Italian Chicken Marsala is simple, flavorful and quick to prepare. Golden, pan-fried chicken breasts are smothered in a de...
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I suspect that the foaming may have been from store-bought stock, but it's hard to say. I also can't say whether or not you reduced the Marsala enough. It should reduce by at least half before you add the stock. Simmering (rather than boiling) will also help the sauce to reduce gently and would likely prevent any foaming. You might find it helpful to review the lesson on Pan Sauces in the Cooking School. Cheers!
You could but you need to make sure you form some good sucs before taking the breasts out of the pan. And, since the pieces are small, they can quickly overcook. It is better to set them aside and make the pan sauce as they rest. They can finish cooking when you incorporate them back into the sauce. One thing you can do ahead of time so the chicken isn't sitting for longer than it needs to is to reduce the stock by half in a separate pot. That way, you won't have to wait for it to reduce in the pan as you are making the sauce. Also, if you haven't done so, the lesson on Pan Sauces in the Cooking School has plenty of information on putting these types of sauces together. Cheers!
I believe it is from the store bought stock, it lacked that gelatin look from the homemade stock. I also still had the heat on medium/medium high so that was probably contributing to the foam as well.
I called a couple meat markets nearby and will attempt to make my own stock this upcoming weekend! Thanks!
I was wondering if boneless chicken thighs could be mixed with chicken breasts? I am finding that since I now buy whole chicken instead of individual parts for the stock making process, that I am accumulating too many chicken thighs in my freezer.
Sure, you can. It will, of course, be different but thighs can be deboned, pounded into an even thickness and pan fried. Try it out and see if you like it. You can also try making other dishes that require thighs - there are many recipes on the site. Just search for "thigh" in the search bar and you will find plenty of results/ideas. Cheers!
I decided to try this recipe with 2 chicken breasts & 2 chicken thighs. The chicken breasts definatley looked better. They were more symmetrical and loftier. However, I did get a darker/more appealing sear with the chicken thighs. For a casual home dinner, I think the thighs are just fine. However, if I were entertaining, I would only use the breasts for this recipe.
I was surprised that I liked this dish as much as I did. In general, I am not a fan of Marsala wine. I purchased an inexpensive ($8.00) California brand that I did not find very palatable -- but the salesperson at Whole Foods market, as well as my husband, assured me that it was. Somehow, the flavors came together in the pan sauce.
I will definitely make this again!
I like how it says 'simple' 'easy' and '20 minutes.' I had none of these as it was 5pm when I started, went to the local market to pick up ingredients, came home, and when through the process having already gone through the video lesson and reviewed. It was 9pm when I was finished and sat down to enjoy this wonderful meal. The main things I struggled with is how long the meat took to cook (I cut the breasts in half but they were probably still too thick - can I cut them laterally so they are thinner too and still get sucs?) and the longest was the process of building the sauce as reducing took so long I swore I would go out and buy a kitchen stool tomorrow. I didn't want to turn up the heat too much and used the 'bubbly' appearance that I saw in the video. The result was wonderful, but that '20 minutes' is really something I would like to achieve someday... not going to happen while I am learning though.
Thank You Rouxbe, I will make this meal again and again.
First off, let me say congratulations on what sounds like a successful dinner. Take a moment and realize that you have already come a long way Ken.
Now, as for the dinner taking you longer than the recipe called for. First off, the time on a recipe is almost always an approximation. There are so many variables to consider. Obviously the more one makes a dish or the more skilled they are in the kitchen the quicker they will be. The same goes for all of us really. For example, today I made some dolmades and it was the first time I had done so. The first batch took me considerably longer than the second batch that I made. Even though both batches had different flavorings etc. I was just more comfortable with the process, after already making them once. You get into a rhythm.
As for whether or not you can cut the chicken smaller. Almost always the answer to this question will be yes. There are less rules in the kitchen than you may think Ken. Don't be afraid to try things out. Experiment next time with smaller or thinner pieces. This chicken for instance, is very thin (it's the one from the marinating lesson).
Now, as for the sauce taking a long time to reduce, this will depend on how reduced it was to begin with. If it was still quite liquidy then yes, it will take longer to reduce. Again, don't be afraid to turn the heat up a bit. Just keep an eye on it. Alternatively, you can reduce some of your stock in advance and save it for making quick sauces.
Hope this helps. Cheers!
I just made this dish again tonight and the sauce was so amazing and delicious. But I'm always disappointed in the chicken! I follow the instructions to slice into the chicken breast to get more even thickness. When I cook it, it seems I have to cook longer than I think it needs in order to develop the sucs and crust on the chicken as shown in the video. If I take the chicken off when I think it should come off then there isn't enough color on the outside of the chicken or enough sucs in the pan. So I continue cooking until there is and the end result is almost always a tough and dry piece of chicken. Thank God for the sauce as that always saves the day. But I would really like to have tender succulent chicken to go with the amazing sauce. Any suggestions how to get that result? I'm thinking I should just cook the whole chicken breast without slicing it thinner but then it isn't evenly flat. Any help is appreciated!
Most cooks don't pay attention to the results they are getting. You may seem far away from perfecting this dish, but my guess is that you are 90% there. Don't give up. Keep paying attention to the key indicators, visual results and cooking sounds.
My questions / comments are:
- did you use a stainless steel pan? Trying to create sucs in non stick pans is futile.
