Accidental Chicken Madeira

I am really scatterbrained sometimes. I wanted to make something new with pasta and chicken, when I realized I had never tried to make chicken Marsala. I scrounged up a recipe, made my grocery list and went to the store, only to return with Madeira wine instead of the requisite Marsala. Of course, I didn’t discover that until I was about to pour it into my cup measure. I’m used to major miscalculations threatening my cooking, so I forged bravely ahead, altering the recipe with wild abandon. It turned out pretty great!

**Note: You can (probably) sub Marsala wine for the Madeira. But I wouldn’t know.**

1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T olive oil
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3/4 c Madeira wine
3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream (optional)

**Note: If you want more sauce, just increase the liquids – but keep them at 1:1.**

Combine first four ingredients in a medium Ziploc bag. Put chicken in bag, seal and shake well until coated. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off extra flour.

Heat oil to medium high in a large, deep skillet. Add chicken to skillet, turning frequently, and do not reduce heat. When chicken is very lightly browned on all sides – about 3-4 minutes – add mushrooms and garlic to skillet. Keep the heat up and stir the mixture until the mushrooms have just started to brown (another 2-3 minutes), then add the wine and chicken broth.

Stirring occasionally, bring the liquid to a rapid boil. Keep on a high boil for a good 5-8 minutes. This allows the alcohol to cook off, so that the sauce doesn’t taste boozy. The sauce should thicken slightly from the dredging on the chicken, but you can add a slurry if you want it thicker. Cover the skillet with a vented lid, turn heat to medium low and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes. If you’re using cream, add it right after taking the sauce off the heat and stir it in throughly. Serve over pasta.

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