Tonight, for our Concert in the Park culinary challenge of the week, the theme is Cooking with Wine. It's become so hectic trying to photograph all the dishes in the park, and then feature them in one blog post, I decided to do a test run of Giada De Laurentiis' Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce, the dish Mom is preparing for tonight.
Marsala is a wine produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. Marsala wine is frequently used in cooking, and one of the most popular Marsala recipes is Chicken Marsala, in which flour-coated pounded chicken breast halves are braised in a mixture of Marsala, butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and spices.
In Giada's version, the chicken breasts are not pounded or coated in flour. She also adds Mascarpone cheese and Dijon mustard, which provide a rich, velvety creaminess and wonderful flavor. With only a few minutes of prep time chopping the onions, garlic and mushrooms, the chicken is then quickly sauteed, and the sauce comes together in a few more minutes while the pasta cooks. I used spinach fettuccine, but you could use any pasta you prefer. We all loved this!
Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce
Slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup Marsala wine (Giada called for dry, but I used sweet)
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish
12 ounces fresh Spinach Fettuccine (or other pasta of your choosing)
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.
While the chicken cools, melt 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the onion and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain. Toss the fettuccine with 3 tablespoons of butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates. Spoon the chicken mixture over top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.