- Start to Finish: 45 minutes
- Servings: 4
- Difficulty Level: Beginner to intermediate
When you're at the Olive Garden, as they say, you're with family. You can bring your own family -- and your friends -- together around the table with an authentic version of the restaurant's chicken marsala. The restaurant is very willing to share its recipes, and this is the real deal.
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup dry marsala wine
Prepare the Chicken
With the flat side of a meat tenderizer or a wooden mallet, pound the chicken to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Pound it out gently and in several rounds rather than whacking it. Take care not to make the edges too thin or the chicken may burn.
Combine the flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a medium bowl. Drop the chicken pieces in the flour and turn them several times, coating them thoroughly. Shake off excess flour and place the chicken pieces on a dry plate.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry them on both sides for three minutes or until they are golden brown. Turn the chicken, add the mushrooms and brown the other side of the chicken breasts to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the mushrooms to prevent burning.
Add the marsala wine and swish it around the chicken, stirring the mushrooms.
Cover the pan and simmer for five minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and place each one on a serving plate.
Add the butter to the pan and stir until it is melted and the sauce begins to thicken. If it gets too thick, add a little more marsala.
Pour the sauce in equal portions over the chicken and garnish with chopped Italian parsley.
Pour some wine and pretend you're out to dinner.
Accompaniments and Suggestions
Olive Garden serves chicken marsala with pasta, but it goes well with mashed potatoes.
Buy some frozen soft breadsticks and bake them just as you're finishing the chicken. They'll be warm by the time you plate your dish and you can stick them in a tall glass or a colorful Italian-style pitcher just like the Garden.
You may not want to offer unlimited servings, but duplicating the Olive Garden salad is pretty easy. The restaurant doesn't share the dressing recipe, but it's Italian vinaigrette shaken up with a little mayo -- you can whip up a knock-off version quickly.
Get adventurous and try out the Garden's stuffed chicken marsala. It's a bit more work, but the gooey cheese filling and crispy crust make the effort worthwhile.
Raechel Donahue is an author, journalist and former features editor of the Brentwood News. Her specialties include travel, food and film. She performs a weekend show on BossBossRadio.com, runs a travel website and has written, produced and directed several PBS documentaries. A native Californian, Donahue currently lives in France.