A terrific Italian-style chicken marsala featuring tender fillets cooked in a flavorful sauce made with dry Marsala wine, chicken broth, cream, and savory brown mushrooms.
This chicken recipe is all about the forever-winning combination of chicken, mushrooms, and cream. The reduced wine sauce makes everything ten times better. The only thing left is to decide what to serve with this restaurant-worthy dish to keep the bar high.
What is chicken marsala?
Chicken marsala is a dish of Sicilian origin now considered Italian-American due to its wide popularity in the US. This dish consists of pan-fried chicken fillet pieces cooked with mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce.
It’s deceptively easy to make and honestly makes you feel oh-so-fancy! We make it often because:
- An upgraded creamy chicken recipe. If you love recipes featuring chicken in a creamy sauce, then this recipe has the chance to become your new favorite way of cooking chicken breast.
- It takes under 20 minutes to make. Despite its rich flavor, this dish takes around 15 minutes to cook. And while the sauce cooks, you have the time to cook the side dish and make a quick dessert to end the evening (may we suggest some brussels sprouts and Opera cake?)
- Perfect for special occasions. This dish is easy enough to cook for no reason at all and fancy enough to serve for special occasions.
If you have a bottle of dry Marsala wine, take it as an excuse to cook chicken marsala. And if you don’t, you can easily make this without it!
Besides the chicken, cream, and a few seasonings, nothing else goes into making this recipe. Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts. Skinless and boneless.
- Marsala wine. Dry Marsala is the best choice for cooking.
- Shallots. Chopped. Due to their delicate flavor, shallots work a lot better for this recipe than onions.
- Mushroom. Sliced brown mushrooms. I love using brown mushrooms for this recipe as they have a rich, savory flavor and hold their shape well. Other types of mushrooms you can use are shiitake, porcini, and button mushrooms.
- Heavy cream. For a rich, creamy sauce.
- Chicken broth. Homemade or store-bought.
- Flour. To dredge the chicken breast before browning them.
- Butter and oil. To cook the chicken breast, shallots, and mushrooms.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
- Parsley. Fresh chopped parsley for garnish.
How to make chicken marsala
This recipe is made in a single skillet and just a few simple steps. Ready to cook some chicken?
Step 1 – Cook the chicken breasts
Cut the chicken breasts into even-sized pieces and pound them lightly until they are evenly thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge them in all-purpose flour and shake off the excess.
Heat oil and butter over medium heat and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
Step 2 – Sauté the shallots and mushrooms
Add the remaining butter to the pan and sauté the shallots until translucent. Then add the sliced mushrooms and cook until caramelized.
Step 3 – Cook the Marsala sauce
For the sauce, add the Marsala wine and cook on medium heat until it reduces by half. Add the chicken broth and the heavy cream and cook for 5 minutes.
Step 4 – Return the chicken to the pan
Bring back the browned chicken and cook for 5 minutes to marry all flavors. Give the sauce a taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
Tips to make the best recipe
- While Marsala is a must-ingredient for this dish, substitute it with the same amount of chicken stock if you don’t want to use wine or alcohol.
- Make sure you season the chicken breasts properly. Even a delicious sauce won’t be able to save your marsala if the chicken breasts are bland.
- To prevent the cream from curdling and becoming grainy, add it to the wine only when it has been reduced by half.
- Adjust the amount of salt you use, considering the sodium content of the chicken stock.
- Don’t forget to shake off the excess flour from the chicken breast. Otherwise, the sauce will turn out to be too thick.
- Be patient when cooking the mushrooms. Wait until all the liquid in the mushrooms cooks off and they get nicely caramelized.
What to serve with this dish
Chicken marsala pairs well with simple side dishes thanks to its rich flavor and texture. Try some simple carbs like baked potato or baked sweet potato. This also goes well with grain-based salads, like a rice salad or orzo salad.
To store. Place leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
To freeze. Freezing chicken marsala may cause the creamy sauce to separate. Still, freezing is a good idea if you want to extend the shelf life of the leftovers. Freeze this chicken for up two months. Defrost chicken marsala in the fridge before reheating it.
More creamy chicken recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
This chicken dish is rich and meaty. Thanks to the caramelized mushrooms and a mild sweetness from the sautéed shallots, it has a strong umami flavor. In addition, the Marsala wine gives the dish a strong earthy flavor.
There are around 376 calories per serving of this recipe.
Reheat this chicken on the stove over medium heat. Add a splash of heavy cream or broth if needed.
- Slice chicken breasts in half into four cutlets and pound them lightly to get them even thickness.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Place flour on a plate and dredge the chicken in the flour. Shake off any excess.
- Heat oil and 2 tbsp of butter in a pan over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Cook the chicken cutlets until deeply browned on both sides, 3 minutes per side. Set chicken aside once finished.
- Heat the remaining butter in the pan and saute the shallots until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add marsala wine and cook until the liquid has reduced in volume by half. Add stock and heavy cream and cook for 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and cook for several more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed, and serve with fresh parsley.