Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

Details

Italian Chicken Marsala is simple, flavorful and quick to prepare. Golden, pan-fried chicken breasts are smothered in a delicious pan sauce made with shallots, Marsala, dark chicken stock and a tiny bit of butter.
  • Serves: 3 to 4
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 100,313
  • Success: 94%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

• 3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Method

To prepare the chicken, first slice each breast into 2 or 3 equal pieces. You can keep them whole, but this will make for shorter cooking times. Season both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 2: Cooking the Chicken

• 2 tsp grapeseed oil (approx.)
• 3 tbsp shallots
• 1/2 cup Marsala wine
• 1 cup Dark Chicken Stock (on Rouxbe)
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Method

Before you start cooking, be sure to mince the shallots and measure out the Marsala, chicken stock (see recipe link below) and butter.

Preheat a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once the pan is properly heated, add the oil, followed by the chicken. Let the chicken cook until golden underneath. Flip over and continue to cook on the other side. Once the chicken has just cooked through, place it onto a cooling rack, loosely tent with foil and let rest while you fry the second batch. Add a touch more oil if the pan seems too dry. Once the second batch has cooked, transfer it to the cooling rack to let rest while you make the sauce.

Step 3: Making the Sauce

• grapeseed oil (if needed)
• kosher salt (to taste)

Method

To make the sauce, first make sure the sucs have not burned. Add a touch more oil if needed, followed by the shallots. Let the shallots cook until soft and translucent.

Next, deglaze with the Marsala. Scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate the sucs and let the wine reduce until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

Next, add the dark chicken stock. Bring it to a simmer and let it reduce by about half. Add any juices from the resting chicken. Let the liquid reduce until you reach a sauce-like consistency.

To finish the sauce, swirl in the cold butter and taste for seasoning. Depending on the type of stock you have used, you may need to season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Step 4: Serving the Dish

• 1 lemon
• 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley

Method

To finish the dish, roughly chop the parsley and cut the lemon in half.

To serve the chicken, place it back into the pan, turning it to coat it in the sauce. If the sauce looks a bit too thick, add a touch of water or stock to thin it out.

Once the chicken has heated through and is nicely coated with the sauce, add some chopped parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Plate individually or serve family style with the sauce drizzled over top.

