30 Minute Easy Chicken Marsala is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, but it’s also elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. The Marsala wine, bacon, butter sauce will have you licking your plate!
Chicken Marsala is a traditional Italian dish that’s simple to prepare and amazingly delicious! Most likely originated from Sicily, where Marsala wine is made, this dish has a creamy sauce that’s got a hint of sweetness from the Marsala, a smoky-richness from the bacon, and lots of umami-goodness from the wild mushrooms.
All this decadence can be yours in just 30 minutes!
I foraged my local grocery store and found these beautiful mushrooms - Chanterelles, Oyster Mushrooms and Shiitakes. We’re in the peak of mushroom season here in Oregon and there really were some beauties. Of course, feel free to swap them out for whatever mushrooms you have readily available to you - Crimini mushrooms, Portobellos, or standard Button mushrooms would all be fantastic too.
Because the chicken is pounded thin, it cooks extremely fast. Create thin cutlets by cutting a chicken breast in half, horizontally, and then pounding each half thin using a meat mallet. Don’t be intimidated here. Just place your chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten the breasts out to about 1/4 inch-thickness. Then comes the flour dredging. This is what helps get those chicken cutlets nice and golden and a bit crispy on the outside. To “dredge,” pour the flour into a shallow dish and dip each chicken breast into the flour, shaking off any excess flour and gently coating each of them in the mixture.
Fry those chicken cutlets up until they’re golden brown and then tent them under some foil to keep them warm while you prepare the Marsala sauce. It all starts with the bacon. I let it sizzle away in the same skillet that we used for the chicken, just for a couple minutes until it releases some of its fat, then I throw in the mushrooms and let them get nice a golden brown. Be sure not to salt the mushrooms until the end, otherwise, they won’t turn that beautiful golden brown color.
Then we add in the Marsala, a bit of chicken stock, and a couple pats of butter for good measure. Swirl it all around and then add the chicken back to the pan, spooning the sauce over the top. Since we had so many gorgeous wild Oregon mushrooms in our marsala tonight, I was inspired to throw in another Oregon specialty ingredient - hazelnuts. I chopped them up and sprinkled them over the top along with some fresh parsley for that special finishing touch.
I tend to serve this easy Chicken Marsala up with some rice that I cook up in my Instant Pot. It’s also great served alongside some buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes. On the side, I’ll either serve some roasted Brussels sprouts or this fennel & celery salad. But, the most important accompaniment (as always) is the wine!
I had the perfect bottle in mind, and of course—it’s from Oregon! This Pierre Leon Pinot Noir from WillaKenzie Estate had just the flavor profile that I was looking for - It’s hint of earthiness was amazing with the wild mushrooms, but it’s backbone of dark fruits paired so well with that lightly sweet Marsala wine sauce, and with a bright acidity, it was able to stand up nicely to the rich, bacon-flecked sauce. Cheers!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally and pounded ¼-inch thick
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces wild mushrooms, stemmed and halved (about 2 cups) (I used chanterelle, oyster and Shiitake)
- 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
- 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in it. Shake off the excess.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Place 2 pieces of chicken in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm under a tent of foil. Warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in the pan and repeat to brown the remaining chicken. Place that chicken under your foil tent as well.
Lower the heat to medium and add the bacon to the pan, saute for a couple minutes to render out some of the fat, then add the mushrooms to the pan. Saute until brown and liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Add Marsala to the pan and boil for about 30 seconds, then add the chicken stock and let it reduce slightly, for about a minute. Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and parsley. Serve immediately.