Happy New Year one and all. It’s time this blog had a content injection and I’m kicking off with a dish that has been described as a ‘retro classic’. I fully intend to post a new recipe at least twice a month, so look out for updates! I’d like to say that I’m on a big health trip following a complete blow out over the festive season. I kind of am…but my love of all foods is likely to succumb this good intention within about a week. So I won’t. 

We have a few new reads on the cookbook shelf oweing to Christmas pressies, one of them being Rick Stein’s latest publication ‘Long Weekends’. Having watched his exploits around Europe on the box, I have high hopes. Flicking through last night, various plates caught my eye, and they should appear on this website over the next few months. Everything from brunches to tasty suppers. 

First up is the fabulous ‘Chicken Marsala’ that originated in Sicily and became a staple throughout the US during the sixties/seventies. As Rick quite rightly says, it’s time to bring these little gems back to our tables. Story of my life really. The full ingredients list and cooking method can be found in the book.

To make our version of this dish (serves four) you will need:

– Four skinless/boneless chicken breasts 

– Salt and black pepper

– 40g of plain flour (to coat the meat)

– 50g of butter 

– Two tablespoons of olive oil 

– Three shallots (peeled/finely chopped)

– Two cloves of garlic (peeked/finely chopped) 

– 250g of chestnut mushrooms (sliced)

– 250ml of dry Marsala wine 

– 150ml of chicken stock

– A handful of flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)


– Heat the oven to gas mark 5.

– Firstly prepare the meat by placing each breast between two sheets of cling film and beating with a mallet or rolling pin (until they are roughly 5mm thick). Season with salt and black pepper on each side and then coat in the flour, shaking off any excess. 

– Melt half the butter with one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the chicken for two to three minutes each side, or until golden. Set aside on a plate and place in the oven to keep warm. 

– Wipe the pan with kitchen roll and heat the remaining butter and oil to a medium heat once again. Gently fry the garlic and shallots for around five minutes or until softened. Add in the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes.

– Pour in the Marsala wine and turn the heat up high to reduce the sauce by approximately half. Then turn the heat back down to medium and add the chicken and stock. Cook the chicken in the sauce for roughly ten minutes. 

– Serve immediately with fresh parsley to garnish. 

What a treat. Transported back in time and loving every minute of it. The chicken was the star of the show – searing it off in the pan and then poaching it in the Marsala sauce for ten minutes makes it so succulent…not to mention full of flavour. I served ours with some homemade garlic parmentier potatoes and some simply roasted carrots. It would work equally well with some creamy mash and wilted spinach on the side. All that was missing was a juicy prawn cocktail with a lemon wedge for starter. Next time.

I was so excited to eat it that I forgot the parsley garnish until after we’d polished off the lot…don’t tell anyone. I’m off to eat an After Eight mint or three…