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Chicken with Marsala

This is Rick Stein's Chicken with Marsala (or Polla alla Marsala) from his TV series, Long Weekends. Enjoy this retro Italian dish this weekend with plenty of good wine and company.


Chicken Marsala was ubiquitous in the 1960s and 1970s. After that it lost its appeal but now, just as with the prawn cocktail, it is time for a revival. It’s a beautiful dish, made more often in Sicily with veal but also found with chicken. What I particularly like about Italian meals is that by the time you get to the terzo course, all you want is a small piece of protein, such as chicken, fish or steak, and maybe a salad and a couple of sauté potatoes.

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4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
40g plain flour
50g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
160g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
250ml dry Marsala
150ml chicken stock
Sauté potatoes to serve
Small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Place the chicken breasts between sheets of clingfilm and beat, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, until about 5mm thick. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, then dip in the plain flour to coat lightly, shaking off any excess. Melt half the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden. Set aside.

Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper. Heat the remaining butter and olive oil over medium heat and gently fry the shallot and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then add the Marsala and turn the heat up to high. Reduce the liquid by about half. Turn the heat back down, add the chicken stock and chicken, and cook the chicken in the sauce for about 10 minutes.

Serve with sauté potatoes sprinkled with parsley.

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