touch. Well, here's where it comes in handy. If you know how chicken breast feels (level of springiness, hardness, etc.) then use this method to check one when the breasts are fully cooked. I once asked the chef at my local Buca di Beppo's how he made his Chicken Marsala so tender, and he responded mysteriously, "You have to watch the chicken. No, really watch it. You will know when it is done." Well, I'm saying you need to watch and press on it once in a while. If you're not familiar with the touch technique, then simply cut a hole into the thickest part of a breast and see what color liquid flows out. If the liquid has tints of color and is opaque, then keep cooking the chicken. If the liquid is clear (like oily water), then the chicken breast is done.

Remove the fully cooked chicken to a plate and throw the mushrooms into the pan. Don't worry if there are burnt bits of chicken still in the pan because these will help flavor the sauce. If there are any larger chunks of chicken, remove them because they will overcook and become stringy and tough. Spread the mushrooms into a single layer and allow them to cook for a minute.


Pour the cup of sweet Marsala wine into the pan a this point and allow it to reduce for a couple minutes. We want it to thicken slightly, but not so much that it coats the back of a spoon.


Now pour in four tablespoons heavy cream and mix until integrated.


Stir occassionally until this mixture reduces to the point where it will coat the back of a spoon or leave a trail at the bottom of the pan when scraped
(see picture below).


At this point, reintroduce the breasts and roll them around in the sauce until they have been coated with sauce and have warmed up again.


Turn off the heat and move the breasts to a serving tray, covering with mushrooms and sauce. The breast meat should be perfectly tender and juicy while the sauce clings to any available surface. Tina described the chicken as amazingly soft and the mushrooms as "little bombs of flavor". At first she was skeptical about chicken marsala, but after tasting this, she was convinced of how delicious this dish can be.



Chicken Marsala (serves six)
3 chicken breastsbrineseasoncook medium-highremovecoat with sauce
salt
pepper
4 oz. (120 g) button mushroomsslicecook 1 min.reducereduce
1 cup sweet marsala wine
4 Tbs. heavy cream
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Written by Michael Chu
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98 comments on Chicken & Mushroom Marsala:(Post a comment)

On October 17, 2005 at 05:34 PM, Kelly (guest) said...
dude. this is a tite site. =P seriously. keep it up. ^^


On October 17, 2005 at 05:34 PM, DeaFenINgSilENce (guest) said...
marvelous!


On October 17, 2005 at 05:35 PM, ZuluBoy (guest) said...
This is by far the most amazing blog!! Am linking to you. Keep it up.


On October 17, 2005 at 05:35 PM, Wolfwood (guest) said...
Congrats! You have just won yourself the Wolfwoods Site of Uniqueness Award for 2004.

Award Image: http://home.comcast.net/~night99/blog/unigue.gif

Congrats again!

Wolfwood


On October 17, 2005 at 05:35 PM, Chris (guest) said...
Michael,

You might want to correct the spelling on this sentence:

"Turn off the heat and move the breasts to a serving tray, sovering with mushrooms and sauce."

I think it should be 'covering' but if it isn't, would you explain what 'sovering' is?

Thanks, love the site. If my reason-for-living liked mushrooms, I'd make this for dinner tomorrow...


On October 17, 2005 at 05:36 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: spelling error

Thanks, I think I fixed all the typos.


On October 17, 2005 at 05:36 PM, Rob (guest) said...
Fantastic way of setting out recipe as a grid. And anyone who serves up a simple Chicken Marsala recipe has to be on the right track!!


On October 17, 2005 at 05:36 PM, Sasha (guest) said...
College students give cookingforengineers chicken marsala many thumbs up.


On October 17, 2005 at 05:37 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Hey Michael,
This is Alex. While we are on the subject of typos, "If your not familiar with the touch technique,..." in paragraph 7 should read, "If you're not familiar with the touch technique,..."

Anyway, I thought I would share my chicken Marsala recipe. I consider this to be one of my specialties, and coming from Italian immigrant-rich NY, I've had a lot of good and bad chicken Marsala.

I will definitely try out your method as it seems less labor intensive than mine. Since I do not have the benefit of the format you use, I'll just list it out in a typical chronological order that I would do things in:

1) hammer the chicken until it is flat (I do not slice to make it thin, but beat on the thing until it is less than a 1/4" thick, or about 1/3 of its original thickness)

2) coat the chicken in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper.

3) fry the chicken pieces in a mixture of butter and oil until the chicken is HALF cooked. remove chicken.

4)saute the mushrooms until half done in the oil/butter mixture.

5) add the chicken back in (both chicken and mushrooms should be half done). Add in Marsala wine until it covers most of the chicken. cover the pan, and allow the chicken to simmer in there until it is JUST done.

6) serve.

The one problem with my recipe (besides being labor intensive) is that the chicken's flavor is highly dependent on the quality of the Marsala wine, since that is the only thing it is simmering in. I usually taste the Marsala wine beforehand to judge how I believe the chicken will turn out. I then add potentially heavy cream, spices, or sometimes even beer (I know, sounds sacreligious, but sometimes the Marsala wine is that bad).

Disclaimer: I do not list ingredient quantities not because I am cruel or detail deficient, but rather because I just want to give an idea of the process I use, as it differs substantially from Michael's approach.


