mmmMarsala Chicken

by | May 6, 2011 | Main Dishes, Recipes

I have a recipe for Marsala chicken that I have made for years–I even included it in our cookbook–and I must say it is very bland compared to the recipe in this post and I am now a bit embarrassed that I included my almost bland recipe in our cookbook! This recipe makes the best Marsala chicken I have ever eaten.

This is a recipe of Emeril Lagasse’s that I have modified a bit to reduce the saturated fat and I reduced the cayenne pepper to lessen the heat (never fear, it still has a bit of a kick). Since I’m a mom working outside of the home and have a lot less time to cook than Emeril, I’ve also made a tweak or two to reduce the prep and cook time. And, last but not least, I have added fresh basil. I don’t know about you, but the smell of fresh basil makes me giddy. Ok, maybe it was the glass of red wine I drank while I was cooking that made me giddy, but I really do love the smell of fresh basil.

Besides creating a wonderful entree, the extra Essence that you make with this recipe can be used for the spice in oven-fried chicken or added to a variety of recipes. Bonus!

Chicken Marsala


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 – 3 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms (I use one 8-ounce carton of prewashed/sliced mushrooms)
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup prepared chicken bouillon (I use the Better Than Bouillon brand) or chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced and chopped 


Make the Essence. The recipe is below.

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. To do this, place a sheet of plastic wrap on a plastic cutting board. Put the chicken breast on the place wrap leaving some space between the breasts. Place a second sheet of plastic wrap on top of the chicken breasts. Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts to thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut the chicken breasts into halves.

Pounding the chicken breasts with a meat mallet

My favorite meat mallet

In a shallow bowl or pie tin combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour. Reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture.

The flour and Essence mixture. The plastic bag contains extra Essence that can be used in other recipes, such as oven-fried chicken.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add one tablespoon of the butter to the pan and let it melt. Add the mushrooms and cook. Stir frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken bouillon or broth and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

If the sauce is not thickening or to thicken the sauce more quickly, add 1 tablespoon of the reserved flour mixture to two tablespoons of water. Mix well and then mix into the sauce. Stir well to prevent the flour mixture from becoming lumpy.

The fresh basil has been added to the chicken and sauce

Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Do not overcook the chicken as it will become dry and tough. Add the fresh basil, swirl in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (Emeril uses 1 whole tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Have a great Mother Mother’s Day! In the words of Emeril, “Kick it up a notch. BAM!!”