Chicken Marsala is one of those dishes that is light but packs great hearty flavor. I like Chicken Marsala, I think it's one of those dishes the home cook often overlooks. Jenn Haley from Hillsborough sent in this recipe and it's great.

(Gellman Images)

Jenn uses Marsala cooking wine, my suggestion is that you just pick up a bottle of Marsala wine which costs about the same as the cooking wine and has in my opinion 5 times more flavor. Cooking wine lacks the punch of regular Marsala wine and has way too much salt. This dish is a little salty to begin with and the cooking wine will only make that worse.

Thanks, Jenn, for a nice twist to a standard classic recipe.

You'll need:

2 packages of chicken tenderloins strips
1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, chopped thin
1 cup of flour (¾ cup for the coating and a few separate tablespoons)
6 tablespoons of salted butter
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (for a tiny kick)
1 ¼ cups of beef stock (YES, BEEF STOCK)
¾ cup of Marsala cooking wine
1 package of Baby Bella Mushrooms
1 tablespoon of chopped basil to finish top of dish for presentation
Grated Parmesan, to taste, for finishing on top of dish

How to put it together:

Start by taking the chicken tenderloins and placing them in a large zip lock bag filled with approximately ¾ cup of flour that has been seasoned with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper. Toss to coat.

In a large skillet place the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Shake off tenderloins of the excess flour and cook until no longer pink (about 4-5 minutes each side). Place on separate plate with paper towels to drain. Melt 1 more tablespoon of butter in the skillet and add 1 tablespoon of flour scraping brown bits up from the bottom of the pan to form a roux (a thick butter sauce). Add the onions and the ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes stirring them occasionally for about 5 minutes until they become translucent.

Add the mushrooms and garlic, 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper and cook for another 3 minutes stirring so that you do not burn the garlic. In the meantime add hot water to a stock pot and bring to a boil. Cook the linguini to package specifications (usually about 7-8 minutes) and drain when done. Slowly add the beef stock (YES, BEEF) and the marsala cooking wine to the pan, again scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the cooked chicken tenderloins into the sauce mix, stir, cover and let simmer for another 7-8 minutes. Make sure that your sauce has thickened up a bit, if not add a bit more butter and flour and whisk vigorously.

Drain linguini and serve this incredible dish in a large pasta bowl. Finish with grated Parmesan and chopped basil. Enjoy! Serves 4.

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