On October 17, 2005 at 05:37 PM, Michael Chu said...
Thanks Alex,

I type up these articles as quickly as I can and unfortunately don't have an editor. I fixed the typo.

Your recipe is quite similar to many others that I've tried in the past. Thanks for sharing - maybe someone will try both methods and see which one works best for them.

If you do try my recipe, let us know how it worked out for you.


On October 17, 2005 at 05:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I have to say a mother of two, and soccer mom to boot,I am always looking for dinner that is different, healthy, taste good and not going to take 4 hours to make like all my other italian dishes, those don't normally go hand in hand, this one did. Thank you it was a big hit! Meg Ralphiano


On October 17, 2005 at 05:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I'm going to try this dish soon. i was wondering about side-dishes though. what shall i serve with it? In the photo i see what looks like fettuccini noodles in teh background. is that good on the side? anything on them or just plain? thanks.


On October 17, 2005 at 05:38 PM, an anonymous reader said...
HELP-I NEED TO MAKE CHICKEN MARSALA FOR ABOUT 100 PEOPLE-I NEED TO MAKE THE CHICKEN THE NIGHT BEFORE THAN I FIGURED I WOULD JUST COOK THE MARSALA AND MUSHROOMS THE NEXT DAY AND PUT IN THE OVEN FOR A BIT. CAN I COOK THE CHICKEN JUST PART WAY THE NIGHT BEFORE AND THAN FINISH COOKING IT IN THE OVEN THE NEXT DAY-I DON'T WANT TO OVER COOK THE CHICKEN... PLEASE PLEASE I NEED HELP.


On October 28, 2005 at 04:27 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Does the Marsala have to be sweet?
I have dry marsala, and I'm wondering if that would instead of sweet. It's not a problem if it has to be sweet, but I was wondering, for the sake of convenience, if it has to be sweet.


On October 28, 2005 at 06:07 AM, Michael Chu said...
re: Chicken Marsala for a lot of people

This recipe won't work well in an oven. The sauce needs to be reduced with the mushrooms for it to work and that's not going to happen in the oven properly. I suggest looking online for a recipe for Chicken Marsala designed for either large numbers of people or for the oven and scale that recipe.

re: dry marsala wine

I don't feel that flavor of dry marsala wine results in what I expect from chicken marsala after it has been reduced. The flavor difference is intensified and is pretty noticable. I suggest sticking with sweet marsala wine.


On November 03, 2005 at 01:51 AM, Scissorbill (guest) said...
Subject: left meets right
'Reintroduce the breasts'
hu hu huhuhuhu (to the tune of Beavis & Butthead)


On November 03, 2005 at 02:42 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Variation
First, I love the site.

Second, I prepared Chicken Marsala for my parents last month, and used a recipe that didn't use cream. For those that are trying to avoid dairy, please be aware that this is an option - I just used chicken stock to add moistness.

With that said, I'm going to try your version later in the month - it looks delicious!


On November 30, 2005 at 08:49 PM, Skip Oberon (guest) said...
Subject: I LOVE TO EAT!
Hi pals, how's it shaking? That will be funny in a second, because I'm asking about salt. What do you think about it? Does it bother you that it has clorine in it that, if not bonded with a little sodium atom would make it pretty darn deadly? The sodium, when it came in contact with your saliva, would also do quite a little number on you for sure. (Can you say Dental Insurance???) So, today I'd like the thank the Universe (Thanks Universe!) for allowing simple deadly elements to come together and make harmless and tasty treats. Anyway, what proportions of salt do you guys and gals like to use on, say, potatoes au gratin? I believe that approximately 0.5 grams of salt for every kilogram of potatoes will make the potatoes quite splendid. So, for this particular dish, a salt quotient of 0.0005 is quite appropriate. My Mom makes the BEST Chicken Parmeseana.


On December 20, 2005 at 03:05 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I'm the cornstarch king, so instead of using cream in my marsala, I reduce the wine and do the rest of the thickening with water+cornstarch. I have never heard of cream going into chicken marsala until now, but I think chicken madiera usually uses a little.


On January 08, 2006 at 09:25 PM, resn (guest) said...
(Yum)^100 :)

Well done sir, well done. BTW, love the grid idea.


On February 10, 2006 at 11:03 PM, wizodd (guest) said...
Subject: yet another typo.
"Turn off the heat and move the breasts to a serving tray, sovering with mushrooms and sauce." covering? slathering?

Nice, minimal recipe.

Note that Marsala comes in both sweet and dry--which you use will make a difference in the flavor!

Personally, I like my chicken in bite-size pieces--1"x1" or so. They cook [u:618259cd5e]real[/u:618259cd5e] fast though.

If you add a bit of corn syrup to the brining mixture, the chicken will carmelize (brown) faster. (Very small amount required 1/4-1/2 tsp per breast--this is dependant upon surface area, so the smaller your chicken pieces, the more you need.) (I know, this should be quantified, but I haven't gotten to it yet...)


On February 11, 2006 at 07:08 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: yet another typo.
wizodd wrote:
covering? slathering?

typo fixed. Thanks for catching that!


On February 23, 2006 at 09:56 PM, John M (guest) said...
Subject: Dry Marsala
I have always seen this made with dry Marsala. Marcella Hazan calls for dry in her recipe for veal ala Marsala. I guess it is just personal preference, but I even add a bit of lemon juice to the chicken version to cut the sweetness even more.


