Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken Marsala

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup dried mushroom slices
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup flour
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 T dried rosemary
3/4 c Marsala wine
Salt & pepper

Act I: The Prep
Scene 1:  Split the chicken breasts into cutlets.  To do this, lay the breast flat on a cutting board, use the palm of your hand to flatten them.  While keeping flat use the knife to slice the top of the breast from the bottom.  Kind of like you cut a bagel or a cake in half.  Salt and Pepper each side.
Scene 2:  Chop the dried mushrooms and rehydrate them by placing them in 1 cup boiling water.  Let them sit and wait patiently.
Scene 3:  Roll the dried rosemary in your hands to release their oils, then chop.
Place the flour in a shallow dish and add the rosemary.

Act II: Fry Baby
In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, shake off excess and add to the oil.  Wait!  Make sure the oil is ready.  To do this, drop a little bit of flour into the oil, if it dances the oil is ready.  If it just sits there like a wallflower, the oil needs more time.  Brown each side.  It shouldn't take more than 3-6 minutes.  Remove the browned breasts to a plate.

Act III: Gettin' Saucy
Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine.  Return the pan to the flame and scrape up all those little bits of stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Or you could deglaze the pan with the wine to release the fond.  These are the same things, but one sounds a heck of a lot fancier.  Bring the wine to a boil, add in the mushrooms along with their water.

Act IV: The Big Finale
Add the chicken back into the pan, cover and let meat and sauce simmer for a few minutes.

I usually serve this over some egg noodles and a green veggie, last night it was broccoli.  I would show you the pictures but they didn't turn out very well.  I told y'all I am not a food stylist.  I will keep trying though.

Now you may be asking yourself why slice the chicken breasts in half, why not just fry them as they are?  Wow, that's a really good question!  Nice to see you paying attention.  First off, money.  More servings with less meat equals money in the pantry.  Second, time.  The thinner the meat, the faster it cooks.

Another question?  Ok, why don't I use fresh mushrooms?  Geez, you really are paying attention!  I go back again to the money factor.  Eight ounces of fresh mushrooms run around a dollar.  That adds a dollar to every dinner with mushrooms.  An entire bag of sliced dried mushrooms from Sam's costs under $8 and will last me at least 6 months.  You can do the math if you want, but without breaking out the calculator I can tell you I'm sticking with the dried ones.

Here's another reason, I REFUSE to use condensed cream of mushyroom (not a typo) soup in a recipe.  One cup of the rehydrated mushrooms along with their water and one cup milk simmered until thick makes cream of mushroom soup!  Again, buck a can versus a few coins and a few minutes.  Hmmm, need a calculator?

So there you have it.  I like food, I like to cook and I'm cheap.  Don't get me wrong, I have faults.  I just keep forgetting what they are.  ;)

1 comment:

Roger L. said...

Great presentation in spite of the fowl subject matter. Do I see a culinary screen play in the future? I bet the critics would eat that up!
Love Ya
Dad