- if you are not getting enough color, you simply are not cooking the chicken at a high enough temperature. Here's what I suggest you try before you attempt the next trial of this recipe.
1. Cut up some chicken pieces as you did in this recipe, pat dry, oil lightly, season well.
2. Heat up the pan to the correct temperature (watertest and shimmering oil).
3. Add chicken to the pan. Ajust heat down slightly, but don't lose that strong sizzle sound, you need heat. Note, if you were cooking thicker pieces of meat, you could turn the heat down a bit more as the meat will sit in the pan longer, but thin pieces need to be flipped and then removed quickly, so the heat needs to be higher.
4. Remove from pan, let rest a couple of minutes, squeeze on some fresh lemon juice, drizzle with a bit of quality extra virgin olive oil and season with cracked pepper and salt, if needed. Eat. Perfect this, then work on the sauce once the sucs are there.
BTW.. at a quick glance of your completed lessons, I didn't see the Pan Frying lesson completed?. I'm assuming you've watched it and just did not completed the quiz, but if you haven't, watch it here it is:
Thanks Joe -
I have wonderful stainless frypans (All Clad) and couldn't live without them and I have seen the video on pan frying as well and I do the water test every time. I think there was a time I tried higher heat and wound up with burnt sucs! I will go back and review the video and take the test this time around as well.
I am going to play around with the chicken and master that first as you suggest. I think if I do some fine tuning I will get there! Also wondering about brining the chicken first? Should help, I'm thinking.....
First off, you could brine, but brining is typically this is for larger cuts of meat, so I'd wouldn't recommend it. If you ever did, it would have to be a very quick brine, more to infuse flavor...too long and it would be too salty.
You mentioned burning the sucs...so yes, it may have been a bit too hot. Somewhere in the middle should be perfect. You also need to be prepared and move fast. Also, keep in mind, that you have to protect the sucs. I know may sound strange, but as you are pan frying, keep an eye on them. If the pan goes dry, you might need to add a bit more oil and slide the chicken pieces around a bit (not too much). Keep the sucs moist or they will burn. It's a fine balance of a bunch of small things to watch and listen for, but once you get it, it will become second nature.
You could also buy a couple of pork tenderloins, have your friends over and do this recipe for practice (4 pieces at a time):
I made this tonight and it turned out very well. The sauce was excellent. I may have overcooked the chicken a tiny bit because I was so worried about it being under-cooked. Also did roasted potatoes at the same time, but unfortunately, overly thin, overly roasted carrots did not make it to the table!
Also tried the sauteed french green beans but ended up just pre-cooking them, cooling them in ice water, and instead of sauteeing them separately, I ended up putting them in with the chicken and sauce to reheat them. Turned out very well, but definitely took more time that recipe stated due to my own hesitations and timing issues.
Next time will be quicker and with carrots! Thank you again.
Nice work Gail. Now just imagine how good it will be and how much more confident you will be once you practice it a few more times.
Even for myself, the more I practice a recipe or a technique the better it gets, not to mention that it becomes easier and more enjoyable the more comfortable I become with it.
Keep up the good work. Cheers!
I can't tell you how much everything I am cooking has improved. Of course, I am still a rank amateur but I have more confidence with every meal I make and what I do has some experience behind it now that makes sense. In fact, it's only been 7 months. Every one of these recipes and lessons means I'm going to have to work and make mistakes and even get back up from failure, but that doesn't matter. It all is adding up and I feel really good about it. Thanks Rouxbe!!!
I tired this dish and it came out not so well. The chicken was dry and the sauce was too thick. Any suggestions on how to cook a chicken breast evenly through? The problem I had is that the breast meat was about an inch thick and took forever to cook through and ended up tough.
The sauce was very thick even after adding more stock. I can only assume something went wrong in the cooking.
Thanks so much!
It sounds like you have an idea of what went wrong already - the chicken was likely a bit too thick for the heat you had it at. As for the sauce, it's hard to say, were you using homemade stock? Did you add any water when it got too thick?
Hi, the lesson does not explain how to cook the chicken evenely nor does the lesson on chicken breasts. Is there a way I should cut the chicken before pan frying? The recipie says to cut it but there must be a technique to it other than just cutting it in half. Do the thicker pieces need to be finished off in the oven? I would assume not because this is a pan recipie.
If I should be cooking the thicker pieces a long time I worry about the sucs burning and the meat getting tough. I had the hear up to medium high then turned to medium high but the chicken was still taking forever too cook through. maybe there is a lesson on this if so please point me that way!
There are many ways in which to cook a chicken breast. Check out the topic from the Poultry Fundamentals Lesson called Poultry Breasts & Cooking.
There is also this recipe that cuts the breasts into medallions (watch this video recipe - around the 00:20 second).
Alternatively, you can cut the breasts lengthwise through the center. But with all of that said, you can still cook a whole chicken breast without it drying out and the sucs burning. It's all about having the heat at correct temperature and adjusting it as needed. Hope that helps Autumm.
Sorry to keep on about this but I am really looking for sme specifics. Is there a video on technique for cooking a chicken breast through without cutting it? What should I be looking for in terms of the temperature? How do I know it's done? I already did the fundamentals and there is just nothing that helps. What should the cooking to e be on a breast and what temp? I know this will very to some degree but I need guidance here! I am asking specifically about pan frying.