On February 26, 2006 at 03:54 PM, an anonymous reader said...
wow. im stunned. i just tried the chicken marsala recipe, and i can only say kudos.


On April 23, 2006 at 08:02 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Marsala Dining Out
I ordered chicken marsala at a restaurant in Delaware, Valle' Pizza (Cucina Italino)and it was prepared very similar to your recipe, and look very similar to your pics. It seemed OK but was sort of bland, good and seemed to be what I would consider a healthy blend. I think your recipe could enhance theirs if more engineering is what it would take. Just be careful sitting down at this restaurant, I enjoyed the marsala until I got up and found chewing gum on my pants.

Dave Newark, Delaware


On May 20, 2006 at 08:12 PM, guest--I'll register soon (guest) said...
Subject: chicken marsala
Having recently made the long-and-messy way, kudos for the simple version! To add a little "tang" or "zip" to it, throw two or three thin slices of lemon in to sautee when the mushrooms are almost done, and add a tiny bit of lemon juice to your brine... works well if you find the marsala too sweet...


On June 16, 2006 at 06:12 PM, kayke (guest) said...
I made this for my boyfriend who's a chef and he said "it's faaan- tastic" which is high praise indeed. I like things to be a bit saltier so I added a touch of tamari (wheat-free Japanese soy sauce) and it was delightful. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your site!!
kay


On June 21, 2006 at 02:07 AM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: Marsala Recipe
I like adding a bit of fresh chopped rosemary with the mushrooms to give a great flavour combo


On June 26, 2006 at 02:36 AM, sarasara (guest) said...
Subject: ok one small question
any ideas as to what "good" marsala wine would be? I would like to try your recipe but would like to use good marsala wine as suggested - any name brands would be so helpful for me - I am excited to try your recipe since all my skinless chkin breast recipes turn out so awful - overcooked - stringy - feels like you are eating cardboard etc. :)

"Face piles of trials with smiles, it riles them to believe that you preceive the web they weave and keep on thinking free....The Moody Blues"


On June 26, 2006 at 02:19 PM, mocha said...
[color=indigo:c8a1e3c206] ;) I am going to give this recipe a try in about 1hr.
I make dinner for my family before I head off to work,(3p-11p) so I won't know how it went over until tomorrow. I'll let you know.

ANYWAY- I had Chicken Marsala last night at "Chef Allen's here in Reading, Pa. I was stuffed with mozarella and adagio cheese, and covered with "red smashed potatoes. (Is the cheese called asagio or adagio?) Anyway, I liked the idea of the cheese stuffed in there.

This is the 1st time I have ever been on this site but, I know I will return. I appreciate how the recipes are laid out and the pictures.
(Cooking for Dummies)

Thanks! [/color:c8a1e3c206] ;)


On July 25, 2006 at 08:08 PM, freespiritny (guest) said...
Subject: Great Blog-
To the a-hole that keeps correcting the grammar and spelling on this blog- leave the guy alone. Who cares?? He is providing us with excellent information and is not doing so to be corrected and nitpicked for writing "your" instead of "you're". Take your corrections elsewhere.


On August 05, 2006 at 08:28 AM, mattyz said...
I have tried this recipe a few times.

First time I tried to double the recipe... It doesn't work well unless you have a large enough sauce pan. The marsala will never thicken.

Second time... The chicken was too thick, and it came out a little dry.

Third time... I cut the chicken into 1" x 1" pieces. This turned out pretty well.

Thank goodness the sweet marsala wine sauce is on clearance at my local store, I am going to keep trying until I find a way to make this that works for me.


On September 07, 2006 at 04:39 PM, jennifer (guest) said...
Subject: Know-it-alls
I am so glad that someone (freespiritny) pointed out how ridiculously unnecessary and rude it is to focus on typos and spelling errors rather than the recipe. If you can't deduce that "sovering" should have been "covering" (context clues, people), you probably shouldn't be using the stove anyway! In fact, the only thing more inconsiderate would be to use their recipe blog as a place to brag about how much better yours is than theirs - wait, the did that too, didn't they?

Anyway, it sounds like a very easy and delicious recipe and I intend to try it soon. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share it with those of us whose cooking abilities don't rival those of Emeril!


On October 13, 2006 at 03:08 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala
I tried this recipe (with veal) and it was not only easy, it tasted like something from a restaurant. I have only 1 small suggestion,

At the "Stir occassionally until this mixture reduces to the point where it will coat the back of a spoon or leave a trail at the bottom of the pan when scraped" it may have been helpful to have an estimated timeframe for this as I panicked and added more heavy cream.

Thanks for the great site.


On December 03, 2006 at 06:49 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Wow, this recipe looks so good and simple! I can't wait to try it! I like the fact that this recipe has relatively few ingredients. I find with most recipes, the fact that I will have to buy 20 different spices and other ingredients I will have no use for again is a huge deterrent.
I would also like to know what is considered a "good", or even "decent" Marsala wine.

Anyway, I love your web site; it is extremely helpful! Keep up the great work!


On December 03, 2006 at 07:11 PM, Michael Chu said...
Anonymous wrote:
I would also like to know what is considered a "good", or even "decent" Marsala wine.

A good or decent wine is one that you don't mind drinking. If it doesn't taste good enough to drink, it's probably not going to taste good in your dish - especially if it's concentrated by reduction.


