Chicken Marsala a la Cooking Light

One thing I love about Cooking Light magazine is they offer so many recipes of classic, fattening dishes in new, lighter, and healthier recipes. One great example of this is their Chicken Piccata recipe which is still a favorite of mine. But today, we are talking about Chicken Marsala. This recipe calls for some of the butter to be refined. I am not sure if that is in part to save some calories or if its a traditional way of preparing Marsala, so if you skip this step, please do at your own risk.

  • 4 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • cooking spray
  • 1 8oz. package of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fat free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 dry Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 Tbsp. half and half
  • 4 cups of hot, cooked fettuccine

Place 3 Tbsp. butter in a glass bowl and microwave for 45 seconds or until melted. Let stand for 1 minute. Skim foam from surface, discard. Pour melted butter through a fine sieve over a small bowl, discard milk solids. Set refined butter aside.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, garlic and shallots and cook until moisture evaporates, about 3 minutes. Remove mushroom mixture from pan, set aside.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides of each breast with 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish and lightly dredge chicken breasts in flour.

Add clarified butter to pan over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Return mushroom mixture to pan; add broth and Marsala, scraping pan to loosen brown bits. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced down to about 1 cup.

Add peas; cook for 1 minute.

Add remaining butter, half and half, remaining salt and pepper and stir until butter is melted. Return chicken to pan and cook until thoroughly heated through. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

When in Rome, Have the Gnocchi

I’ve always love these tasty little potato dumplings, but it was on my honeymoon that the love affair began. I must have tried 15 different restaurant’s gnocchi and never once did I get sick of it. Potatoes and pasta. Or is is pasta and potatoes? One thing is for sure, its a carb lover’s dream. And the variety! You can do meat sauce, pesto, alfredo, whatever you like!

I was so excited, yet very intimidated when I found this recipe, once again thanks to my subscription to Cooking Light. Gnocchi just seems like the thing you mess up if you don’t know what you are doing, and so there was a frozen pizza for back up, just in case. But in the end, my husband was impressed, I was in heaven and this recipe made it into the almost weekly rotation and the whole process was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.

Here its with a lemon thyme sauce. According to me, you can’t have too much citrus and you can never have too many shallots, that is why this sauce is the best. But try something different if want, any sauce will do. Gnocchi is very inexpensive to make and and can be a great Sunday afternoon activity for the whole family.

For the Gnocchi:

  • 2  (10-ounce) baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4  tsp  kosher salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  gallon water

For the Lemon Thyme Sauce:

  • 4  tsp  butter
  • 4  tsp  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped shallots
  • 1  tbsp  grated lemon rind
  • 2  tsp  chopped fresh thyme
  • 2  tsp  fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 2  tbsp  shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4  tsp  freshly ground black pepper

First, wash poke and bake the potatoes at 400 for 1 hour. Allow them to cool enough to handle and then peel them and pass them through a potato ricer. Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup. Add flour and 3/4 tsp. salt and stir to form dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into four balls, cover the dough you are not working with to keep it from drying out.

Roll a 20 inch rope out of the ball.

Cut rope into 20, 1 inch pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball.

Using a lightly floured fork, use your thumb to roll each piece down the tines of the fork.

Gnocchi should have ridges on one side and an indentation from your thumb on the other. Repeat process with remaining 3 balls of dough.

Place gnocchi on a baking sheet coated in cooking spray, cover and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, bring 1 gallon (16 cups) of water and 1 tsp. kosher salt to a boil. Cook half the gnocchi at a time for about 1 and half minutes. Gnocchi will float when it is cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and strain. Remember to only cook the half of it at a time or the water will cool down too much and the gnocchi won’t cook properly.

While the water is heating you can start the sauce. Heat butter and oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 10 minutes or until tender, do not brown.

Stir in lemon rind, thyme, juice and a dash of salt. Combine with gnocchi, cheese and pepper in a large bowl and gently toss to coat.