Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Chicken Marsala, Orange and Gorgonzola Salad with Garlic Croutons
I am in love with the Chicken Marsala served at Romano's Macaroni Grill. I know... Macaroni Grill is only one small step above Olive Garden in the Americanized world of Italian chain restaurants. But this stuff is good $hit! Yep, you heard me.
It's all about the sauce. The sauce is a rich gravy with a hint of sweetness and swimming in whole cloves of soft roasted garlic and gorgeous sauteed portobella mushrooms. I was determined to replicate this dish at home and searched online for a Macaroni Grill knock off. After making a few tweaks I think it's an excellent alternative to sitting at Macaroni Grill while your server displays their talent for writing their name upside down in crayon your paper table cloth. Not that that is not a good skill to have in your back pocket! Anyway, this recipe made a dinner appearance at last week's girl's getaway vacation.
This is no low calorie affair, but the entire stick of butter in here is worth every extra minute spent on the treadmill! I like mine extra saucy so I up the chicken broth and marsala wine quantities. I also add a little butter flour mixture to thicken up the sauce a bit. This go round it didn't turn out quite as saucy as I would have liked. But the flavor was all there!
Served over orzo pasta (leftover from our Shrimp Baked with Tomatoes and Feta dinner) and alongside a wonderful salad, this was a meal that I completely overstuffed myself on. The salad, made by one of the girls, was dee-lish! And the gals made homemade croutons from the french bread leftover from our Croque Monsieurs).
Orange, Tomato and Gorgonzola Salad
Lettuce mix of your choice (Romaine holds up well)to serve 6 people
1 pint mini heirloom tomatoes or grape tomatoes
2 avocados sliced
2 mandarin oranges, sectioned
4 ounces of gorgonzola cheese
4 green onions thinly sliced
Garlic Croutons (see recipe below)
Creamy Balsamic Dressing (store bought)
Toss all ingredients together, except the croutons. Squeeze left over orange juice from the rinds over the top of the salad and top with croutons. Serve creamy balsamic dressing on the side.
French bread cut into 1 inch cubes
Olive oil spray
Fresh Ground Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place croutons onto a foil lined baking sheet. Spray generously with olive oil spray. Season to taste with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss with your hands to evenly distribute seasonings. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Adapted from Irish Rose's recipe
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into 8 pieces
ground pepper and salt
flour, for coating chicken plus 1 tablespoon for sauce
7 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups portobella or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups marsala wine, sweet not dry
1/2 - 3/4 cup chicken stock
1. Place chicken pieces between waxed paper or plastic wrap and flatten to 1/3 inch thick with a meat mallet. Season each piece with salt and pepper and then coat in flour. Shake off excess flour.
2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and the oil in skillet and fry chicken in batches on medium heat for about 5 minutes each side.
3. Remove chicken from pan and arrange in a single layer in shallow ovenproof pan. Put in low oven (275-300 degrees) to stay warm.
4. Add 2 tablespoons butter and garlic to skillet and saute (do not brown) for a few minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and saute about 5-7 minutes. Use slotted spoon to lift mushrooms out of skillet and arrange on top of chicken breasts. Sprinkle with cheese and put back in oven until you finish next step.
5. Pour Marsala wine into skillet along with chicken broth and remaining 1 tablespoons butter and boil rapidly until reduced by half. Mash 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk into sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, plate it and pour wine mixture over the chicken breasts.
Serve alongside angel hair or orzo pasta.