Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the marsala, the chicken, the morels and the peas

Chicken with marsala, morels and english peas
serves four

Marsala has a place in the world of food and Ben has found a good one to focus on. Melillo marsala is made on the North coast of Sicily from Inzolia, Grillo and Cataratto grapes. It is a very interesting Sweet Fine Marsala and add great nuance to chicken or other winged things. I was wanting to think up a recipe that really hugged spring and peas and morels came to mind. Its their time to shine and a platter of this served family style would brighten just about any April porch party in my neighborhood. 

GOSFORD WINE: Melillo Marsala, Sweet Fine. $13.99 
1 cup shelled english peas
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound of morels, cleaned and sliced to half inch rings (sub shiitakes if needed)
1 pound thinly pounded boneless chicken breasts (four pieces)
1/4 cup Wondra flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/4 cup sweet marsala
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup shaved Parmagiano Reggiano (I use a peeler to do this)

1. Bring a pot of water to a vigorous boil, season with a pinch of salt and blanche the peas for two minutes and then shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and reserve.
2. Warm a large saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter.  When the butter bubbles and froths add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with 1/3 of the salt and scrape onto a plate. Wash out the pan and place back on the burner.
3. Season the chicken breasts with half of the remaining salt and then dredge in the flour on both sides, shaking off any excess. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and turn heat up to medium high heat. Carefully add the chicken to the pan and cook for about four minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm.
4. Empty the oil from the pan and add the shallot and the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Cook for three minutes and then add the marsala. CAREFUL because it may flame up. If it does just remove the pan from the heat and let the flame subside and then place back on heat. Reduce marsala by 2/3s and then add the stock. Reduce by half and then add the butter and swirl the pan to incorporate . Add the peas and the parsley and season with the remaining salt.
5. Place chicken on a platter and pour peas, mushrooms and sauce over the chicken. Top with the shaved Reggiano.
6. Serve immediately.

Hugh Acheson

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