On January 03, 2007 at 08:35 PM, Rick2U said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala
Michael. Love your site. Sent the web addy to my daughter (a teacher in London ON) my Mother and two sisters. I am making your Chicken Marsala tonight (dry) and will only add onions with the mushrooms. I have a 50 + year old spaghetti meat sauce that is very good and I would like to pass it on here. Where do I post it? It is not a quick make (5 hours) but well worth it. Let me know if you think it would be of interest.


On January 03, 2007 at 11:07 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Chicken Marsala
Rick2U wrote:
I have a 50 + year old spaghetti meat sauce that is very good and I would like to pass it on here. Where do I post it? It is not a quick make (5 hours) but well worth it. Let me know if you think it would be of interest.

Recipes can be posted to the Recipes Forum or, if you wish to submit them for publication, then they should be written up and sent with pictures to submissions@cookingforengineers.com


On January 04, 2007 at 08:32 PM, Rick2U said...
Subject: Sauce file
I made the Chicken Marsala and my wife loved it. Thanks Michael. I will submit my recipe for the sauce when I make a batch and take pictures. I have the recipe written up on Word already so I just need the pics. What size should each pic file be and total file?


On January 05, 2007 at 09:06 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Sauce file
Rick2U wrote:
What size should each pic file be and total file?

Good question! I would prefer if the images were at least 640 pixels in the longest dimension. I've added this to the Article Submission Program Page


On January 15, 2007 at 06:42 PM, Conky said...
Subject: Marsala
Michael this is an excellent site. Thanks. I first found it a about a year ago when I was looking for versions of beef stroganoff and was tickled when I saw that your recipe is the same in all respects (except fresh dill when available) as the one I have been using for about 45 years.
I make veal, chicken and pork marsala using a very similar method. I use Florio Sweet and reduce it a little. Rather than cream, though I'll try it next time, I use a couple of cubes of demi glace (frozen in an ice tray), so more reduction is unnecessary. Sometimes I'll use shallots, steaming them in the marsala and sometimes I'll add a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters to the mushrooms as they cook. As in your recipe, I don't use herbs for veal or chicken, but I do add a small amout of rubbed sage to pork.


On February 20, 2007 at 07:37 PM, Missy (guest) said...
Subject: Is Pompeian Marsala Cooking Wine A Sweet Wine?
Could you tell me if the pompeian brand marsala cooking wine is a sweet wine? Thanks


On March 01, 2007 at 09:59 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Is Pompeian Marsala Cooking Wine A Sweet Wine?
Missy wrote:
Could you tell me if the pompeian brand marsala cooking wine is a sweet wine? Thanks

From the looks of the nutrition info available on their website each 30mL serving of wine has 2g sugar content. Since wines don't normally list nutrition info, it's hard to compare against other brands - but it is sweeter than their white wine and red cooking wine, so I would guess that it is a sweet and not dry wine. If you have a bottle, you can go ahead and taste it. Some cooking wines actually contain salt - which you may want to avoid as it makes it difficult to determine how much salt you are adding to your dish (just like salted butter makes it difficult to consistently season food).


On March 31, 2007 at 07:15 PM, Jill (guest) said...
Subject: sub for marsala wine
Hi there - does anyone know of a substitute for marsala wine when cooking chicken marsala (I know ridiculous question - but I'm stuck right now....) If I use a dry white, should I add anything?

Thanks in advance for the help.


On April 11, 2007 at 09:06 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Someone please answer Jill's question above. Hard to find marsala wine here.

Kudos on this great site, wonder how I missed it so far.


On May 19, 2007 at 11:12 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Options
Without marsala try substituting gewurtzaminer & sauternes. Balance the flavors until you like how dry or sweet it is. Drink the rest...


On May 27, 2007 at 02:37 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: alternative ingredients?
i am a person who don't consume wine. i am pretty excited to try out this recipe but am afraid that excluding the wine will change the flavour of the whole dish. Is there any other ingredients i can substitute the wine with?


On July 17, 2007 at 01:49 AM, aislin1207 (guest) said...
Subject: cooking wine
This is really a tasty and easy recipe - Thanks!! And a bit of advice for all you youngsters just beginning to cook with wines: There's a lot of truth in the old rule of thumb when cooking with wine - If it's not good enough to drink, DON'T cook with it! Those so called "cooking wines" that you find in grocery stores will do more harm to a dish than good (loaded with salt & just plain nasty!) There are a lot of good inexpensive wines out there....I use Cribari, a California Marsala that doesn't break my budget. Also try an inexpensive Port to make a great reduction to serve with steak .... yummy!


On July 21, 2007 at 02:30 PM, Nima (guest) said...
On February 20, 2007 at 02:37 PM, Missy (guest) said...
Quote:
Could you tell me if the pompeian brand marsala cooking wine is a sweet wine? Thanks


Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes and I've used a few different brands. Pompeian is usable in a pinch, but as the marsala wine is the primary flavor source, I would recommend upgrading to a "non-supermarket" marsala. (I don't think I could ever see myself kicking back with a glass of pompeian after dinner. If it doesn't go in a glass, it doesn't belong in the pan either.) I have had a lot of success with florio sweet marsala. It's usually between $10-15 at wine shops and will be good for 4-5 batches.

Happy Cooking.


On August 13, 2007 at 11:37 PM, Tichaona (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala
I love the way this recipe is laid out but not as much as I love being able to make something that tastes soooo good! Excellent job! Thanks!