Chef's Notes

Dark Chicken Stock Recipe

144 Comments

  • Liz S
    Liz S
    This was a great dish. I didn't have the dark stock so substituted with the light. Really delicious.
  • Jim S
    Jim S
    Moist, tender chicken with a beautiful sauce. Simple but exceptional. I also used a light stock and turned out great.
  • Brian B
    Brian B
    I tried this recipe last week and loved it. Thanks for another great recipe.
  • Darcie N
    Darcie N
    I'm not what you'd call a serious chef-just a working Mom who wanted to make something special for my husbands birthday. I've never cooked with cooking wine or anything fancy like that. I came across your website by mistake and have been so excited about it! I made this Chicken Marsala with some roasted potatoes, fresh asparagus and your apple cobbler. It was all so amazing! This chicken was so absolutely wonderful! The flavors although very subtle were amazing! The apple cobbler with the creme added was an amazing addition. I loved the flavor it added to the recipe. Thank you for your information on this site! I've learned SO much!!
  • Iain G
    Iain G
    This dish turned out very well. Despite the fact I had to make the main flavour ingredient! I combined a deep red wine with a splash of vodka and then added a bit of brown sugar... I think I got it right as the recipe really was a hit. Thanks!
  • Pilar S
    Pilar S
    Hello! I live in Mexico and I can't find shallots anywhere. What can I use to substitute this ingredient without changing the flavor so much? Thanks!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You could use finely minced white onions instead...this should do the trick!
  • Abby K
    Abby K
    I made this last night and it turned out great. I'm going to try the marsala sauce on some other meats. Thanks.
  • Sven E
    Sven E
    We just made this and it was absolutely delicious. Had to replace the Marsala with Port and the dark with light stock and it still turned out really great! :) Served with oven potatoes (+ garlic, +thyme) it was the best dinner in a while. :)
  • Leslie H
    Leslie H
    I tried making this for 'one' - not a good idea. I think you need to make the full recipe to see any of the benefits from browning the meat. One little chicken breast does not cut it, and makes for a bland, runny sauce. I'll need to try again some other time when I can test on a larger group of people.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Leslie, keep trying. Couple of notes. 1) if you are cooking for one, this should still work fine. Most professional cooks cook in restaurants for one. Just need to ensure that you are using a small pan (like an 8" pan at the most). Your pan should fit the food always. 2) Re runny... if you used homemade stock, you just need to reduce this a bit longer over the heat and it will thicken up. If you haven't already, watch the lesson on pan sauces in the cooking school: http://rouxbe.com/school/sections/179/objectives Look forward to attempt number 2 :-)
  • Carin M
    Carin M
    I just went to the supermarket to buy Marsala. I came up with quite a few choices. Dry or Sweet? $4 vs. $11? Italian vs. Californian? Does the extra $7 really make a difference? And, when poaching fruit, Marsala is also mentioned as an ingredient. Same stuff or do I have to buy another bottle?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    They can both be used for cooking. It is more about personal preference. Often dry is used in cooking but some people prefer the added sweetness of the sweet marsala. As for which brand to buy...I am not the expert here...sorry. I have heard that Flori is a good brand. Really when it gets cooked down it will be delicious so don't be too worried. My rule for "how much to spend" is that the wine/spirit/or whatever I am using just has to be good enough that I would be okay to drink it on it's own. Because the better it tastes naked, the better it will taste in whatever it is you are making. As for poaching fruit, I would probably go with the sweet marsala, but again this depends on what you are making. Good luck, hope this helps!
  • Aileen G
    Aileen G
    The more I learn from Rouxbe the more confident a cook I become, and this recipe was no different. It turned out great and was really quick to cook making it a great recipe for a work night. Thanks Rouxbe!
  • Summer D
    Summer D
    I just made this tonight for dinner and it was a huge success! It was very simple but tasted like it was fussy and complicated. It's a great weeknight dish, but could easily be made for a small dinner party on the weekend. I too used a light broth, and I pounded my chicken breast a bit to make cooking time for all pieces more even. Love it!
  • Erin J
    Erin J
    I am so impressed with this recipe (and myself!) as well as rouxbe. This is the best thing that I've come across in ages! I've been doing the lessons and looking at the recipes and I can't wait to get home to try making them. Thank you SO much, this is brilliant!!!
  • Chester 4
    Chester 4
    I'm just wondering if it's worth the effort to brine the chicken breasts? Also, what should I do with the extra Marsala?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I say yes to brining...it is not a must but why not make the meat taste even better if you can. Just remember it's only about 1/2 an hour for every pound of meat (for each piece, not the total amount of meat). As for the Marsala...I use mine each time I want to deglaze a pan or whenever I am making a pan sauce...or I just drink it :-)
  • Chester 4
    Chester 4
    Does it last a long time if it's been opened? Or could I also freeze the rest into ice cubes? Can't wait to try this out!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Marsala will keep for quite some time. It is not like other wines that go bad after just a day or two (due to oxidization). Marsala is already oxidized so it will take a lot longer to go bad. If exposed to heat or light the flavor may change but it will still be good. I have heard that keeping the open, but sealed bottle in the fridge will help to keep it even longer. I have not actually tried this, but it makes sense. I usually just keep in the pantry and it seems to last for weeks (if not a few months even). Hope this helps, good luck!
  • Mark B
    Mark B
    I've seen this dish prepared with mushrooms, which adds a nice extra element. Any thoughts on how to incorporate them into this recipe? Also, I have made this a couple of times and had wished at the end that there was more sauce. I assume I could not let it cook down as much, but then it might be too thin. Should I just double the amounts of the sauce ingredients (marsala, stock, butter, shallots)? Note that I did not start with the Dark Stock, just a store bought variety (Wolfgang Puck Free Range), in case that is important.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Mushrooms should be added after the shallots have cooked for a bit. Make sure to add a bit of oil if need to keep the pan moist and not burn the sucs. Cook the mushrooms (chopped or sliced) until the liquid starts to come out of them and then continue to cook until the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown a bit. Then deglaze with marsala, stock etc... just like any other pan sauce. If you want to extend the sauce, yes, just add more of the ingredients. No problem. I'd start with 1.5 times the ingredients and double if needed. And last suggestion, try making your own brown chicken stock one time. You'll never go back. It could also be that the stock you are buying simply does not have the same "body" as a homemade one with natural gelatin. This could be another reason why you don't have lot's of sauce.
  • Mark B
    Mark B
    I would love to try making some stock. The main thing holding me back is that I don't buy whole chickens, and so I don't have any bones. Perhaps I can ask the butcher at my market if they have any on hand.. Otherwise I can look into buying chicken with bones in tact. One problem is that I haven't seen any free range chicken in the store other than boneless skinless chicken breast. I try to buy humanely raised stuff where possible. Though I've heard that "free range" doesn't necessarily mean much, at least here in the US.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Most butchers will save chicken bones for you if you request them in advance. We also go to meat suppliers (e.g. restaurant and hotel suppliers) as many of them have cash and carry policies where the public can actually buy. It's cheap. So try calling a poultry company in your city.
  • Mark B
    Mark B
