Saturday, August 17, 2013

Beach House Chicken Marsala

One of my favorite things about staying at the beach house is dinner. We look forward to dinner every night, talking about what it might be early in the day, looking forward to it coming together, and then enjoying it around 8 pm and hanging out for a long time at the table. I love it!

Last night we enjoyed my sister Anne's baby back pork ribs, slow-baked in the oven with a rub and barbecue sauce. They were so tender, savory-sweet, and delicious. I've never made ribs so it was a real treat for me. John grilled some hot dogs and hamburgers. I made a tuna macaroni salad with small sea shell macaroni, and we had a tossed green salad. We had company for dinner too - Tyler Heintz, USMC, stationed at Camp LeJeune in nearby Jacksonville, NC. John and Tyler's parents went to college together, and they've been good friends ever since. It was really a pleasure getting to know Tyler, and I'm glad he was able to join us. The "kids" all had a great time last night and were up long after the "older folks" went to bed, though I was awakened by their juggling attempts (overhead) as limes kept falling to the kitchen floor! I knew they were having a good time and that activity moved to the outside deck and it was soon quiet again.

The night before last, I made chicken marsala for the crew. I looked up a number of recipes on-line, and decided to combine techniques by baking the chicken and not pounding it flat, as is done in traditional chicken marsala. By lightly breading and frying the chicken, and then baking it with mushrooms and some of the sauce, it came out incredibly moist and tender. The rest of the sauce was reserved, to be added at the table if anyone wanted more (everyone wanted more!).

Here's my recipe for chicken marsala for a crowd:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Spray large rectangular baking dish or rub with olive oil

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise (I had 7 breast halves, 14 pieces)
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. course ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
(If you don't have all the spices, that's fine).
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms (I like a lot of mushrooms)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup marsala wine (I used cooking wine - found in the olive oil section of the grocery store)
Parmesan cheese

Wash and cut chicken breast halves in half width-wise.

In a shallow bowl, mix flour with dried spices and seasonings.

In large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat.

Dredge chicken pieces in seasoned flour, shaking off excess.  Brown pieces on both sides.  Don't worry about cooking through - that will happen in the oven.

Place browned chicken pieces in baking dish.

Into butter/oil mixture on stove (keep the crumbs in there, that's fine) add mushrooms and sauté until cooked. Add chicken broth and marsala wine. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and sift in the rest of the flour mixture, stirring as you add to prevent clumps. Cook for a minute or two until the mixture becomes slightly thickened. Using a slotted spoon, distribute mushrooms from the sauce over the top of the browned chicken pieces in the pan. Then, spoon a couple tablespoons of sauce over each piece of chicken. Pour the rest of the sauce into a small saucepan and keep warm on the stove.

Bake chicken for half an hour. Remove from oven. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Serve extra sauce on the side. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese.

I served this with baked sweet potatoes, baked Idaho potatoes, green beans, and a big salad.

We're at the end of our vacation here in Emerald Isle, today being the last full day before we head home tomorrow. It's alway a tough realization that such a great week is coming to close. I'm beginning to let myself think about the ride home, and of course I'll be very happy to see the kiddos. Now, it's time to enjoy what's left of our time here. The last few days have been on the rainy side but we've found pockets of clearing and even a little sunshine. I woke up this morning to a beautifully sunny day, took a walk on the beach to gather sea shells for Henry and Peter, and then it began to rain. Watching movies this afternoon and taking it easy. We're hoping for the rain to end so that we can have one last happy hour outside, or even on the beach. If not, this isn't a bad place to get out of the rain!  We are already looking forward to returning here next August!

Sunday Morning

John enjoying the beach

A little gift for our last evening on E.I. - the sun came out just before it set!
Here are a few shots from my broken little Canon camera - it still does a great job!

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone. Wish me well on my long drive home tomorrow!


  1. AHHHHH, so relaxing ,just reading about your vacation makes me relax! CKJ

  2. We made veal marsala this week; it was great. Your recipe looks even better!

    1. I love marsala! I've only had chicken, and if you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Thanks for you comment, Scott!