PS, Depending on what's on hand, I switch between the Marsala cooking wine and imported Sangria. LOL!


On October 01, 2007 at 07:43 PM, Debra (guest) said...
Subject: Tasty recipe!
Made this last night. Very tasty, and easy. My teenager in typical teen hyperbolic fashion complained that the sauce "smelled" and that the small taste I made her take was "the worst experience of her life!" I had to wipe the sauce off one of the chicken pieces for her. Oh well, her loss, as that meant I got all the mushrooms and sauce!


On October 04, 2007 at 12:23 AM, Shara (guest) said...
Subject: Wonderful
I'm an English teacher, not an engineer, but this is one of the best recipe sites I've found online. Everything is logical and easy to follow, and the food is delicious. Great work, engineers!


On October 29, 2007 at 06:06 PM, Hugo (guest) said...
Subject: Port?
I'm trying to buy Marsala wine to prepare this recipe but I can't find it anywhere. I read that this is as dessert wine, that can sometimes be compared to Port wine. I'm Portuguese, so I can buy Port easily. My question is: if I use Port, will the overall taste of the dish be totally different? Can I use it as a substitute?

Great site, congratulations Michael!


On October 29, 2007 at 07:53 PM, Dilbert said...
Hugo -

anything full bodied red tending to 'sweet' will work just fine.


On December 16, 2007 at 03:48 AM, mj_biologist (guest) said...
Subject: Another alternative for marsala
Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I made it this evening, as I had some fresh mushrooms that just begged to be combined with chicken.

As I had frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, and I was in a hurry, I mixed them with the brine and microwaved on "defrost" for several cycles. MI didn't completely defrost, but then cut the chicken into pieces after microwaving, then rinsed and cooked up chicken as recommended. Marvellous flavor! Very tender! Thanks so much for this technique!

About the wine--I live in wine country (Finger Lakes region of New York State), so had a variety of local wines to choose from. I mixed a fairly dry white local table wine with some lovely local sherry (I swear I can taste hazelnuts in it!); the sherry would have been too sweet and overpowering, and the dry white was too uninteresting. I think the secret is mixing to taste; it added a truly wonderful flavor to the chicken!

I also added only 1-2 tablespoons of half and half, then thickened with corn starch, and served over egg noodles. Absolutely delicious! You are quite right--this is a superb recipe that lends itself to tinkering. Many, many thanks! A new staple for my recipe box!


On February 02, 2008 at 08:46 PM, Guakalillo (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala Recipe
Wow. I cooked this for my wife and she and I both could not believe how delicious it was. Perfection beyond expectaion. I am cooking it for my very dear friends tommorrow. Thanks, I'll be back for more recipes.


On March 11, 2008 at 06:59 PM, O'Thinny (guest) said...
Subject: Firefox
Love the site. But you should be aware that your page for chicken and mushroom marsala doesn't display properly when viewed using the Firefox browser. The word 'reduce' in the schematic is displayed (twice) left to write rather than up and down, which rather messes up your neat diagram.

All the best,
O'Thinny


On March 11, 2008 at 09:52 PM, Sherman Chong (guest) said...
Subject: Big Ass
Hey guys, please diam la cb knn. And happy cooking.i love it here


On March 17, 2008 at 12:59 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Chcken Marsala - Most Excellent!
Excellent start-off recipe!! I actually made 16 breasts (increase the ingredients accordingly) which required me to do the reciped three times. I DID need to slice the breasts in order to have them cooked through. It is CRITICAL that the breasts soak in salted water for about 90 inutes!! For my recipe I also added the following ingredients for the entire tray of Chicken Marsala: 1 3/4 chopped large red onions, 6 containers portobello mushrooms, 10 bunches of scallions (also called green onions) chopped, and 12 strips of choppped cooked maple bacon. I also needed to add about two tablespoons of gold medal flour to each pan I made to thichen the sauce. I seasoned the sauce with some salt, pepper & a lot of garlic powder. Once all three frying pans worth of food were done, I put all of it into a large serving tray that went into the oven to stay warm. This is the best Chicken Marsala I've ever tasted!!


On March 17, 2008 at 02:32 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Chcken Marsala - Most Excellent!
Excellent start-off recipe!! I actually made 16 breasts (increase the ingredients accordingly) which required me to do the reciped three times. I DID need to slice the breasts in order to have them cooked through. It is CRITICAL that the breasts soak in salted water for about 90 minutes!! For my recipe I also added the following ingredients for the entire tray of Chicken Marsala: 1 3/4 chopped large red onions, 8 containers of portobello mushrooms, 10 bunches of scallions (also called green onions) chopped, and 12 strips of choppped cooked maple bacon. I also needed to add about two tablespoons of gold medal flour to each pan I made to thichen the sauce. I seasoned the sauce with some salt, pepper & a lot of garlic powder. Once all three frying pans worth of food were done, I put all of it into a large serving tray that went into the oven to stay warm. This is the best Chicken Marsala I've ever tasted!!


On March 25, 2008 at 02:00 PM, rich.bronson said...
I think I've found what I'm making for dinner tonight. Thanks for the great recipe!


On March 28, 2008 at 06:23 PM, snickers4ever (guest) said...
Subject: Dry Marsala vs. Sweet Marsala
Dry marsala is used in entres, sweet marsala is used in desserts.


