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What Is Chicken Marsala?
Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish of chicken cutlets served in a creamy, flavorful Marsala wine sauce. Marsala is a brandy-fortified wine made in and around the Italian town of Marsala, in Sicily; chicken Marsala itself likely originated in Sicily. Today, chicken Marsala—known in Italy as scaloppine di pollo al Marsala —is popular in the United States. Chicken Marsala is one of several scaloppine dishes featuring pounded meat dredged in flour, sautéed, and served in a pan sauce.
What to Serve With Chicken Marsala
Serve chicken Marsala with a generous amount of creamy sauce made with butter, Marsala cooking wine, and aromatics such as mushrooms, shallots, and thyme. A starchy side dish like mashed potatoes, angel hair pasta, or polenta can absorb the cream sauce.
Simple Chicken Marsala Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time40 min
Cook Time20 min
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ⅓ cup low-sodium chicken stock
- ⅔ cup dry marsala wine
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or chervil, for garnish
- Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them in a resealable plastic bag.
- Pound the chicken breasts ¼-inch thick.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Add sliced mushrooms, shallot, and thyme.
- Season the pan with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Sauté until the mushrooms are tender and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken pieces.
- In the same skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Add the chicken and sauté until golden brown on both sides, about 2–3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the fried chicken to a plate.
- In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together cornstarch and chicken broth.
- Add the marsala wine to the cornstarch mixture.
- With the pan over medium heat, add enough of the wine mixture to coat the bottom of the pan, scraping up the fond.
- Add the remaining wine mixture and return the mushrooms, shallots, and chicken pieces to the pan.
- Continue to cook, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and transfer chicken pieces to serving plates.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and lemon juice to the sauce and stir to incorporate.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Top the chicken pieces with the sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.
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