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Benjamin W. Herila


Chicken Marsala

Makes about servings.


1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 C. + 1 T. flour
2 T. butter
4 cloves fresh garlic
2 oz. cognac or brandy
1 C. marsala wine
salt and pepper
canola or vegetable oil


Mix 1/4 C. flour with about 1 tsp. ground black pepper. Toss the chicken breast to coat. Pan sear in hot oil until browned. Set the browned chicken aside. 

While the pan is still hot, add half of the butter and cook until the foam is just subsiding. Add the 2 T. flour to the pan and cook the roux until it has darkened slightly and the flour has lost its raw taste. The roux should thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss to coat them with the roux. Add about 1/2 tsp. more freshly ground pepper and cook over high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown. Take care not to let the roux burn.

Add the cognac or brandy to the pan (on high heat) and quickly light it on fire to slightly toast the mushrooms in the high heat of the flame. When the flames subside, add the stock, garlic, and marsala wine. Stir to dissolve all the roux, scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the last of the butter and dissolve in the sauce. 


How to pick mushrooms

The crimini mushrooms slowly peel back from the stem as they dry out. In the photo above, the mushroom showing its gills on the left isn't quite as fresh as the mushrooms on the right. 

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