On April 02, 2008 at 02:01 PM, ben (guest) said...
Subject: chicken marsala
i am in no way a cook by any stretch of the imagination but i had guests over my house last night so i used this recipe for dinner and everybody was very impressed with it.

at first i kept thinking what everybody was going to want on there pizza after i tasted it, but when i did i was like WOW this is damn good and when i let every body else try it they thought the same thing so i wanted to thank the author for a wonderful meal last night.


On April 23, 2008 at 06:44 PM, guest (guest) said...
One little trick I use to ensure the chicken stayes juicy and tender is to start cooking it when it is only half thawed. This works very well in most applications even on the BBQ. The cooking time is only slightly longer and when you get the hang of it you can guarantee a very moist chicken breast.


On May 16, 2008 at 07:16 PM, me in NC (guest) said...
Subject: marsala wine
Apparently I used sweet marsala and it was quite bad tasting. I added a can of chicken broth to salvage the meal, but that only made it edible. I don't know if I want to try it again, with dry marsala.


On July 04, 2008 at 03:00 AM, erichcervantez (guest) said...
Subject: Nice site!
Just wanted to say nice site...love the pictures. I wish there were more in-depth recipe sites like this (or maybe there are)

Keep it strong for all us engineers out there!

But seriously, what is up with that crazy Captcha confirmation code business in the phpBB? You'd get way more comments if you removed the complexity


On July 06, 2008 at 08:32 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Nice site!
erichcervantez wrote:
But seriously, what is up with that crazy Captcha confirmation code business in the phpBB? You'd get way more comments if you removed the complexity

I did get more comments - a LOT more, and not the variety that you or I would want. At least now, the spammers are more or less manageable. I still have to delete spam comments on a daily basis even with the crazy captcha.


On August 20, 2008 at 01:53 AM, Brandi (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala
It's awesome to see a different take on a recipe my mom gave me years ago! So far I've found everything on this site very helpful!

I have to say, I was surprised not to see instructions to marinate the chicken in the marsala... is that not a normal thing to do for this dish?
Normally, I marinade the chicken in enough Marsala to cover it and toss in one or two minced garlic cloves.

I will be trying it your way soon, that's for sure!

For those of you looking for decent, inexpensive marsala wines... I usually either get either Columbo or Lombardo (sweet for either) and find they both give great flavor. I don't think I've ever paid more than $8-$10 for either brand.

I've never actually reduced and thickened the sauce though... usually I just make some pasta and marinara to have on the side - I'm sure that's terrible!

Any side dish suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!


On September 25, 2008 at 04:47 PM, bakersfieldmom (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala
Thanks for the recipe. I just found your website, and thrilled to have found it. I had chicken marsala at a local restaurant, and liked the idea, so have been looking for a recipe. You came through for me, and I will use this recipe for guests and husband, alike. I have been buying a cooked version at Costco for a lot of money. No more...thanks to you, I have my own recipe. Keep up the good work, and ignore those who want to nitpick your typos...if they don't harm the recipe, move on. I am a writer, and when I get critical remarks, it is usually from someone who has no idea the energy and time it takes to put together words. I'm learning to not take it personal, so hopefully you know for every critic, you have hundreds of those who appreciate your work, and you.


On September 25, 2008 at 05:01 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Chicken Marsala
bakersfieldmom wrote:
Keep up the good work, and ignore those who want to nitpick your typos...if they don't harm the recipe, move on. I am a writer, and when I get critical remarks, it is usually from someone who has no idea the energy and time it takes to put together words. I'm learning to not take it personal, so hopefully you know for every critic, you have hundreds of those who appreciate your work, and you.

Thanks for your positive comments, but I just want to say that criticism is a good thing, pointing out typos is a good thing, asking for grammar mistakes to be corrected is a good thing. This is the web, I can update and fix immediately, if there's a thousand eyeballs looking at my work and critiquing it, I can make the necessary adjustments to make the article as good as it can be - certainly the last thing I want to do is ignore nitpickers. (I might not act on the feedback because I understand I can't please everyone, but the information is greatly appreciated. I definitely don't want to be writing in a black hole.)


On October 08, 2008 at 04:48 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: chicken marsala for 100
Your recipe for chicken marsala looks super! Here's my dilemma, I hope you can help me. I want to make this dish for 100 people at home and then transport to another location and serve from chafing dishes. Can I prepare this dish ahead of time and refrigerate...in which case, how do I reheat? Is a chafing dish high powered enough to reheat? I think I need to prepare ahead because I have to have the meal ready for a certain time and want to have it all done so I don't run out of time.
thanks for any guidance ahead of time.


On October 15, 2008 at 05:57 PM, audrey kim (guest) said...
Subject: hi
hey michael. i am one of tina's friends! she kept raving about this recipe, so I am excited to make it! I just got married, so any easy recipes that are guaranteed delicious are awesome! i have 2 quick questions. 1. can i use frozen chicken breasts? 2. what kind of pasta did u use in ur pictures or for tina? she said it matches really well. can you give me the recipe? THANKS!


On October 15, 2008 at 07:38 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: hi
audrey kim wrote:
1. can i use frozen chicken breasts?

Yes, just make sure it's full defrosted before you start.

audrey kim wrote:
2. what kind of pasta did u use in ur pictures or for tina? she said it matches really well. can you give me the recipe?

