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Catering Classics: Chicken Marsala

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

chicken marsala catering

Welcome back to another Enck’s Plus Catering blog post. This week we will discuss another catering classic dish, Chicken Marsala. I will talk about the dish, discuss its origin and share a couple of DIY at home recipes for you and your family or friends to enjoy together. Bon Appetit!

It may surprise you, but this dish is about as Italian as American pizza. Although the Marsala wine (a fortified wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily) has Sicilian origins, the recipe itself is an American spin on other similar Italian dishes.


Chicken marsala (Italian: Scaloppine di pollo al Marsala) is an Italian American dish of chicken escallops in a Marsala wine sauce. It is a variation of traditional Italian scaloppini dishes, of which there are many varieties throughout Italy. The dish dates to the 19th century, when it may have originated with English families who lived in western Sicily, where Marsala wine is produced.

Slices of chicken breast are coated in flour, briefly sautéed, and then removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce. The sauce is made by reducing the wine to nearly the consistency of a syrup while adding garlic. The sauce is then poured over the chicken, which has been kept in a warming oven, and served immediately.

Italian or not it is indeed Nevertheless a delicious classic. Below are a couple recipes and variations for you to attempt in your own kitchen.

chicken marsala catering

Recipe 1:


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup olive oil

12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups dry marsala wine

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish

1. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Cut two 12-inch sheets of plastic wrap.

2. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, making 6 roughly equal pieces; they should look like large chicken tenders. Place one sheet of plastic on a clean cutting board. Put a chicken piece in the center of the plastic and top with the other sheet of plastic. Pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat mallet, starting in the center and working your way to the edges, until the chicken is 1/4 inch thick and 6 to 8 inches long. Transfer to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Liberally sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

3. Mix the flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a generous amount of pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Dredge the cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 1 minute. Sear 3 cutlets until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and sear the remaining 3 cutlets until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. It's ok if the chicken is not completely cooked through; it will finish cooking in the sauce.

4. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the same pan and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the mushrooms are slightly softened and just beginning to release some liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. (The mushrooms will soak up the oil quickly and dry up the pan; that's ok, more liquid will be released as they cook longer.) Add the shallots and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour in the wine and 1/2 cup water. Return the pan to high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid reduces by a third and starts to thicken, 6 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the butter and continue whisking until it is melted, and the sauce has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Add the cutlets and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook, flipping halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.

7. Remove the chicken to a platter and stir the parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with more parsley.

chicken marsala with pasta catering

Recipe 2:


2 lb. thin chicken cutlets

1/2 tsp. kosher salt. plus more to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1 c. all-purpose flour

6 tbsp. salted butter

6 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. sliced mixed mushrooms

2 large shallots, finely chopped

8 sage leaves

3/4 c. dry marsala wine

2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 lb. spaghetti

1. Season the chicken with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Spread the flour on a plate. Coat the chicken in the flour and set on another plate. Reserve the flour.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil; let melt. Working in batches, cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove to a clean plate.

3. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel and return to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. When the butter melts, add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 more tablespoon olive oil, the shallots and sage and cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the reserved flour and toss to coat. Add the Marsala, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth; return to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the chicken and half of the parsley to the skillet. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as the label directs for al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain the spaghetti and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil and the remaining parsley; season with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss, adding more cooking water if needed. Serve with the chicken and sauce.

I hope you enjoyed this week's catering classic dish. Feel free to share your success stories of preparing the meal in the comments section. Check back every week for another blog post from Enck’s Plus Catering. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

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