My 30th year promise to myself was to take more time out for me. Not to run around everywhere like a crazy women, feeling the need to say yes to every freelance offer or event.
I promised to cook more, be better at staying connected to friends and family, and with that to make sure my mom never had to leave those dreadful voicemails, “hello are you alive” because I had failed to call her back within a few days time.
I told myself I would budget better, not go out as much and make smarter decisions on purchases. I would write more frequently than I have been and be more adventurous when it came to both cooking and overall living.
But like so many others out there I’m sure, life happened and I got lost. I gained more responsibilities at the day job, which while helpful for my career, resulted in my already hectic schedule becoming even more stressful to manage. Balancing my job, soccer teams, freelance work, and connecting with friends and family were proving to be quite difficult.
And all the while, one of the activities I love the most cooking, took a bit of a backseat. Obviously with a food blog, cooking is somewhat necessary, but with everything else going on it just kept being a further priority.
Call it an epiphany of sorts, but over the past weekend I realized I needed to change some priorities in life, go back to what I promised myself on my birthday in June. I needed to realize you can’t be everywhere at once, or necessarily give equal attention to everything at the same time. That sometimes you had to switch around your priorities, but that you should never let it come to the point where it impacts your health and happiness.
Ironically, after a long day of work or a stressful situation, I find solace cooking in my kitchen. And so when my place of comfort became more like a task on my to-do list, I realized that had to change. So I plan to reconnect with my love of cooking, with more meals from my kitchen verse that of a restaurant’s and more time devoted to enjoying the fruits of my culinary labor with others.
And given that I’m looking to reconnect with my love of cooking, I felt it was only appropriate to post one of my favorite childhood dishes growing up (and still to this day), my father’s Chicken Marsala. After school and soccer practice, I remember walking in to the kitchen and smelling that glorious scent of Marsala wine and mushrooms and instantly I knew what was for dinner!
Most Chicken Marsala recipes use cream in their sauce, but this one does not, as my father rather use more Marsala wine, both for flavor and consistency of the sauce. The chicken is generously coated in flour and then sautéed in butter and a touch of olive oil until golden brown. Then the baby bella mushrooms and shallots take advantage of the leftover chicken bits in the pan, thanks to the deglazing process with Marsala wine. And the result is perfection.
Here’s to starting on a new journey of rediscovery…Thanks Dad.
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, thin sliced our pounded thin
Salt and pepper
16 oz. baby bella mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
¾ cup Marsala wine
Using a damp paper towel, gently wipe the mushrooms to clean. Then, slice the mushrooms and put to the side. Pour a decent amount of flour onto a large plate. Add in some salt and freshly ground pepper and mix with a fork. Coat the chicken breasts in the flour, pressing on both sides to really get the flour on there.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add a touch of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Sauté the chicken, browning on each side. Place cooked chicken breasts on plate to the side.
Add in a tablespoon of butter and sauté the shallots until translucent, then add in the sliced mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms are soft, then turn the heat on high and add in the Marsala wine. Allow the wine to bubble for a minute or two, as you scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to low and add back in the chicken, turning the chicken to coat each side. Let the chicken and sauce sit on the stove on low for about 5 or so minutes to get better acquainted.
At this point the smell of Marsala wine has caused everyone in your house to run to the kitchen, which is a good thing since the Chicken Marsala is ready to serve.