Chicken Marsala is a very popular dish in Italian-American cuisine. As the name suggests, it is primarily made of chicken and Marsala sauce.
The preparation method includes cutting chicken breasts in halves, covering them in flour and quickly sauteing them. From there, in the same pan, the Marsala sauce is made. This is done by reducing Marsala wine until it becomes thick. Also, garlic is added to the mix at the same time.
When everything is complete, the sauce is poured over the warm chicken and the dish is ready to be served.
Still, there is another option for the cooking process. And that is to simply braise the chicken breasts in a mix of Marsala wine, butter, and some other ingredients.
As you can tell, Marsala wine is a key component of this dish. And that gives us a huge hint about the origin of Chicken Marsala.
See, this particular wine is named after the place where it is produced i.e. Marsala, Sicily.
In 1773, there was a storm that caused John Woodhouse to make an early stop with his ship in Marsala.
Woodhouse was an English trader on his way to doing business in Mazara del Vallo. But, as luck would have it, he ended up in Marsala where he made a great discovery.
When he went for a drink in a local tavern, he got to taste the city's local wine. This was a fortified wine made via a process known as "in perpetuum." What Woodhouse noticed was that the wine had a similar taste to other popular wines in England at the time.
Hence, he assumed the Marsala wine could be a potential hit in England as well. And so he bought it in large amounts and brought it over to England.
And a hit it was! Woodhouse's Marsala wine sold out right away. Because of this, he went back to Sicily. And in 1796, he even began to mass produce it.
Later on, other businessmen followed in Woodhouse's footsteps. One of them was Benjamin Ingham from Leeds who came to Sicily in 1806. And his Marsala wine business was inherited by brothers Joseph and William Ingham Whitaker.
Also, in 1833, Vincenzo Florio invested a lot in order to produce, market, and sell Marsala wine. In fact, he bought Woodhouse's firm as a part of it. And he further contributed to the popularity of the wine. Today, Florio is still a household brand when it comes to Marsala.
Once Marsala wine was an established drink, it also made its way into cooking. This probably happened in the early 19th century during the reign of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples and Sicily.
The Queen desired to raise the standards of the local cuisine and so she brought in chefs from France. And it was those chefs that are thought to have used Marsala wine in order to cook a sauce.
However, the Marsala sauce didn't become a huge thing in Italy. But it was probably a useful ingredient to Italian immigrants that came to America. This would explain the popularity of Chicken Marsala in the United States and the lack thereof in Italy.
In other words, we have come to an interesting conclusion. Chicken Marsala is a dish that is part American, Italian, and also French.
A serving size of 142g of Chicken Marsala contains around 356 calories. This includes 27g of total fat or 42% of the daily value based on a 2000-calorie diet.
In addition, we have 68mg of cholesterol (23%), 442mg of sodium (18%), and 236mg of potassium (7%). There's also 8g i.e. 3% of total carbohydrates, as well as 15g of protein.
Moreover, the amount of vitamin A is 7.4%, vitamin C 0.7%, calcium 1.5%, and iron 6.9%.
Chicken Marsala is a popular dish all across America. Still, we have some specific restaurant recommendations for you. For those in Las Vegas, a great place to get this dish is Sabatino's NY Pizza. They're located on W Cheyenne Ave and also have pickup and delivery available via Slice.
And if you're in New York, then Il Mattone Tribeca is the right place for you. They offer outstanding Chicken Marsala. And you can find them at 49 Beach St. The restaurant is open 7 days a week, and if you order takeout or delivery on Slice - you get 5% off.
That being said, check the listings on this page to find Chicken Marsala near you in any other place.