Wow your sweetie with Chicken Marsala

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Real food for real people

By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

 There was a time when I thought the old saw, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” was sexist and degrading.

Then I met Tom Ten Broeck.

If there’s one thing you can mark down as fact about my husband is he likes to eat.

He also doesn’t mind paying quality prices for quality food.

Whenever we dine out at better quality Italian restaurants, he more often than not orders something with mushrooms–since I don’t like them. Sometimes it’s pizza. Sometimes it’s something with portabella.  One of his favorites is Chicken Marsala.

A couple weeks ago, I was ambling through the grocery store making my usual purchases when it hit me–why don’t I make him one of his favorites as a special treat. Why? Because he’s worth it and I love him enough to sacrifice my own taste for his–occasionally.

The result was a Chicken Marsala that was not only easy to make, but extremely tasty. And because I was making it from scratch, I could control the mushrooms to ensure none crossed my plate.

Served with garlic mashed potatoes, salad and fresh bread, it was a meal that rivaled any we’ve had in restaurants–and a lot cheaper to boot.



1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. marjoram

1 tsp. minced onions

1/2 tsp. course ground black pepper

1 tsp. basil leaves

1/2 tsp. parsley flakes

1/3 C flour

1 tsp. salt

6 thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pound)

3 T butter, divided

2 T olive oil

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

1/2 C chicken broth

3/4 C Marsala wine



Mix flour, garlic, marjoram, onions, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Reserve 1 T flour mixture. Coat chicken with remaining flour mixture.

Heat 2 T butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Cook several of the chicken pieces 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and keep warm (oven set at 200 degrees is perfect). Repeat with remaining chicken. Add mushrooms to skillet, cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.

Mix broth and reserved flour mixture. Add to the skillet along with the wine. Bring to a boil, stirring to release the browned bits in the bottom of the skillet. 

Stir in remaining 1 T butter and basil, cook 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon sauce over warm chicken. Garnish with the parsley.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6 (or 3 if you really like it!)


FYI: Marsala is a wine produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. Marsala contains about 15-20 percent alcohol. Not only is it used in chicken and veal dishes, it can also be used in desserts such as zabaglione, tiramisu and shortcake. 

Local grocery stores sell a cooking variety for less than $5 per bottle or you can use the real-deal, which costs, on average, $15-$22 per bottle.