I recently asked Hubby to name his favorite recipe I ever created, and he immediately mentioned my cream of mushroom soup. And I agree. There was something completely magical about that dish, and the live audience I made it for at my cooking demo "oohed" and "aahed" over it, too.
Since we are both mushroom fanatics, I started thinking about other ways I can incorporate them into a dish. Why don't I cook with them more often? Their natural essence has such an incredible impact without a lot of fuss.
I thought about making a chicken Marsala, but wanted to put my own healthy twist on it. My pan-seared chicken has a mouth-watering golden brown exterior with a juicy center, so you won't miss the egg and flour batter (perfect if you're eating gluten-free). The earthy mushroom topping I created uses heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter, fragrant cloves of garlic, fresh parsley and a touch of Marsala wine.
Instead of heavy mashed potatoes, I served this version over hearty, protein-packed farro. Simmering it in chicken broth gave it a comfort-food feel with tons of good-for-you deliciousness.
What really puts it over the top is truffle sea salt that you can find in any specialty store. Not able to track any down? Kosher salt and perhaps a drizzle of truffle oil will do the trick.
Healthy Chicken Marsala
2-4 breasts of chicken (Tofu can be substituted. Season generously.)
10 oz. organic mixed mushrooms (frozen or fresh)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1/4 teaspoon truffle salt
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup farro
2 cups chicken broth
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, and warm over medium heat. Toss in garlic and brown slightly. Add mushrooms. I used a frozen bag, which you can slightly defrost in the microwave first. Keep all the liquid in the pan. Pour in Marsala wine. Bring to a boil for a minute or two so the alcohol cooks off. Season with truffle salt and a pinch of black pepper. Reduce heat to low. Chop parsley. Stir into mushrooms.
Prepare farro with chicken broth, according to packaged instructions.
Generously season chicken on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle two tablespoons olive oil in a separate pan. Sear chicken over medium heat. The exterior should be golden brown, while the center will no longer be pink and juices run clear.
Plate chicken over farro and top with mushroom mixture.
Eat and enjoy this healthier twist on an Italian classic.
Jenn Press Arata is a food writer and blogger. Visit her blog at thatssojenn.com. She also can be followed on Twitter, @thatssojennblog.