by Dani Rowland, chef and farmer at Rowland’s Row Family Farm in Gold Hill, NC
If you love mushrooms and a decadent sauce, this dish is for you! This classic Italian-American dish made its debut in the 19th century and is sure to impress any loved one or guest.
Editor’s Note: Dani gets the chicken, mushrooms and produce for this dish from her farm or at her local farmers’ markets, but you can find great Carolina local ingredients where you live!
4 boneless, skinless, Rowland’s Row Farm, chicken breasts (available at the Davidson Farmer’s Market in Davidson NC, the Cobblestone Farmer’s Market in Winston Salem and the Atherton Mills Farmer’s Market in Charlotte NC)
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced Meadows Family Farm shoulder bacon (available at the Cobblestone Farmer’s Market in Winston Salem)
8 ounces Urban Gourmet Mushroom Farm shiitake mushrooms stemmed and sliced (available at the Atherton Mills Farmer’s Market and the NODA Farmer’s Market in Charlotte NC)
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup homemade chicken bone broth
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Start by placing your chicken breasts on a cutting board and laying a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound out the chicken breasts so they are flat and approximately ¼ inch thick. Now, put your flour in a wide shallow bowl and season generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Before we can get started cooking, we need to get our pan hot. Place a large skillet with your oil on the stove on a medium-high flame. Meanwhile, dredge both sides of your chicken breasts in the seasoned flour; making sure to shake off any excess flour. Once the oil in your pan is hot gently place your chicken breasts in the pan, you may need to do this in two batches in order to not over crowd the pan. Fry the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Once the chicken is full cooked remove the chicken from the pan and place on a platter, in a single layer, to rest.
Now we can make the delicious Marsala Sauce. First, drop the heat on your stove to medium and add the shoulder bacon to the drippings in the pan, sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until their moisture has evaporated and they have browned; about 5 minutes; this is a good opportunity to season with salt and pepper. Next pour the Marsala wine into the pan and boil down for 5 minutes in order to cook out the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and simmer for another 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Now, stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute, just till the chicken is heated through. Season the whole dish with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles that are tossed with parmesan and fresh parsley. Pair this dish with a rich, buttery chardonnay or pinot noir that has notes of truffle, berry, and spices.