I think the photo shows linguine, but these days I use capellini. Just boil four quarts of water, add a tablespoon or more of salt to the water, add the pasta and boil for a couple minutes less than what it says on the packaging. Test the pasta to see if it's "done". (Bite the pasta and see if the inside is still white, if it is then it's not done. If it's cooked through but still chewy inside, it's done. If it's soft all the way through it's overcooked.)


On October 18, 2008 at 04:36 PM, Elizabeth NJ (guest) said...
Subject: re: sauce file
Quote:
Rick2U wrote:
I have a 50 + year old spaghetti meat sauce that is very good and I would like to pass it on here. Where do I post it? It is not a quick make (5 hours) but well worth it. Let me know if you think it would be of interest.

Michael Chu said...
Recipes can be posted to the Recipes Forum or, if you wish to submit them for publication, then they should be written up and sent with pictures to submissions@cookingforengineers.com


Did Rick2U ever submit/post his recipe? Where might I find it?


On October 21, 2008 at 02:42 PM, river (guest) said...
Do you think this can be done with a bone in breast?


On October 30, 2008 at 02:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: wow!!
This is the best web site about cooking ever!! Your small tips are so helpful, it's incredible. No higher philosophy, just good food prepared in the best possible way. Keep on the good work.


On November 02, 2008 at 04:23 PM, tveteto (guest) said...
Subject: awesome recipe diagrams
i love the recipe diagrams - i think they are fantastic visual representations of what's happening in the execution of the recipe!! well done. i want to start doing this with all my recipes!


On November 18, 2008 at 05:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: chicken marsala
I made this and it was amazing! will definitely make again.


On December 03, 2008 at 03:18 AM, brooke (guest) said...
Subject: yum!
this was very tasty! the mushrooms were delicious! i will be making this again!


On December 03, 2008 at 01:16 PM, Dilbert said...
>>> sweet vs dry

recipes are a matter of taste - so the short answer is no, it does not have to be sweet.

example: the couple next to us ordered a tableside ceaser salad. as the fixings commenced they requested to omit the anchovy. wish granted. now, I personally consider the hint of anchovy to be one of the defining flavors of a ceaser salad - so did they have a ceaser salad or something else?

I personally don't care for sweet wines; I use a drier one for my chicken dishes. "traditionally" this dish uses a sweet one, so did I or didn't I? <g>


On January 17, 2009 at 04:03 PM, nkliewer (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala
Thanks for posting this great recepie. It's simple and fast! Even my Italian wife raved about it and said that it was the best Marsala she ever had.


On January 31, 2009 at 02:50 AM, quise (guest) said...
Subject: cheese
Don't know if anyone asked but can you put cheese on it and if so what Kind


On March 27, 2009 at 06:11 PM, Lucy from Az (guest) said...
Subject: Chkn Mshrm Mrsla
I am new to your site, and love it. I went to my local market 2 days ago and they were selling Chkn Mrsla but it was to expensive for a family of 4 but it looked really good and we had never tasted it, I said to my husband you know what I bet I can make it (I am hispanic and mainly know how to cook Mexican food, but loves to make Italian dishes) so I looked it up and found your site! I followed your directions and used sweet Marsala wine and added white onion and miced garlic and it came out perfect. As the side dish I made Fettuccine with creamy broccoli/mushroom sauce over it, It was great! Even my 11yr old and 5 yr old loved it, I am glad my husband(raised strickly on Mexican food) likes to try diffrent foods and really likes it when I make Italian dishes he also loved it. I had 1 piece of Marsala Chnk and a bit of Fettuccine left from the prevouse night my husband and I shared it the following day, I found that if I reheat it in the microwave in a micro safe tubber ware and not completely covering the tubber ware with its lid it heats it up just right and leaves the the chkn mrsla really moist and juicy. If any one want the recipe for the Fettuccine with broccoli/mushroom sause let me know and I will put it up if thats ok with the cheif. Thanks again for the great site.


On May 24, 2009 at 01:15 AM, Francisco (guest) said...
Subject: CHK Marsala
Awsome Site. I already added it to my favorites...


On September 06, 2009 at 06:24 AM, nat (guest) said...
Subject: spelling error
OMG, Why do u guys care if there are spelling mistakes in his recipes?! It dose not even have to do with the actual recipe, if it bothers you so much I would say dont visit this site. Seriously do the spelling mistakes distract you from cooking correctly? Does mentioning the error help you cook better or helps you sleep better? I just dont get why its such a big deal!!


On September 06, 2009 at 06:31 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: spelling error
nat wrote:
OMG, Why do u guys care if there are spelling mistakes in his recipes?! It dose not even have to do with the actual recipe, if it bothers you so much I would say dont visit this site. Seriously do the spelling mistakes distract you from cooking correctly? Does mentioning the error help you cook better or helps you sleep better? I just dont get why its such a big deal!!

I do appreciate when spelling mistakes are pointed out so I can fix them - but it usually works better to just email them to me at michael@cookingforengineers.com


On September 29, 2009 at 05:52 PM, ciara (guest) said...
Subject: chicken marsala
i love this site! reminds me a lot of alton brown's methods-- he'll tell you what each type of ingredient and process does what for your food, and you can adjust as necessary. much like cooking for engineers' step-by-step explanation.

i'd like to add this-- an easy way to flour meat pieces, should you choose to do so, is to put a cup or so flour in a baggie and toss a few pieces inside.

canned mushrooms (no-salt-added variety is available) save me a heck of a lot of time. plus you can throw in the mushroom-water for a little extra flavour. :D.


