This is the dish my husband always requests on his birthday. My version has every over-the-top component you can add to chicken marsala: pancetta, mushrooms, cream and butter. And why not? I only make it once a year. This recipe doubles easily, but be sure to make double the sauce, too. Everybody will be asking for more sauce.
cooking time/prep time: about 45 minutes
serves: 2-3 people
2-4 oz pancetta, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz package of crimini mushrooms, chopped
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness (I ask the butcher to pound them for me)
salt and pepper
1 cup flour for dredging
1 cup dry Marsala wine
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp chopped parsely for garnish
Saute the pancetta in a saute pan on medium heat until just crispy. Remove and set aside. Wipe out most of fat and add the olive oil. Raise heat to medium high and add the mushrooms and some salt to help them release their juice. Sauté until juice is released and evaporated and the mushrooms are browned nicely. Remove and set aside. While mushrooms are sautéing, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off all the excess flour. Put the pan back on the burner, if necessary, add a touch more olive oil. Fry the chicken breasts on both sides until nicely browned and cooked through (I used an instant read thermometer at 160 degrees fahrenheit). You’ll have to do this in batches, or use two frying pans. Remove chicken breasts and set aside.
Pour the Marsala in the pan and raise the heat until it boils. Reduce and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Take a bit of the heated liquid and add it to the cream to temper it before adding it to the pan, this will prevent the cream from curdling. Add cream and butter and simmer until sauce thickens. Serve chicken topped with mushrooms and pancetta and sauce poured over the top, garnish with parsley.
Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes and a simple green vegetable dish such as Crack Broccoli.