    Every time I've made this dish it has taken well over an hour. I finished in about an hour and twenty mintutes on my third attempt (in which I made a little extra sauce). Mostly I'm concerned about managing the heat properly. I spent probably a half hour on the sauce alone. Approximately how long should it take to make the sauce, starting from when you put in the shallots? Should I be cranking the heat up to cook the liquid off more quickly? I try to keep it at a simmer (bubbling slightly). Should the heat be kept at med/medium high throughout the cooking process? I just don't see how this could be finished in 20 minutes. The meal came out great, so I'm not complaining. I made it with some pre-packaged gnocci on the side, and the extra sauce (see above comments) went great with that. Still have not tried it with mushrooms or homemade dark stock.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    First off, really glad you like the dish. Isn't it amazing how simple it can be sometimes to achieve such great flavors. As for the timing, I guess how quickly everyone works in the kitchen is a bit different. In the end what really matters is how did it turn out and were you happy with it? As for how long it should take to make the sauce, this will depend on your stove, how hot you had the heat and also on the stock you used. In this recipe we use a homemade dark chicken stock, which is already naturally thicker from the gelatin in the bones. This means it will not take as long to reduce. We are merely looking for the right consistency, not the amount of reduction, so thicker stock equals quicker time to achieve right consistency. If you need to "crank up" the heat a bit to reduce the stock then go ahead, just keep an eye on it. In this case, the lower heat is just easier to manage but it will take more time, so feel free to turn the heat up a bit to reduce the stock quicker. If you haven't already you should try making this recipe with the Dark Chicken Stock, it will make quite a difference, with flavor, consistency and even on time. Here is a link to the recipe - http://rouxbe.com/recipes/800 When I make a batch of this stock I usually take half of it and reduce it down to half it's volume. This makes it much quicker later, when I go to make a sauce. You can see how to do this in Step 4 of the link I added. Hope this helps Mark, good luck!
  • Mark B
    Mark B
    Thanks for the tips Dawn. I will attempt to make dark stock for this next time, if I can get the required bones for that. The marsala recipe calls for 1 cup of dark stock... Does that mean 1 cup of reduced stock (as in step 4 from your link), or would you use less stock (half?) if it's already been reduced?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I would use less of the reduced chicken stock, but like you inferred, this will depend on how much you reduce it beforehand. Just remember that you are just looking for the right consistency, so try to steer away from "exactly" how much you are using and just look for that sauce-like consistency. Once you work with your own stock you will know better how much to add and how much to reduce it to get that consistency. Let me know how it turns out Mark...good luck!
  • Mary ann P
    Mary ann P
    Can anyone recommend a nice vegetable dish to go with this recipe?
  • Coco H
    Coco H
    Wat is marsala wine? not sure i can find them wer i lived but was wondering, can it be marsala paste mixed with red wine? just a thought or is there any other alternatives tx
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    I wouldn't recommend a paste. Marsala has a very unique flavor that gives this dish it's unique taste. However, you could try a dry sherry or even a port. Red wine will also produce a great sauce, but it will not taste like Marsala. Here is some additional information: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/332974 Hope this helps.
  • Dan H
    Dan H
    Made this for my 7 year old and I tonight. Couldn't make or find the Dark Stock so I used regular. Was in a bit of a rush in the very end and grabbed a handful of Cilantro instead of Parsley, Wow... Great kick from it. Turned out great. I loved the cilantro on top. It seemed to add a punch to the whole dish. I will make it again someday with the proper ingredients. I never seem to be able to find all the ingredients were I live. Always a problem finding all the parts to build it to factory specs and finding fresh ingredients is just about imposable. I plan to grow most of it next year. Anybody in my area, come on over and play in the kitchen with us. Thanks Rouxbe!
  • K H
    K H
    1st time making Chicken Mmarsala turned out incredible! Even my picky eating kids 6, 9 and 12 couldn't get enough. I pared this entre with long grain rice and sautéed zucchini. I rated this 100 even though my sauce didn't thicken up as much as I expected. Maybe it had to do with the light chicken stock. I can't find dark stock at my local grocery store. I'll probably be making my own soon. Thanks Rouxbe for another wonderful meal!!
  • David R
    David R
    When I first made this sauce successfully, I loved it so much that I made it with both beef and pork tenderloin, cod, and tuna filets. Am I correct to assume that the basic sauce can be used successfully with all of these other meats/fishes? I have to say that both the people I served it to loved it.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    That is the beauty of cooking David...if you like something then it works! I think traditionally Marsala sauce was served with veal, but these days it is served with pasta, poultry, fish and much more. Keep up the good work with experimenting David...this is a sign that you are thinking like a chef!
  • Peter J
    Peter J
    First off, I love this recipe for this favoured dish. It turned out perfectly for me - perfect balance. Yep, speed of assembly and organized procedure do go a long way. My question is, in your opinion, would it worth brining the breasts? Thanks and happy new year!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    For sure you could brine the breasts, just not for very long as the breasts are small (watch the lesson on brining for more detail on how long to brine.) My suggestion to truly know if it is worth it to you, would be to do an experiment - brine one breast and leave one unbrined...cook them both to see if you notice a difference. I personally do, but others may not. Hope this helps Peter!
  • Peter J
    Peter J
    Thank you so much, Dawn. May I say I am learning so much from your site - taking my time, and spending good time in learning the best lessons of all - the mistakes! hehehe I am not quick to create variations on something someone else of skill has created - I prefer to learn from them first. Taking my time. Thanks for taking *your* time to respond. I will experiment with brining and not brining the breasts prior to a marsala preparation and see how it goes. Forgive my asking this in the context of this recipe comment space but I don't know where else to ask... I now have in the freezer enough of a collection of lamb trimmings and bones to make a nice dark stock. Can you suggest some ideas on its uses? :) What would you do if a friend gifted you with rich lamb demi glace? If there's a better way for me to ask ?s and keep clutter down in a recipe comment area let me know. Best, Peter
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Peter I am so glad you are learning and enjoying the lessons. As far as where to ask questions you can either search the site for what you are looking for; for example if you are looking for information about lamb stock, you can search for "lamb" or even "stock". There you may find some already existing forums on the subject (under the tab "forum discussions" or even under some of the other tabs). If not you can always start a new discussion. That being said, don't worry about it too much...we are all here to help, no matter where the questions are asked. As far as what I would do with a nice lamb dark stock...well I might use it to make a nice lamb tagine or maybe use it to make a nice pan sauce to go with either of the lamb loin taster or maybe a piece of lamb sirloin. Hope this helps Peter...Happy Cooking!
  • Jim B
    Jim B
    After following your excellent directions to cook steaks with a pan sauce for my family, I was ready to stretch out. Tonight was Chicken Night and I decided to give this recipe a try. It was wonderful! I'm wondering if I was supposed to further reduce the sauce after I squeezed the lemon into it? It seemed a bit runny.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    I love responding to these types of comments. And Jim, please don't take this as condescending in any way. Conversely, give yourself a pat on the back. Short answer. If it seemed a bit runny, then it was, and yes...reduce it a bit more. For more information, watch the Cooking School Lesson on How to Make Pan Sauces. Why I like responding to these types of comments is that I can see a potential student (Jim, you need to join the school) sitting on the edge of the culinary fence - the great divide between home cooks that follow like drones and those that lead with confidence in the kitchen. Jim, you are so close to falling over to the right side and I can see this because you are making observations and almost answering your own question based on your intuition. You just need to start trusting this intuition and taking action. Trust comes from knowledge and lots of practice. Most people when cooking recipes simply follow. They don't always think. They don't take auditory and visual cues and ask the right questions. Cooking even the simplest dishes WILL involve making many continual small cooking adjustments along the way. Reducing a pan sauce, if you have built the sauce correctly and used a good stock, is as simple as waiting for the right cues. Keep reducing and you will get there. That's it. Jim, you're asking the right questions. Now trust your own instincts and take corrective action until you reach the desired end result. I bet if you did this dish tomorrow it would be perfect - especially if you watched the lesson on pan sauces and armed yourself with some professional chef knowledge. See you on the other side :-). You're almost there.
