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04 April 2011

Lemony Chicken Marsala


This is a very easy & quick dish that never fails to impress my family, even myself. It's one of my favorites. The more classic Sicilian dish that uses Marsala wine is scaloppine di vitello al Marsala which are fine thin slices of veal cooked in Marsala wine. This one on the other hand are smaller pieces of chicken (the white meat) cooked in freshly squeezed lemon juice and Marsala with a bit of capers. It's absolutely something that you should try!


What makes this different is the strong taste of lemon fighting with the salt and perfumed by Marsala wine.  If you get to eat the chicken immediately after cooking, like how we usually do at home, you will taste the chicken at its tenderest.

 
If you see an Italian scraping a piece of his bread on his plate at home, it's a compliment to the cook.  It's called fare la scarpetta or do the scarpetta.  My five-year old son has this habit that we let him do only on home turf when he enjoyed his meal very much.  It's rare to see someone doing the scarpetta in restaurants.  Not only did my son do the scarpetta on his plate but he also graduated from it and moved to the saucepan!  He loved it so much that he asked me to do it again soon.   I did....ten minutes later.   So at four in the afternoon, we enjoyed a second round of lunch.  The best compliment this dish can ever have!

 

Lemony Chicken Marsala


Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 600 grams chicken fillet, cut into medium pieces, washed & patted dry with kitchen paper towels
  • Flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt
  • Pepper  
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped finely
Directions:

  1. Coat the chicken with flour. Mix and toss until all the pieces are completely covered then shake off the excess flour.
  2. On medium heat, in a hot saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, cook the chicken without overcrowding then brown both sides.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When both sides of the chicken are golden brown, pour the lemon juice then cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the Marsala wine and let the alcohol evaporate on medium - high heat.
  6. When the sauce is starting to become thick, lower the heat to low - medium.
  7. Add the capers and most of the parsley, leaving some for garnishing. Adjust the salt.
  8. Turn off the heat when the sauce has been reduced almost completely.
  9. Before serving, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle the remaining parsley.