Chicken Marsala is an Italian American classic made with a dry, fragrant Marsala wine, chicken and mushrooms. It is served with flat wide noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

Marsala wine is a fortified Sicilian wine made with a range of grapes and can be purchased sweet or dry. You can also by fine Marsala wines for sipping. This recipe] call for a dry inexpensive Marsala.

You can use dry sherry and red wine as well but Marsala has a unique flavour.

To give my Marsala sauce body I used dried porcini mushrooms and added some garlic to the pan. Instead of chicken stock I use starchy water from the cooking pasta, which works very well, But if you are serving this with rice or mashed potatoes you could use chicken stock instead.

Serves 4-5 as a main course

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta or bacon

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves pounded evenly to 1/4-inch thickness (about 500 grams or 1.1-1.25 pounds)

18 grams dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 1cup of hot water

⅔ cup all purpose flour or maida

300 grams cleaned and thinly sliced button, crimini,white (Bella) or shiitake mushrooms (or a combination)

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup shallots, minced

4 cloves garlic finely minced

1/4-1/2 cup Marsala wine, as needed

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped chives, chervil or parsley for garnish)

1 pound flat wide noodle such as fettuccine paparadelle, mashed potatoes or boiled white rice


Pat the chicken cutlets with flour on both sides. Reserve. In a large and deep skillet (atleast 2 inches deep and 10-12 inches wide) on medium heat fry the Pancetta with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until golden and crispy. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon into a plate.

To the same skillet add the remaining oil and fry the chicken cutlets on both sides until just golden brown. Remove the chicken and place in the same plate as the pancetta.

Add the butter to the skillet and saute the shallots about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute on high heat until mushrooms begin to brown.

Add 1/4 cup Marsala wine to deglaze the pan and stir well to get all the caramelised bits in the pan into the sauce. Allow this wine to reach a slow bubble.

Add the chicken breasts and the pancetta. Pour in the liquid from the rehydrated mushrooms and the mushrooms into the pan. Stir and let it cook 2 minutes.

To this add 1 to 1.5 cups of pasta water. Lower flame and simmer. Allow sauce to the thicken. You want enough sauce to around for 4-5 people. The sauce should cling to the pasta so you want a consistency that is a bit like a creme anglaise.

Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. Add more Marsala and seasoning if you wish.

Garnish with fresh herbs.

Spoon over pasta cooked al dente or bowls of rice or mashed potatoes.