  • Jim B
    Jim B
    Well, before I'd seen Joe's comments above, I made the dish again. I notices that the demonstrating cook caught the lemon pips in her hand, so I did that. After adding the lemon juice and warming the chicken, I reduced the sauce again. That worked much better! Friday's Chicken Marsala was much better than anything I'd done with bird before. But last night was marked improvement over that. I will say that both times I added mushrooms to the pan sauce...because we like mushrooms. So, technically, I suppose it was Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms. Joe, thanks for your encouragement. I plan to get a membership once payday rolls around this week. I vastly enjoy the video lessons, which are clear and easy to understand. I've found the quizzes a great tool to distill the lessons and focus on technique. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from you all! Perhaps, when I update my travel papers, I'll make the "pilgrimage" to your school, only two hours away from my home town.
  • Jorge A
    Jorge A
    We have an electric stove :( . I would like to buy a stainless steel pan as you recommend through must of your lectures. My wife insists that a stainless steel pan will develop hot spots. Is this correct? Jorge I. Auñón
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If you are asking if stainless steel pans are what you should be buying or if they are worth it, the answer is yes. Stainless steel pans are good pans to invest in.
  • Liz H
    Liz H
    This dish came out terrifically. Thank you! Just a couple of questions. Marsala is typically defined as a sauce with mushrooms. I'm not particularly a fan of mushrooms, but was wondering why you left them out of the recipe. Also, I know it's common to dredge the chicken in flour. I thought the chicken was great without the flour, but was wondering if dredging added any benefits.
  • Basadie J
    Basadie J
    hey sorry just wanted to know if i don't drink wine replace it wiv?? thanks
  • Jorge A
    Jorge A
    How about a wine called Fre. It has no alcohol.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You can use many different liquids, it's up to you and the flavor profile you are looking to create. I suggest you watch the Rouxbe Cooking School Lesson on How to Make a Pan Sauce to learn more about this. Cheers!
  • Jim B
    Jim B
    Hi Basadie! The alcohol in the Marsala cooks off in the process of making the sauce. There's no alcohol left by the time you've reduced the wine to its sugars. As one of the staff told me at one point, you can use whatever you wan't--it just wouldn't be correct to call it Marsala if you don't use Marsala wine. I made a nice sauce recently using Blasamic vinegar. And, in Korean cooking, people sometimes use Coca-Cola. So, there are ways of doing sauces without using alcoholic beverages. The thing is, even if you were to use Vodka or Rum, you would cook off the alcohol before you proceed to the stock. That's my take away, anyhow.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You have a correct Liz, there is a classic Italian dish called Chicken Marsala, which typically calls for mushrooms, along with Marsala wine etc. This recipe for "Chicken Marsala" is called this, simply because the sauce is made with Marsala wine and it is poured over chicken. If you don't like mushrooms then this sounds like this one might be right up your alley :-) As for dredging, this is used to help seal in moisture and also to help thicken the sauce. Hope this helps!
  • Barry D
    Barry D
    I found this product at my local "Fresh Market" a 1.5 ounce package makes 4 cups of stock. After reducing the Marsala I added about a quarter of the package and added water until I had the sauce consistency I wanted. Much better than the regular stock I used before
  • Steve K
    Steve K
    What type of oil is the best oil to use for frying the chicken? The grapeseed oil? Or olive oil? Flax seed oil?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Check out the pan frying lesson, in particular topic 4, as this topic talks specifically about this. Cheers!
  • Steve K
    Steve K
    I did view this lesson beforehand. However, the lesson doesn't specify what type of oil to use - just one that can withstand high temperatures. I'm looking for specific guidance on which type of oils to use for pan frying.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    In that topic (topic 4) there is a drill-down called smoking points of oils. There you will find some recommended oils. There is also tons of discussion about this under the "discussion" tab in the pan frying lesson. Cheers!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I've never had Marsala wine before so I didn't know what to expect. When I tasted it right out of the bottle, I freaked because it was so sweet and strong, even for me, and I had no back up plan for dinner. Suffice it to say, the strong odor and sweetness of the Marsala was tamed by its reducing along with the stock and that dab of heavenly butter and parsley at the end. I'm blown away yet again,that Rouxbe was able to expand these finicky taste buds to horizons never dreamed of. It was a sacred moment when the buds hit my spirit and I just wanted husband and son to shut the heck up so I could go undisturbed while in this culinary utopia. You now have my undying trust for future recipes I'd never in a million years try because I "hate" certain ingredients. Heck, I might even end up liking mushrooms and peppers. No doubt a major feat if you can help me pull those off. Thanks Rouxbe, I really do love you and what you have done for me.
  • Tricia R
    Tricia R
    I just joined the cooking school and this was the first recipe I tried because I had all the ingredients. I always keep marsala wine around for tiramisu. The brand I use is called, "Gambarelli and Davitto" private stock marsala and it is only $4 at Safeway. It tastes great for both tiramisu and this recipe. I also added mushrooms since I read that someone suggested that. It was delicious! I love the tangyness that the marsala adds to the sauce. I can't wait to try some more recipes!
  • Kenshasa jade J
    Kenshasa jade J
    is marsala wine available in groceries?.... and if no marsala wine can i use another whine instead? and what is recommended substitute, if no marsala wine? pls help im looking forward to cooking this on for my husband.
  • Jim B
    Jim B
    You could use any wine you wish; however, the recipe is no longer Chicken Marsala at that point. It is the Marsala wine that makes this recipe. Marsala is available at most chain grocery stores in the US. Even our pokey local market has bottles running from US$4 to US$8. As I said at the beginning, you could use any wine you wish to make the sauce. You could even use--carefully--Whisky, Rum or Tequila. At that point, though, I call it something like Margaritaville Chicken for truth in advertising. :-)
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    And it was a hit! Didn't have time to simmer to reduce and had doubled the ingredients, wish I had because this time I used my home made roast-dark chicken stock. I had to BOIL everything to reduce as I was on a time crunch. Still it was fabulous! Next time I'll start earlier. Had it with my PERFECT-EVERY-TIME rice (learned from Rouxbe, of course) and the recipe for green beans, pine nuts and cambozola. It took great willpower to walk away from the remaining left-overs. (I've probably gained about 25 pounds since I started using this site) Is there a big taste difference between simmering the stock to reduce and having to boil it when you are running low on time? Thanks Rouxbe!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Just wanted to add one more thing I learned today. Of course you say this somewhere on your videos, but now that I made this mistake twice, it warrants bringing it up here-cause some folks may do the same thing I did. After I cut the chicken pieces in half, I didn't "pound/flatten" the thicker ones flatter to match the thinner ones. Which made cooking everything evenly problematic. So I ended up with some chicken overcooked and some undercooked. Great lesson today as I finally got this now from experience. Now I know what that meat tenderizer hammer is for. I mean I already knew on some level, but really got the lesson driven home today being so hurried for time. There's nothing like practice to work out the "kinks" in your understanding.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    As a general rule, it is better to simmer and reduce a stock or pan sauce than to boil it. For example, if making a pan sauce with aromatics, you know what happens to food when it is boiled as shown in the Submersion Cooking Methods lesson. Not only will the aromatics possibly change texture/disintegrate or cloud the sauce, some chefs say they can tell a big difference in flavor (pay attention to see if you can tell). Of course, if time is a factor, sometimes you have to do what you have to do...but in general, slower, gentler cooking is better with certain things. Good for you for just going for it and getting the job done. Cheers!
