Years ago I read a novel where the protagonist is wooed by a lover who teaches her to cook chicken marsala. It sounded like a sensual dish of wine spiked plump mushrooms and crisp chicken. Truly I thought it sounded wonderful, however on finishing said novel I didn't give it a second thought. Then, this year we went out for a birthday lunch and I saw it on the menu, ordered and ate it, and my cooking brain started to tick.
This week I had a go at it, as part of a challenge set up for the Sainsbury's Blogger network. I was to make a dish using a 'by Sainsbury's' ingredient. My ingredient is their pack of 2 chicken breasts and the recipe I worked up is as follows:
2 by Sainsbury's chicken breasts
4-5 tablespoons plain flour
300g chestnut mushrooms
Marsala wine (our Sainsburys only sell 1 variety - and it worked beautifully Cantine Pellegrino 1880 Marsala Superiore)
Pasta/ brocolli to serve
Put your chicken breast in a freezer bag and bash the living daylights out of it to flatten - I used a wooden rolling pin and went royally to town on it. Repeat with each chicken breast.
Put the flour on a plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper.
Dust your chicken breasts in the flour so that it's lightly coated on both sides.
Melt the olive oil and butter together in a heavy based frying pan
When the oil is hot, add the chicken (you want it to sizzle as it goes in).
Cook the chicken on each side until it's golden brown - I let it form a crust before turning as I'm convinced that adds to the flavour later on.
Once your chicken breasts are cooked through, remove to a plate.
Add a pat of butter to the pan and start to cook down your mushrooms and add (for 2 people) 1 large wineglass of marsala. Allow this to bubble and reduce down, using a wooden spoon or similar to make sure you've got all the chickeny goodness off the bottom of the pan. It's ready when you can't taste the alcohol any longer, just the flavour of the wine - I reduce it down by at least half
Put the chicken back into the pan, and heat through
Serve with pasta (if you're M) or piles of steamed brocolli (if you're me)
We both loved this, the sweetness of the wine sauce contrasts beautifully with the savouriness of the chicken and the freshness of the brocolli. The mushrooms swell slightly and take on the flavours of the chicken and the wine. For us it's not an everynight supper - but on a Saturday night it's perfect for 2, with a glass of something cold and crisp.
The fantastic thing about this recipe is, that with the pack of chicken breasts happily ensconsed in the freezer, all I need to keep is the bottle of marsala as we always have mushrooms in. It's such a seemingly impressive dish for such little effort that I love it even more than just for the taste alone.
You'll note we're pictureless at the moment as it was so successful it was eaten before I could remember to get out the camera- but one should be up on Saturday as I've been talked into making it again.
What's your Kitchen Hero and what recipe would you make using one staple 'by Sainsbury's' product?
Leave your recipe in a comment below, or if you're a blogger link your recipe in the Linky tool below and tweet it to me using the hashtag #kitchenheroes. I'll RT all tweets sent to me.
The competition will close next Friday, 17th May and I'll do a roundup of all your recipes. The most impressive recipe will be chosen by Sainsburys and the winner given a £50 Sainsburys voucher.
The winning recipe will then be put to a vote with all the winning recipes from other blogs for a chance to find the overall best recipe.
Sainsbury's provided me with a £50 voucher for ingredients