what are we having for dinner?

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March 16, 2018


Chicken Marsala with a twist


While on the treadmill recently I was scrolling through channels (to find something to take my mind off of running!), and I stumbled upon Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show.  It interested me because she was cooking for her Book Club.  I have a book club that I love, so I was drawn in to see what they were reading AND eating!

Anyway, the other thing that interested me is that she was preparing one of my husband’s favorite dishes: Chicken Marsala.  She came up with a new way of preparing it however, but tossing the chicken and mushrooms in pasta. She also uses chicken thighs (my current obsession) instead of chicken breasts. It looked like a fun twist, and this meal would be wonderful to take to friends or neighbors in need (I’m always looking for the perfect meal to take or to fix friends).

*The Book Club was reading COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett by the way.  And ironically that is the book MY book club is reading this month!


Chicken Marsala Rotini

Arugula Salad

Chicken Marsala Rotini

(Adapted from Trisha Yearwood)IMG_1466

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 lb sliced white button mushrooms

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

2 TBSP flour

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup dry Marsala (I couldn’t find Marsala so I’m substituting with a dry white wine/brandy mix – 3/4 cup and 1 TBSP respectively)

1 cup chicken broth

1 lb rotini pasta (or fusili)

1 TBSP chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Grated Parmesan, for servingIMG_1444

Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.IMG_1445

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes total; transfer to a plate (the chicken will not be cooked through).IMG_1452

Add the remaining tablespoon oil and then add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt. IMG_1454Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and turn golden brown along the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the onions and continue to cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.IMG_1456

Sprinkle the flour and garlic over the vegetables and cook, stirring, 1 minute.IMG_1457

Add the Marsala and bring to a simmer.IMG_1459

Simmer until the Marsala reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken and any collected juices to the skillet, cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes.IMG_1460

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

When the chicken is cooked, transfer the thighs to a cutting board and increase the heat under the sauce to medium high. Boil until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely shred the chicken using 2 forks. Return the shredded chicken to the skillet and keep warm.

Cook the rotini in the boiling water according to the package directions.IMG_1461

Serve the rotini topped with the chicken ragout. Sprinkle with parsley and the grated Parmesan.IMG_1466

Arugula Salad

(Adapted from Food Network)


3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

3 TBSP sliced almonds

1 cup small red grapes without pits

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3 TBSP dry sparkling wine

1 TBSP chopped chives

5 oz baby arugula

Freshly grated Parmesan, for toppingIMG_1447

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.IMG_1448

Increase the heat to medium high and add the grapes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the grapes are tender and blistered in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.IMG_1449

Pour the oil from the skillet into a large measuring cup and whisk in the lemon juice and Dijon. Whisk in the sparkling wine, chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.IMG_1450

Add the arugula to a large bowl. Add the grapes on top.IMG_1451

Pour the dressing over the salad. Top with the almonds, grate over some fresh Parmesan and serve immediately.IMG_1465


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