  • John L
    John L
    I love this recipe as well, but my family wants more of the sauce! Doubling the ingredients takes a great deal of time to reduce. Can any of the sauce be prepared in advance or is it necessary to wait until there are sucs in the pan?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You can double the ingredients for the sauce. Reduce the stock in advance, which will cut down on the cooking time (reduce 2 cups down to 1 cup). You'll still need to deglaze with the Marsala and let that reduce though. Keep in mind that by doubling the sauce, there won't be as many sucs to flavor the doubled amount of liquid, but it will still be good. Hope this helps!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I'm really glad I asked the questions because I just learned a boat load more than I didn't know I needed to know. My family is the same, we want more sauce! I know there is a way around this with the suc factor. Hum, maybe reduce my roasted chicken stock down by 1/4 next time before freezing? If I'm starting out with a concentrated roasted chicken stock, then perhaps the suc factor would take care of itself? and I can have more sauce? Or just start de-bone-ing my own dang chickens and freeze the scraps for extra sucs, (tempered and pan fried right along with my chicken breasts)? Whatcha think?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    There are a million ways to skin a cat, as my aunty says. You can tackle it however you like, but just keep in mind that this "a la minute sauce" may take longer than necessary for this supposed-to-be-quick dish. Personally, I also love sauce and used to wish there was always more...but, over the years I have learned that less is sometimes more. Things don't have to be swimming in sauce - sometimes just enough to tease your palate is enough to keep you wanting to make the dish over and over again. But really, it's up to you. Happy cooking! :)
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Dawn, is prudence your middle name? I can see how just a little too less sauce could tantalize your taste buds and freshen up your sex life! Hum, am getting a bit too fat since I found Rouxbe...Yet it will take a lot of contemplation to give one up for the other!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    My middle name is not Prudence...but my first name is Kimberley :) Cheers!
  • David D
    David D
    Wow! I knew we were in for something special when I taste tested the not quite ready sauce and it was amazing! The finished dish was simply outstanding! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Second night using my new stainless cookware and things have gone swimmingly! Thanks, Rouxbe staff for all your help, guidance and encouragment! You folks are the best!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Ha! Sorry Kimberly, I just caught that. I can be a bit slow.
  • Keith L
    Keith L
    I have not yet made my own dark sauce and won't have the time to do so before preparing this dish. I like my pan sauces on the thicker side. Mostly for control so that when you spoon the sauce on the entree it does not run and cover the entire plate. I like the sauce to stay on the entree and not run into other side dishes on the plate. I know from past experience that store bought sauce does not produce the thicker pan sauces regardless of how much reducing you do. Is there a way I can trick up a store bought sauce to acheive the thicker sauce? Could I add a bit of slurry during the reducing process? Should I dredge the chicken breasts in flour first? If I dredge the breasts will this reduce or alter the sucs I am looking for? Thanks in advance for answers!!
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    First of all, you are correct that typically, store bought stock does not reduce well. In fact, most store bought stock actually becomes overly salty if reduced so we would strongly discourage trying to make quality pan sauces from store bought stocks. As for a shortcut, you could try enhancing your stock by caramelizing some small diced onions, carrots, celery and leeks (mirepoix) in a pot until they are slightly browned, then add a tablespoon of tomato paste, then a dusting of flour. Then pour over the store bought stock and simmer for an hour or so to cook out the flour and tomato paste. This is like making a short stock (some process, see lesson on short stock). This should add some thickness to the sauce. Depending on your store-bought stock, this still might be a bit salty so taste it before you overly season the final sauce and chicken. Then strain this stock and use in the recipe where it calls to add the stock. It should be a bit thicker now and provide a better base (due to the tomato paste and flour). I do want to re-iterate that this will not produce the best quality dish. There are no quality restaurants that I know of that will use store bought stocks for pan sauces. We strongly suggest that you try and make your own stock, particularly when making a dish that is really just based on a pan sauce, such as this one. Making stock is effortless work that just takes a bit of time and the results and final sauces for any pan-sauced dish will be remarkably better. In fact, my guess is that you will never attempt a pan sauce without your own homemade stock in the future, once you make the real deal. Hope this helps - cheers!
  • Keith L
    Keith L
    Unfortunately I ran out of time to even attempt your short stock version. So I am just going to have to roll with what I got and see what I can do. I am adding mushrooms to this dish so I'm thinking I may add just a dusting of flour just before I add the store bought stock and see where that gets me. I will definetly have to find some time to make my own stock. Sounds like a snowy cold weekend project. Thanks again!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I wouldn't necessarily just add flour to the dish before adding the stock, as it will likely just clump, which of corse you do not want. I would make a beurre manie (equal parts flour and butter, that are combined cold) and add it at the end. You could also use a bit of cornstarch but niether of these will produce the exact same results. The cornstarch will give the sauce a glossy finish. The beurre manie will add nice flavor but it will lighten the color of the sauce. It will also need to be cooked a bit longer to cook out the chalky flavor of the flour. Cheers!
  • Keith L
    Keith L
    I went the cornstarch route and it thickened up nicely although I am going to try making my own stock soon and see for myself the difference. The dish turned out great with the exception of just a hint of bitter taste in the sauce. I'm thinking I had a few burnt sucs left in the pan when I deglazed. Still something I'm working on is pan frying and not ending up with any burnt sucs. I control the heat well so I know it's not a matter of the heat being to high. I think it's the length of time. When I pan fry in batches it seems there is no way to keep the sucs from the first batch burning while you are fying the second batch. My chicken breast were a bit on the thick side and perhaps I should have flattened them a bit to shorten the cooking time. Also it seems my pan will go dry. Before I added the shallots I added just a bit of grapeseed oil but it seems the shalotts quickly absorbed the oil leaving the pan dry so I had to add another touch of oil during the cooking process. I'm wondering if this is where my sucs are burning? Another great dish and another great learning lesson. I am happy knowing that I can make a mistake or two along the way and know what I will do differently next time and still not ruin the dish and actually have it turn out quite well! Very encouraging!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Good job Keith, sounds like you made a very nice dinner (with the delicious steamed potatoes and all). As far as pan frying in batches your instinct was correct to add more oil. As each batch is pan-fried you may need to add a bit more oil. Just enough to keep things lubricated and to help prevent the sucs from burning. Also, it's always a good idea to review a particular lesson from time to time (in this case the pan frying) after you have put the methods and techniques to the test for a bit. Cheers!
