Chicken Marsala / by Anthony Michael Contrino

Photo by Matt Wagemann

Photo by Matt Wagemann

This Italian restaurant menu staple is one of my favorites - and it's one of the easiest dishes to replicate at home.  Marsala is a fortified wine from the area surrounding the Sicilian city of Marsala.  Marsala can be dry or sweet.  This recipe calls for the more common sweet variety.  The sweetness of the Marsala with the earthiness of the mushrooms and thyme are balanced out with the smoothness of the butter.  If you do not have Marsala, you can substitute with sherry or even white wine with a splash of Brandy.


Chicken Marsala

Serves 4


8 chicken cutlets

1 cup flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned, sliced

1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

¾ cup marsala wine

¾ cup chicken broth

2 tbsp. butter, softened

3 tbsp. flour

Parsley, chopped, for serving


1.    In a flat-bottomed bowl, mix the flour, salt and pepper.  

2.    Coat the chicken in the flour mixture.

3.    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

4.    Add ¼ cup of the olive oil and sear the chicken, in batches, on both sides until lightly golden. The chicken should be cooked through.

5.    Remove the chicken from the pan, onto a plate.

6.    Add the remaining oil to the skillet.

7.    Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes.

8.    Add the thyme, marsala and chicken broth; bring to a simmer.

9.    Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour to form a paste.

10.  Add the butter paste to the simmering liquid and stir until it melts and thickens the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

11.  Return the chicken to the skillet along with any juices that were released.

12.  Simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

13.  Garnish with parsley.