Chicken Marsala with Thyme is a quick recipe that’s perfect for company. There are various schools of thought on Chicken Marsala. Some chefs leave out the onions in their mushroom sauce. Other chefs add prosciutto or regular ham or sometimes bacon. Then there’s the wine. Marsala, of course, is the wine of choice. Some chefs go heavy handed on it, choosing to add 1 cup, others add just 1/2 cup, and yet others add 1/2 cup plus a splash of Sherry. These recipes are all delicious. So basically it comes down to individual preferences.
Chicken Marsala with Thyme
But one thing is constant. The method of making Chicken Marsala is basically the same as it was when it was first created back in the 19th Century. As far as I can tell it originated in western Sicily, where Marsala wine was produced and was created by English families who lived there.
Chicken Marsala is actually fairly easy to make. Like a piccata or a scallopini, the meat is first pounded thin, usually no thicker that 1/4 inch. Then the meat is salted and peppered on each side before dredging it in flour. Olive oil is added to a hot frypan and the cutlet is seared for no more than 5 minutes on each side where it’s removed from the pan.
Funally comes the sauce. This is where you can get creative. Keeping it light, I like to first caramelize the mushrooms in a little butter and then add finely diced shallots along with some thyme leaves to give the sauce an extra depth of flavor. Next comes 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 1/2 Marsala wine and it reduces for 2 minutes before adding the chicken back into the sauce. Then a bit more butter goes into the sauce and an additional 3-4 minutes of simmering time reduces the sauce to perfection. At that point, your Chicken Marsala with Thyme is ready to plate and serve.
Just a note about which Marsala to use. The Italian Marsala from Sicily is so much better than domestic Marcela. You can really tell the difference in taste. It costs a little more but it provides a much richer sauce. Buon appetito!
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Chicken Marsala with Thyme
- Between two sheets of plastic wrap, gently pound chicken cutlets to 1/4" thick. Pat dry and add salt and pepper to each side. Dredge each cutlet with flour on both sides.
- Add olive oil and 1 Tbsp. of butter to frypan over medium high heat. Add floured cutlets to pan and saute 5 minutes until browned. Turn cutlets over and saute an additional 5 minutes and remove to a platter.
- Add remaining Tbsp. of butter to frypan over medium high heat. Then add mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes. Add Marsala wine and chicken broth. Cook 2 more minutes. Then add chicken cutlets back into pan and spoon sauce over chicken. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.