  • Julianne  H
    Julianne H
    ok, going to give it a whirl. researched the marsala and mushrooms bits. But worried about pan temperature between batches and reducing time, and so much more. it always seems as if in the middle of cooking a million questions will turn up and i will be back to researching as I'm trying to pan fry chicken. May end up just drinking the wine and eating plain chicken.
  • Julianne  H
    Julianne H
    what an awesome recipe and I have to say that everything tasted excellent. Meat was not dry, the meat did not stick to the pan, and the sauce was out of this world!!! I didn't think I could pull this off, but everyone went crazy, and by cooking slower and more methodically it really turned out fantastic.
  • Melia P
    Melia P
    This was a easy recipe that tasted great. Even my picky, picky husband ate it (he didn't have the sauce). I really enjoyed this and watching the other videos on how to properly heat a pan and add the oil made this meal turn out awesome! I was impressed with my cooking skills after watching the video and trying the recipe.
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    I tried this for the first time tonight. It was good but I need practice. The chicken was great, but the sauce was thin ( I got tired of waiting for it to reduce), tho' it tasted good. I did'nt have any dark stock, so used some turkey stock from thanksgiving. It had gelled just fine when cooling in the fridge. I have a question. With leftovers, which we plan to eat in 2 days, should I store the chicken and sauce separately or together?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Glad you liked the dish and good that you improvised using another type of stock. Feel free to store the chicken and the sauce together and then reheat. Have fun practicing! Cheers!
  • Jeshanna F
    Jeshanna F
    This was wonderful! My husband said this meal made it worth the Rouxbe investment. "The best chicken you've ever made!" was his exact statement. Thanks!! Tomorrow we're going to try pan frying tilapia. Yum!
  • Faye G
    Faye G
    In step # 3 “To finish the sauce, swirl in the cold butter”. At this step should the sauce continue to simmer or should it be off the heat completely? The reason I am asking is that the butter gets separated when the sauce continues on the heat.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    We have turned the gas off in this case. Swirling in the butter is done just at the end to finish the sauce. This is also covered in more detail in the "How to Make Pan Sauce Lesson". Cheers!
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    I did a spectacular master chef last evening when making this dish. I grabbed the handle of a pan which I'd placed in a 200C oven without using gloves/cloth. I now have a left palm branded with a cross akin to that seen on our traditional hot x buns. The pain!
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    I made the dish last evening with moderate success. I used brined plump breasts but did not slice them in half as suggested. They were a little on the hard and dry side. Would it be the brining, the size or overcooking which caused this? The sauce was perfect.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Rick, so sorry to hear that you burnt yourself. If it makes you feel any better, we have all been there before and know how much it can hurt. It does make you much more aware though and more careful in the kitchen. The moment you take a pan out of the oven, cover the handle with a cloth or one of those handle covers because it is so easy to forget when you're doing other things. I am curious though as to why the pan was in the oven for this particular dish. Brining will not make the meat hard or dry. Yes, cutting the chicken into even-sized pieces will help. Because chicken breasts taper on one side, they can easily over-cook by the time the thicker side is cooked through. It is just a matter of you practicing your pan frying skills to ensure that you are cooking the meat just until it is done. Keep at it. Next time, if you are planning on doing the whole breasts, might want to try finishing the chicken breasts in the oven. Cheers!
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    Good morning Kimberly (uk) "I am curious though as to why the pan was in the oven for this particular dish"...... I was finishing the breasts in the oven. Trust me I will be more careful next time. Burning flesh does not smell the same as cooked chicken.
  • Luke A
    Luke A
    I've been pan frying chicken breasts and I seem to be inconsistent on cooking it all the way through. I cut into the deepest part to check of course before eating, but sometimes I have to cook it more. Is there a method to tell when it is cooked through besides cutting into it? Or is experience the main factor?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The best way to tell if pan fried chicken is really cooked is to do as you are and cut into it. So you are on the right track there. Another way, that many chefs use, is simply to touch the meat (like in the steak lesson). With experience, when you touch the thickest part of the meat and it feels the right firmness when pressed, it's done. But again, this one does take some time to be become confident with. By that I mean, it takes time to trust what you are feeling. You can train yourself by using the touch method but then still cut into it. Once you know it feels a certain way when it's done it will become quite easy. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Lauren M
    Lauren M
    We had good flavor in the sauce before we added the lemon, but after adding the lemon, we could not taste the Marsala at all. Wondering why the lemon was added? Also, we pounded the chicken out first so the whole surface would cook at the same rate. Do you recommend this? And finally, what are some typical sides/accompaniments to Chicken Marsala. I googled it but didn't come up with much. We'll try again without the lemon as the sauce was great before we added it.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Lemon is used to cut the richness of sauces, if necessary...and it should only be added to taste (if at all). You might find the lesson on Pan Sauces in the Cooking School helpful. Next time you make it, taste the sauce first to see if it needs a bit of brightening. Yes, you can certainly cut & pound the chicken breasts to flatten them to promote even cooking. In terms of sides, there are so many. Roasted vegetables such as potatoes (including hasselbacks) cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, cipollini onions or carrots...just to name a few would go well. You can serve steamed rapini, braised kale or grilled asparagus. Lemon Orzo, Aglio e Olio or a nice polenta would be delicious. A nice arugula salad tossed with quality extra-virgin olive oil, lemon and shaved parmesan would be great too. Most of these recipes are on the site, however, more importantly, the lessons on Roasting Vegetables, Steaming Vegetables, How to Make Polenta, etc., will help you expand your cooking repertoire and give you ideas so you aren't at a loss when it comes to sides. Cheers!
  • Sacha M
    Sacha M
    I ended up overcooking the chicken because I couldn't get an internal temperature reading of 165 without keeping it on the stove for longer than the recipe specifies. I would have gone by the visual indicator specified in the recipe, but I wasn't sure if the chicken was cooked enough to be safe. Is the colour of the chicken enough to go by (inside was no longer pink and outside had a nice even gold colour to it), or should I continue to check the temperature to make sure everything is good? Do internal temperatures read differently while pan frying than when boiling or baking? Maybe my thermometer is just bad?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    If the chicken is no longer pink all the way through, this is a good indication that it is fully cooked through. You may want to test/calibrate your thermometer to make sure it is accurate. The temperature won't be any different no matter what cooking method is used. Although with thinner pieces of meat a thermometer is often not used as it can be hard to test such thin pieces of meat. In these cases touch and even cutting into the meat to see if it is no longer pink is often the better way to go. This comes down to practice and knowing when to stop the cooking process or when you need to take it a bit further. With plenty of practice, you'll keep getting better at knowing when things are done and be able to perfect it each time. Also, be sure to check out the cooking school lessons on Pan Frying and Pan Sauces for more info. Cheers!
