Chicken Marsala For Reals

I made this a while back and just never got around to posting. Even bad chicken Marsala is still kind of good, but this stuff is on a whole ‘nother level. The sauce was deeply flavored and rich, the chicken tender and we had it over polenta, providing a wonderful texture contrast. Here’s the original recipe. Below is what I actually did when I made it.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c flour
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
4 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T dried sage
1 tsp tomato paste
1 c sweet Marsala wine
1 T unsalted butter
Juice of half a lemon

You’re supposed to pound the chicken, but I couldn’t be bothered. I just sliced it into large strips. Mix the salt, pepper, flour and oregano and dredge the chicken in the mixture, shaking off excess. Heat a deep skillet over medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted and foamy, add the chicken to the skillet. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes each side. Remove chicken to a plate, cover to keep warm and set aside.

Add the chopped bacon to the pan and cook until just crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon to a plate with a paper towel to soak up the grease. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until golden, making sure to scrape up any bits left in the pan from the chicken or bacon. Feel free to add a little more oil if the pan seems dry.

Add the shallots, garlic, sage and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook until the shallots are tender – 2 to 3 minutes – then add the Marsala. Turn the heat up and bring the sauce to a hard simmer, cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced. Add the chicken (and any juices collected on the plate) and bacon to the sauce and heat thoroughly. Add last tablespoon of butter and lemon juice and stir until just combined. Serve with pasta or polenta.