Friday, January 7, 2011

Elegant But Easy – Chicken Marsala with Fettuccine Alfredo

I think every cook should have a few core recipes that can be relied on time after time to yield spectacular results. In my house, they usually involve chicken. Over the next few weeks I will share with you some of my go-to dinners, and hopefully you can use them next time you’re faced with the age-old question of “what’s for dinner?”

This is one of my favorites – it is easy enough for weeknights, but also serves as a great meal to impress the in-laws, celebrate a special occasion, or just cheer you up after a crappy day. It doesn’t involve any odd ingredients except for Marsala wine, but what cook doesn’t have wine on hand? I always cook with wine, although I don’t always add it to the pan. I usually keep it in a glass next to the stove.

Serve with a green salad and garlic toast – Mangia!

Chicken Marsala (serves 4)

2 T olive oil
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed (or 1 heaping T of jarred minced garlic)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (like Kraft)
4 chicken breasts, flattened to about ¼”
1 pound fresh mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
½ C marsala wine
¼ C chicken broth or water
1 T cornstarch

Heat the oil and butter over medium low heat until the butter is melted; add the garlic and swirl the pan a few times, letting the garlic infuse into the oil/butter for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, pound the chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper until about ¼’ thick, then coat each side with the parmesan cheese.

Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the chicken breasts. Cook in the butter/oil until cooked through, turning every so often to brown both sides, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the chicken onto a plate and cover to keep warm. To the pan drippings, add the wine, broth and mushrooms, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the drippings and cook over medium-high until slightly thickened. Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken to coat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer just a few minutes - enjoy!

Chicken simmering in the oil.

Fettuccine Alfredo (serves 4-6)

1 lb fettuccine noodles
½ stick butter
½ to ¾ c fat-free half and half
1 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
¼ tsp ground white pepper, to taste

Cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain and set aside. Add the butter to the the still-hot pasta pan, and melt over low heat. Return noodles to the pan and toss to coat.

Add ½ cup of half and half and cheese; toss to coat. If you desire more sauce, add more half and half until it’s the consistency you like. Sprinkle with pepper and toss to combine.

The pasta pot is amazing. No broken pasta!

1 comment:

  1. Yum. I will have to have hubby try this sometime. Yes I said hubby. He likes to cook more than me.

    I enjoy reading both your blogs.


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