  • Allan O
    Allan O
    This recipe was a complete success in my household. I am wondering, though, if I wanted to make this for a dinner party, can I precook the chicken breasts earlier in the day, and warm them up in the pan with the sauce prior to serving? This way I wouldn't be ignoring the guests while I'm preparing it.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This dish is simple and quick to make and all of your mise en place can be done in advance. The dish is best prepared just prior to serving; otherwise, the meat will dry out and just won't be as good. You are much better off to set everything up and cook it just before serving. Cheers!
  • Michael N
    Michael N
    The sauce I made was very foamy while cooking. It tasted great but the foam was not helping me see if the sauce was reduced enough. I used light chicken stock off the shelf. Maybe I didn't let the Marsala wine reduce enough? Do you guys happen to know what might cause the foam while cooking/reducing?
  • Gail S
    Gail S
    Can you just brown the chicken on the outside in the pan and then place in the oven to continue cooking? Or does chicken cook too quickly for that to be helpful? If so, what temp would you recommend and about how long could you do that for with about 3 chicken breasts? I am also worried about 'buying myself time' when making the sauce and not ending up with too cooled off chicken.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    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!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    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!
  • Michael N
    Michael N
    @Kimberly 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!
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    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. Thanks
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    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!
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    Thank you. 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!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Great job experimenting! Yes, the thighs because of the darker meat won't look as pretty. Glad you tried it out to see for yourself. Cheers!
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    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.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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!
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    Thank you Dawn, I am encouraged to try it again, with adjustments as you recommend. I did order a nice comfortable kitchen stool however as I have much more learning to do.
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    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!
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    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: http://rouxbe.com/cooking-school/lessons/170-pan-frying Cheers, Joe.
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    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.....
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    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): http://rouxbe.com/recipes/1057/preview Cheers, Joe
  • Gail S
    Gail S
    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.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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!
  • Teresa beatrice C
    Teresa beatrice C
    do you sell this pan you use in the videos? or do you know where i can buy one?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The stainless steel pan in the video is by Viking. I believe it was the 11" pan, which you can find here. Cheers!
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    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!!!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Oh Ken, we are so happy to hear that. You have come a long way and it's all thanks to you and your hard work. You have been a dedicated student. Keep up the great work, and remember, it just keeps getting better :-)
  • Autumm
    Autumm
    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!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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? I also encourage you to watch (or review) both the lessons on Pan Frying and on How to Make Sauce and then give it another try. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Autumm
    Autumm
    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!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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.
  • Autumm
    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.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Autumm, This is a great question. In the upcoming cooking courses that will be released in the next 30 to 45 days, we will be covering this technique in more detail. At the present time, there is no exact video. However, if you are pan frying thicker pieces of meat, you need to lower the temperature (after pre-heating the pan), to low to medium-low, depending on the thickness of the meat. The trick is to observe carefully. If the chicken is not browning enough, or you don't hear a bit of sizzle, the heat is too low. If the chicken is not cooked through and it is getting too dark, the pan is too hot. And to protect the sucs, just make sure there is a little bit of oil still present in the pan. Burning starts with the pan is dry and the heat is high. I also move the pieces around in the pan a bit to keep certain parts of the pan from drying out and burning. It's all about practice, practice, practice... and making observations along the way. Don't expect perfection first try. The best chefs in the world fail from time to time, but learn from their attempts. Cheers, Joe.
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    My advice is to forget dry-heat pan frying of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Remember, this is just me, a student talking and sharing what I've arrived at that works for me. First of all, do your own discovery, You have pans and a stove, altitude, humidity, that no one else has exactly the same. Remember that skinless boneless chicken breast is about the most challenging piece of meat to fry and to keep tender and moist all the way from inside to out. What I do is heat the pan to proper temperature (see the guide videos to getting the right temperature) then splash a few tablespoons of grapeseed oil into the pan and put the breasts nicely spaced into the pan (see the pan frying video on this too.) Then I add 1/2 cup of hot water and cover the pan with a nice fitted lid. This puts steam to work and gets the entire piece of meat cooking and retaining moisture at at the same time. After a little more than 3 minutes, I open the lid, turn the breasts, let the water evaporate naturally as the lid will now stay off. Finish cooking for about 3 more minutes. Do this with chicken breasts that are not more than 3/4 inch thick, but more than 1/2 inch thick. It's a scientific process of discovery. Some of the experienced chefs that teach here have their own way of getting the job done without the adding of water and lid as I do now with great success. Maybe I will learn their way some day, but for now, this works fabulously for me and I have the best chicken breasts I have ever made or tasted in my life. Use your imagination and bring in everything you are learning to every dish you make, you never know when there will be a crossover tip from one method that will help another. Best, Ken
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    Still: Plan on ruining a few breasts. I can't stress enough that for me, and I think for others too. That hitting the videos again and again, until you can ace them in your sleep, is particularly good with the fundamentals.
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    What about the sucs needed to make the fabulous Marsala Sauce? Or the browned exterior on the chicken? I'd try your method, which is more steaming than frying, but I wonder if I'd have to give up these advantages of frying. Or do you still wind up with pan sucs and a crisp exterior on the chicken?
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    Never give up sucs, and I don't either. With only a half cup of water, just to make the steam for the first part of the cooking, which is cooking moisture all the way through the chicken, then you move on to the sucs after the lid is removed. As the video lessons on pan frying point out: sucs are developed with a small amount of oil in the pan while frying. If necessary, after removing the lid and the water is evaporated, add a little oil to promote the generation of sucs. It doesn't take long to see those caramelized bits develop in the pan. Again, experiment to get what you want accomplished. I have first placed the chicken into the pan after adding the oil, then fry for about a minute or less in the oil, just to get that side slightly crisped. It sounds like you have it clear in mind how you want it to be as a result. Vary the amount of water, but I will say, getting a tender moist result from pan frying alone for a lean cut of meat like boneless skinless chicken, or for slices of lean pork, which is about the same problematically, introducing stream into the process is the only way I have had success to my taste so far. Rouxbe Staff will probably chime in here, as my method is definitely not on the menu for techniques taught here, but I would join you in looking up to our instructors as they are the true experts and I only long to attain even a small degree of their abilities. Ken
