Chicken Marsala with Oven-Roasted

Mushrooms and Onions

roasted shallots.jpg

This variation on veal Marsala is easy to make, yet special enough for an important dinner party. The boneless chicken breasts are flattened to about ⅓ inch thick, so they cook very quickly, like veal cutlets. The creamy sauce is made right in the pan. We like to serve this dish on a bed of Classic Mashed Potatoes or lightly wilted spinach.

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces pancetta, very thinly sliced
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned
10 cipollini onions or shallots, cut in half (or quartered if large)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sweet Marsala
¾ cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Flatten each chicken breast half by placing it between 2 sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and pounding it with the flat bottom of a heavy pan until it is about ⅓ inch thick in all places.

3. Working with 1 flattened breast half at a time, spread 2 teaspoons of the mustard onto one side of each breast and press 2 sage leaves into the mustard side of the breast. Set aside. Repeat with remaining breast halves.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the pancetta 4 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until it is crisp and lightly brown. Remove the pancetta and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Set the skillet aside.

5. Meanwhile, while the pancetta is cooking, place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the vinegar, mush rooms, and onions into a baking dish and toss to mix. Roast in the oven about 30 minutes, stirring several times during the cooking process.

6. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet after the pancetta has been removed and lower the heat to medium. Dredge each breast in the flour to coat both sides lightly, shaking off any excess flour and place in the skillet.

7. Cook the chicken breasts, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side (exact timing will depend on the size of the breasts), until the breasts are golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove the breasts from the skillet and set aside.

8. Raise heat to medium-high. Add the Marsala to the skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Stir and reduce the Marsala by half. Add the cream, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low boil and continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thick and creamy and coats the back of a spoon.

9. Return the chicken and pancetta to the skillet with the sauce to reheat. Season with salt, pepper and the remaining mustard and sage. To serve, top the chicken with the pancetta, roasted mushrooms, and cipollini. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.