Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Garlic

The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes cookbook by Aviva Goldfarb...I love the concept of a book designed around panicking that dinner isn't ready yet and the wolves (well, family) will begin circling for food any minute. The fact that it is also specially designed for managing and preventing diabetes was a bonus. My mom was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago and my husband's stepmom has had it for as long as I've known her. We always offer to cook, but without a really good grasp of the nutrition information needed to make good food for both of these ladies, they never took us up on the offer.

So, all good reasons to be excited, right? Well, I'm happy to say that so far I am really enjoying the book. I love how it's laid out seasonally, giving me the joy of really using the harvest of that season! I like that she has side dish suggestions but, I admit I also didn't really follow the suggestions. Mostly because the choices just didn't sound as good or wouldn't fit my family's tastes. But, that's personal for us...and I have made a number of the side dishes (just not with the recipes they were indicated for).

I have especially enjoyed
* Asian Cucumber Salad
* Roasted Cauliflower Poppers

I find the tips pretty good and the recipes easy to follow - in fact, my six year old daughter was using the recipes to practice her reading to me one night.

Okay let's get to the good part...the recipe. So, I decided to make Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Garlic. Perfect! I had everything ready to go and...forgot I didn't have the Marsala wine. Normally I don't cook with wine, but I had always heard of Chicken Marsala so I wanted to try it. Now, the wine is a pretty integral part (heck, the wine is in the name). So, I did a little checking and found substitutes: 1) Substitute equal part Port wine (which I always have on hand), 2) 1/4 cup grape juice, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons of sherry vinegar. or 3) Go get some Marsala wine.

I went with port (because I had it on hand) and, OH MY, did the chicken cook up nicely and the sauce smelled divine! My kids kept poking their heads in to sniff the air and try to snag some chicken.

Now its crunch time and I'm getting antsy, so I decide to clean up all these little bowls, thus keeping me from being impatient and I would have a nice clean kitchen and tasty dinner.

Oh, tragedy! I'm cleaning and then whoops, a little glass bowl slips out of my hand, I do an amazing failed juggling act trying to catch it and then it lands (well, shatters really) beside my meal. Adding a lovely sparkling and inedible addition to the dish and sauce. It was both a tragedy and hilarious at the time.

Now, I have always been one who can take a hint (I went and got a bottle of Marsala wine). So now the recipe is calling, it was still easy to follow and the sauce simmered up with a nice aroma...though not as nice as the port (but, that's just me).

The moment of was okay (to me, that is). Turns out I really don't like the taste of Marsala wine. So, I let it sit for a bit and my husband and kids had it later...and ADORED it! Turns out it's a great recipe when it has rested for a bit to blend the flavors.

Will I make it again? Absolutely, but at lunch time so it can blend and rest until dinner time.

So, what's next you ask? Hm, I think the Tilapia Packets with Fresh Herbs and Baby Spinach looks good.

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Garlic
by T.S. Lamb
Adapted from The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help you Prevent and Manage Diabetes by Aviva Goldfarb
Serves 6

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced (approximately 2 teaspoons; if using dried, add a 1/2 teaspoon more)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 
1/2 cup Port wine (I didn’t have Marsala wine and this is tastier)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Add 1 teaspoon of oil and a Tablespoon of butter to a large skillet and heat until the butter melts.

Mix the salt, pepper and flour in a medium bowl, drench the chicken pieces add to the skillet.

Cook until browned on each side (about 6-8 minutes).

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside for later.

Add 3 teaspoons of oil to the skillet, saute the mushrooms and garlic (approximately a minute).

Add the broth, wine and lemon juice. Bring the liquid to a boil, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan.

Let the mix simmer for about 10 minutes, you want the mushrooms to just be tender and the liquid
will just be starting to thicken.

Now add the chicken back into the pan and make sure to coat the chicken in the sauce. Make sure the chicken is cooked through (about 3-5 more minutes). Season to taste with a little more salt or pepper if needed.

Its good served immediately, but its best if you refrigerate for a few hours then serve, cold or hot. Both ways are very good.

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