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Okay... I love the conversation here and thanks Ken for contributing. Terry you are correct, Ken's method is a moist-heat method (after the initial pan frying (sear). While results are what is moist important here and Ken seems to be enjoying the results of his efforts (so keep experimenting Ken), the introduction of steam (with lid), can lead to tougher chicken if the heat is too high or is left too long under-cover. This method has a higher likelihood for a learner to not achieve the desired crust and sucs (for pan sauce later). Moist-heat cooking methods are generally used for tougher cuts of meats, not lean meats like chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, etc. And I emphasize "generally" here as there are no absolutes in cooking (at least not in our books). I would suggest that you try pan frying and reducing the heat to low first, without the addition of water or stock. The minute you add water, you are correct that you'll loose precious suc development and you won't easily be able to develop that best crust on the protein (one main goal of pan frying). Ken is correct that once the water has evaporated, that suc development will start to occur and the chicken will again start to brown, but it's a delicate and tricky proposition that I feel will lead to more problems than successful outcomes for someone trying to learn. Also, as taught in the moist heat lesson (submersion cooking), if the heat is too high from steaming, you might end up with more moisture loss as high heat can lead to moisture loss. See this topic (but note that steaming is not a submersion method of cooking): http://rouxbe.com/cooking-school/lessons/187-submersion-cooking-methods?start=2 Ken, I encourage you to either try reducing the pan temperature to low (with slight sizzle) and keeping an eye on the sucs. Add a bit more oil if the pan is getting dry and starting to smoke / pre-burn and moving the chicken periodically to cover any pan surface that is getting too dark. And keep an eye on the crust so that it doesn't get too dark. You can also use the flip-often method (see cooking steaks lesson) if you want to give that a try. It would work similarly. The other method for really thick pieces of meat is to finish in the oven (flipping occasionally until cooked). While learning, I would reserve the moist-heat steaming method for tougher cuts of meat or make sure you are using a very low and gentle steaming temperature. In fact, why not just try steaming or poaching and compare the results. And Terry, you know more than you think. Trust you instincts. And Ken, you too know more than you think and I love that you are trying to continually experiment. If what you are doing is working for you, keep doing it. Keep experimenting. Love it. It will lead to continued to success. Cheers, Joe
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    Appreciate your comments Joe and Ken. To do a fair comparison I think I want to master both methods, then decide which method I prefer. Otherwise my preference might lean toward the method that I do best at the moment. I'll definitely try it out and see! Terry
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    I am not qualified to do any more than share my own experiences. I defer to all Rouxbe staff for true professional and actual accepted practices. However, that being said, I have received the greatest encouragement and tips also from fellow students of Rouxbe Cooking School. This is why I don't hesitate to share at least, what has been successful for me on my journey to learning the right way to prepare meals, the Rouxbe way. Thanks Terry, let us know how your experience goes and what you learn that you can share with us. Ken
  • Ken N
    Ken N
    Joe, I appreciate your comments to me here. Pan-frying is of the highest interest to me, because I have struggled with it so much, and still my results are not guaranteed. I will definitely lean my efforts to what you have stated here, as I know I am on a learning path as long as I keep following the advice and direction given by Rouxbe Staff. Ken
  • Joanne T
    Joanne T
    Tonight I invited my father over for dinner and served him Chicken Marsala over a bed of rice. It turned out quite well. I'm pretty inexperienced in the kitchen so this was quite an achievement for me, smile. He's never had Chicken Marsala and would like to have it again. This recipe took me close to 2 hours, mainly to my being slow in the kitchen. This was my first pan sauce. It came out pretty well. I thought the sauce was a bit strong at first, but I added in a bit more of the unsalted butter and it softened the flavor a bit. I wasn't sure if that would work, but it did. These videos are great. They take out the guesswork. I had a laptop in the kitchen so I could review it if I became unsure of what I was doing. Thanks so much, Joanne
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Nice work Joanne. You will be surprised how much easier and faster it gets the more you practice. Good job on adjusting the sauce as well. The final sauce will depend on so many things, the type/consistency of the stock you used. How high the heat was, how much your were cooking, etc etc. Adding butter and even a touch of lemon juice is a good place to start. Cheers!
  • Marilyn
    Marilyn
    The only thing they had at my local store is Marsala Cooking Wine. Is this fine to use or should I go to another store where I can find a quality Marsala Wine?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Are you buying it from a liquor store — meaning, is it alcohol? And if so, then I am sure that it is fine. Cheers.
  • Debbie D
    Debbie D
    I made this recipe a couple of days ago and loved the process of making the sauce. Knowing a few key pointers about pan sauce really helps and I love the simplicity of it. Unfortunately the chicken turned out just a bit tough so I'll have to adjust what I do next time. My pieces weren't quite the same thickness but reading through previous posts has given some great pointers. Today I decided to try the same recipe but with pork tenderloin. I used the shallots and marsala wine for the sauce but instead of chicken stock I used 400 ml of pure unfiltered apple juice. While the meat and shallots were cooking I infused the heated apple juice with a sprig of fresh rosemary (discarding the rosemary when it was time to add the juice to the sauce). Because I was using more liquid I had to reduce for longer but the flavour was incredible and of course apples go so well with pork. So thank you Rouxbe. You guys rock!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Or should I say "pork marsala"...nice work Debbie! Way to improvise. It seems like you are really paying attention in class and it seems to be working out well for you ;-) Keep up the good work. Cheers!
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    When I make this, the chicken is barely warm by the time my sauce is ready, even when covered in foil. Quite often the chicken is dry by the time I get a good crust on the chicken as well. So wondering,,, if I fry on high very quickly to get a crust fast and then keep warm in the oven (250F or so) when I am doing the sauce would this work??
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Terry- Timing and maintaining heat is a common issue, for sure. Get a good crust on the chicken (cook until just 'done') and let it rest. To reheat the chicken, just gently cook it in the sauce once it reduced. You may need to add a touch more liquid, but this technique works well. If you need to hold the chicken in a warm oven, set the temperature as low as it will go as not to overcook it due to extended hot-holding. Cheers.
  • Barbara P
    Barbara P
    This was my first experience with a stainless steel fry pan. Your instrx for making the pan non-stick worked perfectly. I added shiitake mushrooms just because we love them. Thanks again for the knowledge, the video guides, the online help, and the recipes for practice!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thank you Barbara! Keep up the great work cooking with Rouxbe and we hope to continue to support you as you learn and build your cooking skills. Cheers.

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