Chicken Marsala

My first experience years ago with chicken marsala was not positive. I don’t remember it well, but maybe I was in the “tastes change” phase and couldn’t stomach the cooked mushrooms and syrupy sauce. Or, maybe it was because the restaurant didn’t make it properly, and it sat under a heat lamp for hours.

I’m not quite sure exactly why I didn’t like marsala at the time, but up until last week, I had never had it like this.

This incredible recipe came from Ali of Gimme Some Oven, who takes drool-worthy photos and is always inspiring me with new recipes. She adapted this recipe from Cooks Illustrated and spoke so highly of it that I had to give it a try, and boy am I glad I did!

The ingredients are as basic and inexpensive as they come, from the crispy bacon to the tender mushrooms and fresh parsley, but together, they guarantee a flavor that is absolutely incomparable. Once you create a smooth, rich sauce from the butter, Marsala wine, and all that irresistible flavor from the cooked bacon, you pour it over the tender pan-roasted chicken breast, lay it on a bed of warm pasta, pour yourself a glass of wine, and dig in.

I’m officially a marsala lover now, and with this dish I know you will be, too!

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

Yield: 2 to 4


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 ounces pancetta or bacon, about 2 slices, diced into pieces
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 3/4 cups Marsala wine
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lb. pasta, I used linguine, cooked according to package instructions


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 230 degrees.
  2. Heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Pat chicken breasts dry. Meanwhile, place flour in shallow baking dish or pie plate. Season both sides of chicken cutlets with salt and pepper; working one piece at a time, coat both sides with flour. Lift breast from tapered end and shake to remove excess flour; set aside. Add oil to hot skillet and heat until simmering. Place floured cutlets in single layer in skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip cutlets and cook on second side until golden brown and meat feels firm when pressed with finger, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a plate and put plate to oven.
  3. Return skillet to low heat and add pancetta/bacon; sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits until pancetta is brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel-lined plate. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; sauté, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom, until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and cooked bacon/pancetta; sauté while stirring, until tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute.
  4. Off heat, add Marsala. Return pan to high heat and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from pan bottom, until sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Off heat, add lemon juice and any accumulated juices from chicken; whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley.
  5. Serve pasta on plates, and top with chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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Join the Conversation

  1. Wow, this look delicious! I am hungry already =]

  2. Great looking dish, sounds so good!

  3. Lovely Recipe…Look ‘n Tastes Yummy…!!!

  4. Love your blog. Delicious photos and great recipes! Very pretty layout.


  5. Please make me dinner.


  6. What a lovely meal! Great presentation and photo.

  7. My husband loves chicken marsala – love that you served it over noodles!

  8. Thank you so much for letting me know how the marsala turned out, PS! I’m so glad it worked well for you, and thank you for also sharing your changes to the recipe!

  9. looks divine!!

  10. Your marsala looks delicious! I’ve made marsala a few times before but the recipe i used seems to be a bit different. I’ll try yours next time, I’d love to try out different marsala recipes – it is one of my favorite italian dishes.

  11. I made this for dinner tonight. Great recipe. I used shallots instead of garlic and doubled up the mushrooms. I also used thick cut local bacon. It was outstanding! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be making this again for sure.

  12. I make the Cooks Illustrated version all the time and love it! I agree it is the best Marsala I’ve ever had!

  13. I’m so glad you enjoyed this marsala, Roxie! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and let me know how it turned out for you. :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I made this tonight. It was delicious and way better than any Chicken Marsala that I’ve ever had! Though, next time I will double (or maybe even triple) the sauce. Delish!

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