On December 01, 2009 at 09:47 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: Printer Friendly?
Maybe you should tell people that if you print the 'printer friendly' version, it's going to print about 25 pages, including the comments. And what a stupid confirmation scheme, adding a letter to the letter that is there. Jeez, how moronic.


On December 01, 2009 at 10:40 PM, Dilbert said...
actually most engineers are not morons - like normal people they explore the options - the ones like "Hide Comments" - which produces just the recipe on a print demand.


On January 18, 2010 at 05:23 PM, LordWabbit (guest) said...
Subject: Awesome
Awesome site dude, nice work, will be bookmarking it and sending it to friends.

I agree with your attitude about people correcting typo's etc. At least it means it will get fixed, and the people who are pointing it out are not being mean or anything, they are simply pointing out the errors. What is wrong with that?

I don't cook much, but I will be trying out this recipe soon. Just not sure if I can even FIND a Marsala wine in South Africa? Never even heard of it, there must be one around somewhere, we have plenty wine farms.


On March 29, 2010 at 01:37 PM, Thanoslug said...
Subject: Love the recipes
This weekend my wife and I put together a birthday meal for myself using mostly recipes from your site. Our main course was this Chicken Marsala recipe - delicious. We must agree with Tina about the mushrooms - little bombs of flavor indeed. We did get a bit distracted while working on other things and let the sauce reduce too much and didn't have much of anything to drizzle over our noodles but the dish was delicious all the same. This was our first time to try brining and we used a bit more involved method than that you outlined. By the most interesting coincidence, my mother gave me a brining spice mixture for my birthday that we tried. The chicken turned out to be the juiciest and most flavorful chicken I think I have ever had.

Along with the Marsala, we tried out your Corn Fritter recipe. It wasn't bad but I fear it is not one I shall probably repeat. However, based on the scant information you gave about the sauce you made, I whipped something up and the sauce is certainly something I shall find other uses for - it was delicious.

The last portion of the main meal was a Caraway Rye bread that I have worked up a recipe for.

For desert we made your chocolate cake recipe with the buttercream frosting. Both were delicious. I added a teaspoon of lemon oil extract to the frosting to give it a hint of lemon flavor. My family loved it. I want to thank the many commentors on your site as they were very helpful in my efforts with the buttercream. It would not come together for me at first so, based on comments, I took my mixing bowl and set it back over boiling water for about a minute to soften the butter up and it came together wonderfully after that.

I have also experimented with both your English Toffee recipe and Peanut Brittle. I have added my own modifications to both and greatly enjoy the results.

Thank you for the wonderful site. I plan to try out many more of your recipes.


On March 30, 2010 at 01:32 PM, Gracie (guest) said...
Subject: Yummy!!!
Just want to let you know that I love how you layout the recipe... May be that's really how we engineer think? Anyhow, I am going to try the recipe tonight and will update the comment tomorrow!! So looking forward to this..


On June 15, 2010 at 06:19 AM, Michelle F (guest) said...
Subject: finding the right wine
First off, I just stumbled upon your site and while I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, I look forward to testing my cooking abilities with some of the recipes you have generously provided. Chicken and mushroom marsala is my favorite and I always wanted to make it for myself.

You say that the key to a great chicken marsala is good Marsala wine. Specifically, what kind of wine should I be looking for? Can I find Marsala wine at any liquor store or is it a special item? What makes it so special compared to a white wine? The sweetness?


On October 15, 2010 at 01:03 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Great site - I cannot believe the comments are up to five years old already.


On March 13, 2011 at 05:25 PM, anna (guest) said...
Subject: CM
Awesome recipe. Delicious dish! Thank you!


On July 08, 2011 at 12:55 PM, Luciana (guest) said...
Subject: Delicious
Easy and delicious dish - I just made it! My husband loved it too. Thanks


On June 03, 2012 at 05:55 AM, Cameron Carroll (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Marsala is AMAZING.
Hi. Loving the recipes and ESPECIALLY loving the ingredient+cooking method vs time graph at the bottom. Just made the Marsala for my girlfriend with the garlic mashed potatoes and I truly want to thank you for some of the things I've learned:

1. Roasted garlic is the PERFECT FRIGGIN THING for mashed potatoes. Once I got the shell off, the bigger fatty garlic cloves were practically filled with mashed potato substance already. This is an awesome technique that I would never have thought of.

2. I've never brined my meat before, and ended up using the hour of brining to help defrost the chicken breasts. The chicken was friggin PLUMP! My goodness, those were some plump chicken breasts. By the way, there's only enough sauce for three breasts even if you stretch it by the given proportions plus a little. Anyway, 9/10 would brine again.

3. This website is awesome, and so is this recipe. I'm going to go back to eating it now.


On November 15, 2013 at 08:08 AM, jericjames10 (guest) said...
Subject: Barhyte Specialty Foods
I love chicken breast part and mushroom most. This is the best recipe that I will try for on weekends. Since, my niece and nephews love mushrooms too. Thanks for the resources, it helps a lot. This recipe will work more with my recipe spicy hot wing sauce recipe this weekend. I hope they will love this.

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