Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken Marsala

As part of my Monthly Pass membership with Weight Watchers, I have access to their online tools.
I love this feature because I can use the IPhone App in conjunction with said tools to track my points from my phone.
I also love that I can input my recipes into their recipe builder and come out with a points per serving--for example, my Garlicky Shrimp Bake is only 8 points per serving!
Another aspect of this feature that I love is the access to thousands of online recipes!!!

Last summer, I was determined to learn to cook.  I feel that, for the most part, I have accomplished this goal!
I also made the goal of menu planning every Monday, which I accomplish most of the time lol.
This combination of planning and cooking at home has saved us money and allowed us to eat healthier meals.
Now, on top of that, I have tons of recipes that already have calculated point values.
The past couple of weeks I have been cooking meals almost exclusively from the Weight Watchers' selection of recipes.
Most have been very good--and those that weren't awesome I have figured out how to improve with just a few adjustments.
Last night's meal was the best so far--Chicken Marsala!

1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (each serving is 4 ounces)
1 cup of mushrooms (next time I'm going to add a lot more mushrooms--veggies are 0 points!)
1/2 cup of Marsala wine
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 10.5 ounce can of Campbell's Beef Broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon table salt (next time I will leave this out--it doesn't taste bad, but it was a touch too salty for us)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
My first step was to take the smallest chicken breast and, using my scale, trim it down to four ounces.
Other than trimming off nasty fat and ligaments, I left the other two alone.
After all, Bryan's not counting points lol!

Having done that, I heated the two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat.
As my parents always say, low and slow!  Otherwise, I tend to burn things lol.
Once the oil is heated, add the mushrooms.
Sauté them until they start getting juicy and brown--it took my mushrooms about 5 minutes to reach that point.

While accomplishing the mushroom objective, place the chicken on a plate--or, as in my case, a cutting board.
Mix the thyme, salt (if you're using salt--next time I won't be) and pepper in a small bowl and then use that mixture to season both sides of the chicken breasts.
I went ahead and used my hands to pound the seasonings into the breasts.
That sounds funny, but it kept the seasonings from falling off--I've had that problem in the past.

Now, scoot the mushrooms to the outer edges of the skillet and plop the chicken breasts in the middle.
It might take some creative, puzzle-piece maneuvering, but they will all fit.
Now, let the chicken cook until golden-brown.  For me, that was about 2-3 minutes a side.

While the chicken is cooking, measure out the 1/2 cup of the Marsala wine, and measure out 3/4 of a cup of the beef broth into one measuring cup, and 1/2 cup (or the rest) of the beef broth into another.

Once the chicken is browned on each side, pour the wine into the skillet.
At this point, go ahead and knock the mushrooms into the wine--they add and retain so much flavor!  Yum!
Allow it to simmer--not boil, but simmer (I always have trouble with that!)--for a minute or two.

Next, add the 3/4 cup of beef broth.
Once the liquids are simmering again, let the whole thing cook until the chicken is cooked through, which for me took about 8-10 minutes.
Always use a knife and fork to cut into the chicken to make sure it's not pink.
Pink=salmonella and salmonella is nobody's friend.

While the chicken is cooking, pour the remaining 1/2 cup of beef broth into a small bowl.
I used the same bowl that I had used to mix the thyme, salt and pepper--saves a dirty dish!
Next, measure out the 1 1/2 Tablespoon of cornstarch.
Don't have a 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon?
Neither did I!
Here's the conversion:  1 Tablespoon=3 teaspoons
So, measure out 1 Tablespoon and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch.
Dump that into the bowl of beef broth and use a whisk to dissolve it.

Once the chicken is completely done, re-stir the broth-cornstarch mix (because cornstarch likes to settle to the bottom of the bowl) and then pour the mixture into the skillet.
Allow it to simmer for a minute or three, stirring occasionally so that the sauce thickens up.

After that, all that's left to do is serve and enjoy!
Serve each chicken breast with plenty of mushrooms and (according to portion measurements) 1/3 cup of the sauce drizzled on top.
I also added mixed veggies and green beans as sides.
Bryan gave it a big thumbs up, and I have to say I enjoyed it as well.
I hope you do too, should you make this version of Chicken Marsala!

*I'm sorry for the grainy, inconsistent quality of some of these pictures!  I can't find my camera charger anywhere, so these were all taken with my IPhone.*

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious!! I should try it, but I'm already thinking that it seems too complicated! Haha!

    Oh and I'm your newest follower! : )


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