Mother’s Day chicken marsala

</blog posts revolving around a special event>

(after the mother’s day dessert post, that is)

Now that we have that sorted out…

I have wanted to make chicken marsala since June 8, 2011. That was the day that I bought the nicely-labelled bottle of Marsala wine that you see below and used it in tiramisu cupcakes. And by “used it” I mean that I used 2 tablespoons of it.

So what does one do with a leftover bottle of Marsala wine? Given my tendency to spontaneously drink my cooking wine (#studentlife), I’m surprised this lasted through my fourth and final year of university. To be honest, I forgot about it, and it was left to rest by our collection of balsamic vinegars, sesame seed oils and a bag of mouth-burning “chilly pepper,” which doesn’t chill anything even a little bit.

I rediscovered the wine when I moved home a few weekends. I carefully wrapped the bottle in old newspaper and wedged it in my pink garbage can in the back of our moving van. My urge to make chicken marsala was re-ignited.

Note to all before I continue: My family is not the adventurous eating type. I present to you, our cast of characters…

Dad – meat and potatoes kind of guy. Grew up in Ireland, gets slightly intimidated by things that look a little unusual. Doesn’t eat chocolate. Puts ice cream on all desserts, even when you tell him not to.

Mom – dietician. Very practical with cooking. Doesn’t like buying a lot of fancy ingredients and usually sticks with her dozen or so go-to dinner recipes (which are, might I add, very good).

Younger brother Garrett – typical 18 boy. Will eat in silence even if he thinks something is good. Shrugs if it tastes nice, shrugs if it tastes bad. Likes mushrooms and plain pasta. Inherited the dislike-of-chocolate gene from my dad. Does not like lemon, but does not see the need to tell someone this until after they make a lemon tart (see next post).

It is hard to please everyone, but I decided that this minimal combination of mushrooms, chicken and pasta would pass. And it did. Thank heavens.

It was good, but I will make a few points. Do not eat this on the patio like we did. It is prone to getting cold easily (as is any food, I suppose), and is only half as tasty this way. As a food blogger/photographer I’m used to eating food cold (womp womp), but this was a little extreme. My point: serve warm. But I guess that’s a given. Moving on.

Reduce the sauce more! I got impatient. Will know for next time. Also: possibly use cilantro instead of parsley. If you swing that way.

DO NOT USE THE SODIUM-FREE CHICKEN BROTH THAT YOUR MOTHER BUYS. I get it, we have a sodium problem, but the lack of NaCl meant a lack of flavour.

There. Done.

Otherwise, it was good. Pounding chicken breasts into thin cutlets is fun, as is dredging them in flour. Ah life, it’s the simple pleasures.

PS: You want rustic-looking photos like the ones I took back in Ottawa? Well you’re not going to get ’em. Old fashioned red brick does not feature anywhere into my neighbourhood and, dear god, I think I would kill a man for a textured board of dark wood.

Recipe: Chicken marsala

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