Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pre Show Jitters!

Easy Chicken Marsala

It's Thursday night and for the past 24 hours I've been trying to really occupy my mind. You see, I have a big weekend ahead and its times like these I really have to focus on the details of the day as not to get completely derailed by the excitement.

After much deliberating I pulled the trigger on a weekend in Atlantic City. Typically such a decision wouldn't necessitate such a long list of pros and cons... unless of course the weekend being deliberated is Halloween and unless of course, my favorite band happens to be playing in Atlantic City... that's right, Phish is playing in AC, capping off the weekend with their traditional 3 set Halloween show where they cover another bands album cover to cover (rumor is this year is gonna be a real treat).

Ordinarily this wouldn't be an issue, in fact, there would have been zero deliberation. There would have been much pre-planning, a crew of my oldest and best friends would have been assembled and no doubt, complete craziness would ensue the minute we checked-in to our hotel rooms. But this year is different. This year I'm on call.

As many of you know, my first son/daughter is expected in late November (HOORAY!). And as many of you also know, at this stage of the game, this kid could decide to come at any minute. As of right now, it doesn't appear that this weekend is that minute, but I will have to "behave" in the event the party get's moved from AC to Abington Hospital.

With that said, what better way to occupy my mind than a little mid-week cooking. In my opinion mid-week cooking should be quick and easy and this meal fits both categories like a glove.

Here's my take on Chicken Marsala:

3-4 chicken breasts, pounded thin and even
1 packet of mushrooms (I usually prefer button or a mix of shitake/wild mushrooms)
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup marsala wine
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons of flour slurry (mix of flour and water)

Start by pounding the chicken breasts out between plastic wrap, making certain they are of an even thickness. You're going for thinner than thicker here - think cutlet.

Mix flour, oregano, salt and pepper on a plate and coat both sides of the chicken in flour shaking off the excess.

Heat a skillet with olive oil and butter (Why both? You're increasing the smoke point and allowing the fat, a.k.a the butter/oil, to rise to a higher temperature without smoking) and once melted add the chicken.

After a few minutes and once golden brown flip the chicken and add the mushrooms, sherry and marsala wine. Once all the liquid and mushrooms are incorporated cover the skillet and drop the heat to low/simmer. After 5 minutes flip the chicken and cover for another 5 minutes.

Remove lid and stir in the slurry to thicken the sauce. Use your discretion on the slurry to make the sauce as thin or thick as you prefer.

Voila - an easy and tasty weekday meal. I microwaved a bag of rice to serve alongside but pasta or other veggies would work too.

PS - for dessert I had a bottle (okay, two) of Avery, Jubilation. Today was the first trip to the distributor for my new beer club and it was AWESOME. Eight of us each bought a case of beer and then all exchanged bottles until we had three of each kind. Both me and my liver are very excited to try the rest - stay tuned for some upcoming beer reviews!s

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Applesauce Spice Cake