Classic Chicken Marsala: pan fried thin sliced chicken breasts, smothered in a delicious gravy of mushroom, shallots and marsala wine. This is a classic chicken marsala recipe, but lightened up. Lightened-up chicken marsala is a recipe sure to please, but on the healthier side.
All about lightened-up chicken Marsala
Classic Chicken Marsala is a staple in Italian restaurants. It’s a dish made with floured thin-sliced chicken breasts that are sautéed, then simmered in a reduction sauce made with Marsala wine. In my opinion, this dish makes the perfect pairing alongside traditional mashed potatoes or polenta. The sauce is so delicious, that it needs something comforting and soft in texture to soak up all that goodness. This recipe tastes authentic, and it didn’t take much to lighten it up. Since I believe in using real ingredients, all it took to lighten this up was using specific portions of ingredients- in other words, instead of using a stick of butter, I used a tablespoon. I stretched the Marsala wine out a bit by using chicken broth, which is low in calories and fat. Otherwise, this dish is authentic and flavorful in preparation and taste. This recipe makes six pieces of chicken, the serving size is really up to you. I have included the calorie count per piece, and the WW points for one or two pieces.
What you’ll need to make lightened-up chicken Marsala
- thin sliced chicken breast
- all-purpose flour
- kosher salt and pepper
- light butter (I use this one; if you use regular butter, it’s totally fine!)
- mushrooms (I use sliced white mushrooms)
- Marsala wine (see my notes below about Marsala wine)
- chicken broth or stock
- parsley for garnish
A note about Marsala wine
I always recommend using real wine for cooking; in other words, something you would drink. That’s the flavor that will permeate your dish, and I do believe it makes a difference. That being said… I realize life gets in the way, who has time to bounce from the supermarket to the liquor store just to make a recipe for dinner? Or maybe you don’t want an entire bottle of Marsala wine in your fridge that you won’t use for anything else. …and that’s why they sell cooking wine. Right in the supermarket where they sell the oil and vinegar. I used cooking wine for this recipe, and it came out great! Can I omit the wine? In most recipes, you can sub out wine for chicken broth. But not for this one, sorry! The Marsala wine is what makes this chicken Marsala.
How to prepare the chicken
Don’t be intimidated by this recipe! It’s easy to make, and when you’re done, you’ll feel like a chef. First, put your flour in a shallow bowl. Then, season it with kosher salt and pepper. Next, dredge each chicken piece in the flour and set them aside on a plate.
Next, grab a deep frying pan, and melt half of the butter in the pan. Add a spritz of olive oil spray to move the butter along and really grease the pan. Working in batches, sauté three pieces of chicken at a time in the pan. This takes approximately five minutes per side over medium high heat. Before you flip the chicken, spray more olive oil spray on the top of the chicken pieces, so that when they flip, the pan is greased again.
After the first batch is done, repeat this process for the second batch. Remove them from the pan and set them aside on the plate. Note: the chicken will not be fully cooked at this point. It will continue cooking in the sauce later.
How to prepare the Marsala sauce
Next, it’s time to make the sauce. The sauce will be made in the same pan as the chicken was cooked. There’s tons of flavor in there, so don’t wipe it out. First, spray more olive oil spray in the pan (yes, more!). Then, add your sliced shallots and garlic.
Cook the shallots and garlic for just a minute; this is important so that you don’t burn the garlic. Next, add the mushrooms. Toss them around a bit and then place the lid on the pan.
Placing the lid on the pan will allow the mushrooms to steam and cook down. This is a trick I’ve learned over time, and a great way to use less oil and butter but to break down veggies nicely. Let the mushrooms cook for about 5-10 minutes (I find the magic number to be 8 minutes), checking on them every so often and tossing them with tongs. Once the veggies are cooked down, add the wine and broth to deglaze the pan. Make sure to use a spatula and scrape up those flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then add the chicken back to the pan (along with the juices from the dish the chicken was on). Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pan, and cook for another 10 minutes.
At this point, the liquid will become thick by the flour on the outside of the chicken. If you find the sauce has reduced too much, add a splash more chicken stock. At this point, check the sauce for seasoning; add more salt and pepper, if desired.
Lightened-Up Chicken Marsala
- deep frying pan
- 1 ½ lb chicken breast, thin sliced, six pieces
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon light butter
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced white mushrooms
- ½ cup Marsala wine
- ½ cup chicken broth
- olive oil spray
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl with 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour.
- Heat a large, deep frying pan over medium high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of the butter and a spray of olive oil.
- Cook half the batch of chicken (3 pieces) for about 5 minutes on one side.
- Spray the tops with olive oil, then flip, and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side.
- Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. Repeat this step with the remaining chicken pieces. They will not be fully cooked, but will continue to cook later in the sauce.
- Remove the second batch of chicken from the pan.
- To the same frying pan, add more olive oil spray and the shallots and garlic.
- Cook for a minute and then add the mushrooms.
- Cover the pan and let the vegetables steam and start to cook down.
- After approximately 8 minutes the mushrooms should be softened.
- Add the wine and broth to the pan to deglaze and scrape the bottom of the pan, making sure all the cooked bits are incorporated.
- Let the liquid come to a boil.
- Add the chicken pieces (as well as the juice that collected on the dish) back in and toss to coat.
- Cover with the lid and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken from the flour the chicken was dredged in.
- If too much liquid has evaporated, add a splash more broth.
- Cook until the chicken is cooked through and sauce is to your liking, taste for seasoning. Add salt or pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- 2 WW points for 1 piece, 3 points for 2 pieces (blue and purple plans)