Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Italian Crusted Chicken with Creamy Marsala Sauce

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Over the past few years I have seen myself blossom into the food-loving, recipe-developing woman I am today. It doesn't seem like a long road but the truth is, before I was married I had barely even stepped foot in a kitchen (unless I was getting something out of the fridge.) My love for creating new, fun flavor combinations and coming up with recipes all on my own is something I never would have imagined myself doing as I really had no interest in cooking.

It wasn't until I got married and realized that somehow, my family was going to have to eat, that I decided to start cooking. I remember back then my slow-cooker was my BFF and we made many, many delicious meals together. I was also very fond of the recipes found on the sides of boxes, sour cream containers and anything else I could get my hands on.

Now, looking back on those times, it's so funny to think of how far i've actually come. Cooking has become such a huge part of my life and my family's life. My husband and I love getting in the kitchen, grabbing a little somethin' somethin' to drink and cooking a meal together. And my kids (especially my daughter) have become my favorite little kitchen companions! They love helping me bake and measure things and, of course, taste-test. I really wouldn't have it any other way. 

Basically, what I guess I'm getting at here is... sometimes the things you least expect will become the things you enjoy doing the most! So, maybe you're not the biggest fan of cooking right now, but, if you get in the kitchen and see what you can do... you might just surprise yourself!

Just like this recipe i'm about to share with you right now. I know you've been looking at the pictures, drooling, and wondering "oh my goodness... what IS that amazing looking dinner?" Well, i'm here to tell you that this Italian Crusted Chicken with Creamy Marsala Sauce is by FAR one of my favorite chicken dishes of ALL-TIME! No exaggeration. No tricks. No lies. It's divine. It's SO flavorful, and cheesy, and creamy, and bacon-y,and mushroom-y, and... and... it's just so, so good, guys. We made it 2 nights in a row because we loved it that much. All of us. Me, my husband, the kids... we all gave it a 5-star-rating! 

So, I strongly urge you to try this recipe out and let me know what you (and your family) think! I'm very, very eager to know. And you can also take a picture of yourself as you take that first bite and euphoria spreads over your face... Then, share it and hashtag #diddlesbestchickenEVER so we can all see your happy, satisfied face. 

Got it?

Italian Crusted Chicken with Creamy Marsala Sauce:

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon pepper 

For the marsala sauce:
  • 4 strips bacon 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil {chiffonade}
  • 6 oz marsala wine
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 oz marsala wine
  • 6 oz sliced crimini mushrooms

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella 
  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta
  • fresh basil {chiffonade} for garnish
  • 1 cup oil for frying


Preheat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, basil, thyme and paprika. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture, into bread crumb mixture and then back into egg and breadcrumb mixture for a second coating.

Place chicken into oil and fry for about 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Flip and fry for additional 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Set chicken aside, cover with foil and cook your next batch. 

Meanwhile, cut bacon into small pieces, add to a large skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy. Once bacon is cooked, remove and set aside to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and add that back to the skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until tender and golden, about 5-6  minutes. Pour in marsala wine and cook until reduced by half. Once reduced, add in heavy cream and basil and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

 Once all the chicken is cooked, reduce heat to low, return all breasts to pan and sprinkle cheese evenly over the tops of each. Cover and allow cheese to melt. Once cheese has melted, spoon marsala cream sauce over each chicken breast and serve topped with crumbled bacon and basil.

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