Chicken (Not) Marsala

chicken marsala

I love the idea of chicken Marsala, but I rarely have the required wine on hand. Marsala is a fortified wine similar to Port, Madeira, and Sherry. Originally Marsala wine was fortified with alcohol to ensure that it would last long ocean voyages, but now it is made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets. What I always have available is a bottle of Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard’s Traditions Port Style Red Wine, thus, the namesake of this earthy dish. Cin cin!

Chicken (Not) Marsala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 4 ounces porcini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • ½ c. sweet wine (Marsala or Port)
  • ¾ c. chicken stock
  • 2 tbs butter
  • ½ c. parsley, chopped
  1. Pour flour onto a plate and add a good amount of salt and pepper. Heat the oil to medium-high in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, dredge both sides of the cutlets in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess.
  2. Add the cutlets to the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning only once. Transfer chicken to a large platter to keep warm.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan. Cook for a minute or two.
  4. Next, add the mushrooms and saute until they are browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the sweet wine in the pan and boil for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol.
  6. Add the chicken broth and simmer for a minute to reduce slightly. Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer for a minute or two to heat the chicken through.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with seasonal steamed vegetables.

I paired this traditional Italian dish with a bottle of The Big Easy (2009) from the Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard in California. Bright ripe berries announce the Syrah, while Petite Sirah and Grenache usher in smooth velvety tannins. ¬†Select this bold red to accompany you at a rustic table or on a picnic…

Move Night suggestion: Them! (1954). One of my favourite creature features (“stay in your homes!”). The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization, starring Fess Parker as Alan Crotty. Walt Disney originally screened the film because he was interested in casting James Arness as Davy Crockett. However, he was so impressed by Fess Parker as the crazy Texan pilot that he chose him for the part. One more bit of trivia, the sound that the giant ants make as they approach their prey is a recorded chorus of treefrogs (Hyla avivoca) of the southeastern United States. Occasionally a grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) can be heard on the soundtrack as well, as these species often co-habitate the same wetland.