Chicken Picatta and Chicken Marsala
2 Birds with one stone (fry pan)
Not entirely, but both recipes start out the same so I’d thought I’d give you the ‘ol 2 for 1. Marsala is sweet and uses onions and sweet wine whereas Picatta is lemony and uses dry wine and capers. Marsala favors a red wine as a pairing where Picatta invites a white. So, lemon or sweet, white mushrooms or brown, red wine or white, let’s get in the kitchen. It’s going to get a little messy but isn’t cleaning up half the fun? Okay it’s not but whenever I dredge something in flour I make a mess. Since both recipes start out the same, I’ll take us to the fork in the road, then, you decide which fork you want to take for the finished dish. Or, if you’re really brave, make them both on the same night. What’s a mess between friends?
Chicken Picatta and Marsala
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Tablespoons EVOO
- ¾ cup unbleached white flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 ½ cup of chicken stock
- 3 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ¾ lb. sliced white mushrooms
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 Tablespoons of drained nonpareil capers.
- 6 cloves fresh minced garlic
- ¾ lb. sliced brown mushrooms
- I large onion, minced
- 3 cloves fresh minced garlic
- 1 cup Marsala wine
- 1 Tablespoon veal demiglace
Rinse and clean the chicken breasts of any connective tissue where the wing was connected. Pound the chicken breasts to even thickness, about ¾ of an inch. Put the chicken breasts, 2 at a time in a large zip lock bag. Then on a cutting board and with a rolling pin, pound them to the desired thickness. Then place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan, separating with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Heat a heavy skillet (that has a lid) on medium high. Add 2 Tablespoons of the EVOO and 2 Tablespoons of the butter. Put the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl or pan for dredging. Dredge 2 chicken breasts coating both sides well. Place both breasts in the fry pan and brown on each side, adding a new dredged breast to the pan as you remove one breast. Set aside. Add more butter and EVOO as needed. Make sure the pan always has a breast cooking or the pan will get too hot and burn the flour. When the last breast is removed turn the heat to medium and add the crushed garlic. Stir for 15 to 30 seconds and add the onions (for the Marsala) or the mushrooms (for the Picatta). For the (Marsala) after cooking the onions for 3-5 minutes, add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms have released their liquid turn the heat to medium low/low and add half the wine, ½ the chicken stock, ½ the lemon juice, and the capers (for the Picatta) and ½ the chicken stock, ½ the Marsala wine , and the demiglace (for the Marsala). Stir and let the sauce start to thicken. Adjust for taste (the Picatta) sauce with more lemon juice, wine and chicken stock. Adjust for taste (the Marsala) sauce with more wine and chicken stock as it thickens and becomes sweeter. Once you are happy with the flavor and consistency of the sauces (this step usually takes from 10-20 minutes), add the chicken back into the pan. Coat the chicken with the sauce turning with tongs. Cover with the lid and on low heat simmer approximately 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with the parsley, and serve immediately. I like pasta (you want to soak up the sauce) and a seasonal vegetable like zucchini or green beans for a pretty and flavorful dish.
Tips: Try this with pork loin when making the Marsala. Pound or tenderize the pork and follow the same steps as the chicken. Pork really works well with sweet flavors. Try a Pinot Noir with the Marsala. I lean towards the fruity styles as it complements the sweetness of the Marsala. I like an Italian white or a lightly oaked Chardonnay with the Picatta. The lemon and capers in the Picatta really come forward with one of those choices. Both of these dishes are very “pretty” food so I like to serve them family style so everybody gets a “visual” of the great food they are about to eat. Make sure you include a spoon so each piece of chicken gets some sauce. You’ll be glad you did.