Let The Healing Begin...Chicken Marsala
Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you walked out of a Hardee’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s and found yourself thinking, “Man, that sure was a good meal.”
Let me answer for you. Probably fucking never.
I am out of town for work currently. Staying in hotels and thereby forced to subsist on either microwaveable food in the hotel room or fast food nearby. And let me tell you, it sucks.
Cost and hassle aside, the food is just fucking nasty.
Burgers are of poor quality and are poorly made. Delivery Chinese food all tastes the same. Delivery sandwich shops are slightly better but still hog swill.
And do not get me started on the casual dining industry! <---THAT will be its own post sometime down the road.
THEN I see ads on TV for Blue Apron and the like, touting their fresh delivered ingredients to make “restaurant quality” fare!
WHAT!?! No!! I have been living off of restaurant quality fare for the last two months and I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown! Let me tell you about “restaurant quality” fare Blue Apron. It ain’t quality! Its hot fucking garbage wrapped in paper made from recycled tampons and ground up tires and shit!
Motherfuck I am tired of shitty food...and there is no end in sight. Even the fucking salads are dog shit! What I would not give for one home cooked meal. It doesn’t even have to be anything earth shattering. Just a fucking meatloaf..or or or a goddamn roasted chicken!!
And here is where I imagine the “give me a bowl of lemons, always have a solution busybody saying “well you could have booked your stay at a hotel with a kitchenette.” (Insert whiny voice and a request to speak to a manager.)
Well no, Kate, I could not have booked a kitchenette. I stay where the fuck they tell me to...let me fucking gripe! Annnnnd dream about something good to eat...like Chicken Marsala.
(Insert dreamy music here as I drift off into food Nirvana…)
Marsala wine...mmmmmmm. Fuck yeah. Marsala wine is the local wine produced by residents in and around the tiny Marsala region on the Sicilian coast. These simple people created, quite unknowingly, the greatest cooking wine ever. It is easily the most versatile.
I know what you are thinking. "But dude what about Sherry?" Well I say fuck Sherry. Sherry...pleh! With all of its different variations and degrees of sweetness. Sherry with its fucking pretentious fucking following in Europe. Did you know that there is a fucking grand council of Sherry producing companies in Spain with the right to license or not license the name "Sherry."
Soooooooo...if you smuggled some seeds out of the Sherry triangle region of Spain, grew your own Sherry grapes, fermented and fortified the mash, and aged in wood barrels thereby making a product that is for all intents and purposes "Sherry"....you couldn't call it Sherry or any variation thereof without official licensing by the grand poobah of Sherrydom in the fucking Sherry region of fucking Spain. But here's the trick...you aren't gonna get licensed because these fuckers feel that all Sherry must come from this little region in Spain. Which is bullshit.
That's like Budweiser acquiring exclusive rights to beer. You can't call your beer a beer unless you are officially recognized by Budweiser. It would never work.
Sherry isn't a brand. Sherry is a process. It is a fucking species and you can't license for sole distribution a species. Can you????
Anyway...Marsala I am sure has the same fucking bureaucracy as Sherry...but I like Marsala better and this is MY daydream!
I'm just talking shit.
I use Marsala a lot. I use it in place of red wine in marinara sauce. I use it in soups. I prefer it in Molotov cocktails. It is just versatile and distinctly delicious.
Now about the recipe.
Fucking with a proper chef you will spend all day making this sauce. This is not necessary and I am not going to let it be hard.
Marsala sauce is so simple a fucking troll could do it. There are two ways I make it. The pretty version and the fuck it all homestyle version.
The pretty version is good if you have people coming over who drink apple martinis with their pinky finger out. Waxed bearded, hard part having, IPA drinking, actually enjoy lemongrass hipster fuckheads.
It is a true sauce to be ladeled over a carefully prepared piece of meat or pasta. Anyone named Blaine or Vincent or Chaz will appreciate this sauce.
The “fuck it all version” is actually better tasting and in my mind more in the tradition of what it was intended. It is a sort of gravy...which appeals to my inner white trash.
I am going to detail the “fuck it all” version first...and if my fingers hold out I will detail the pretty version after.
FUCK IT ALL HOMESTYLE SEX ON A PLATE CHICKEN MARSALA.
2lb chicken breasts. (I prefer the chicken tenderloins that come in the 3 lb package at Walmart. Because if you buy whole boneless skinless breasts...they are too fucking thick and will either have to be stripped and sliced or you have to pound the shit out of them. This dish requires the chicken to be truly fork tender.)
2 cups flour
1T parsley chopped
3T Texas Pete hot sauce
Olive oil. Enough to just cover bottom of large frying pan.
1 bottle of the cheapest Marsala you can find. I have used the expensive shit and the cheap stuff cooks up better. The expensive shit is more subtle and refined...and that is just not how I roll.
2 cloves smashed garlic
6-8 oz mushrooms sliced. About 12 small ones.
1 1/2 cups of ready to use chicken broth.
1 stick butter
Take a large frying pan and put it on medium heat.
I like to lay those chicken tenders on a cutting board, cover them with plastic wrap and beat them up a little to tenderize. Now, don't beat the shit out of them. But...ya know...fuck em up a bit.
Take the tenderized tenders and roll them in a bowl containing the hot sauce.
Combine the flour, oregano, and parsley in a separate bowl.
Take chicken out of hot sauce and press them into the flour mixture until evenly coated.
Add olive oil to medium hot frying pan and immediately begin frying the tenders.
**Important note** We aren't cooking the chicken all the way through right now. As soon as they are starting to show a little color, take them out of the grease and set them aside.
Add to oil in pan 2T butter and the mushrooms. Sautee mushrooms until they start to shrivel and brown around edges. Add garlic. Burned garlic is a great way to fuck up a perfectly good dish. So don't fucking burn it. Just let it sautee for a minute or two.
Add two cups of Marsala wine And stir. Pay attention...Marsala has a lot of fucking alcohol in it. Way more than you are used to if you cook with wine often. I have read numerous recipes and they try to give you a timetable for how long it takes for the alcohol to cook out. That is all bullshit.
The best way I have found is to blow the steam off of the top of the pan and immediately stick your nose right over the top of the liquid. Take a huge whiff. If the steam coming off the sauce burns your nose then the alcohol is not cooked off yet...or you have a desensitized nose from a quasi-serious cocaine addiction. In which case, hit me up...lets party!
When the alcohol is cooked off add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Salt. Pepper. 3T butter. Stir.
Add the chicken back in to the sauce. The flour from the chicken will thicken the sauce and make it supermodel sexy. Let it simmer until chicken is done and sauce has thickened.
I like to serve this with steamed asparagus and roasted red potatoes. But you can serve over pasta. I have even thought of serving this on a grilled hoagie roll. Fucking chicken Marsala sub sandwich? Fuck yes!!!! Or open faced on baguette with pesto and butter...holy shit!!!!
My fingers are tired...pretty sauce at a later date.
Annnnd now...back to reality. No sexy Marsala for me. Nope. Going to sit on the toilet and cry (in a manly way) and then trudge off to some local sandwich shithole.
Let me know if you like this one...it is one of my favorites.