Lately I've been cooking a lot out of Essentials of Slow Cooking. Tonight I made a modified version of its Chicken Marsala recipe in my Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. Because I found it necessary to make some modifications, I pass along my version:
- 2 whole boneless (skin on) chicken breasts
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ tablespoon dried Italian herb mixture
- 1-½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 ounces diced pancetta
- 2-¼ cups Marsala wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
- pinch dried thyme
- pinch dried oregano
- pinch dried marjoram
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
- chopped fresh chives for garnish
I've added porcinis because I think they add an extra blast of flavor and tweaked the spices and herbs. I used skin on chicken breasts rather than skinless for the same reason.
Pour the chicken broth into a microwave safe container and zap for 3 minutes. Add the porcinis and steep them until they soften (about 30 minutes). Remove the porcini mushrooms, roughly chop them, and set aside. Strain the broth through an unbleached coffee filter to remove any grit and, if necessary, top up with additional chicken broth to make a total of 1 cup. Set aside.
Combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, white pepper, and Italian herbs. Pour onto a large plate. Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour and shake off excess.
I melted the butter in my Calphalon One Nonstick 12-Inch Fry Pan over medium high heat. When the butter stopped foaming, I added the olive oil.
Saute one chicken breast for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat with the other breast. Transfer the breasts to the slow cooker. Add broth.
Add the cremini and porcini mushrooms to the pan, which should have plenty of fat left. Add thyme, oregano, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Saute over medium high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown (about 5-7 minutes). Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the pancetta and shallots to the pan and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute. Add 2 cups of the Marsala wine to the pan, raise heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a rolling simmer, and cook 7 minutes. Pour Marsala mixture over chicken breasts in slow cooker. Set slow cooker to high and cook 2 hours.
Add mushrooms to slow cooker and cook an additional 30 minutes.
This is KEY. The cookbook does not call for degreasing the sauce, but I think it is essential. Using tongs, remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker and remove skin. Place in a heat proof glass dish. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms and other solids to same dish. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a warm (150°) oven.
Pour sauce into a All-Clad Copper Core 1-Quart Saucier Pan, leaving fat behind in the separator. Add remaining ¼ cup Marsala wine and mascarpone cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add cornstarch and boil for 1 minute. Pour over chicken-mushroom mixture. Top with chives and serve.
Yum, if I do say so myself.