Marsala is a Sicilian wine that achieved international fame when it was discovered by British sea merchant John Woodhouse in the late 18th Century. It has become a pantry staple in Italian home and restaurant kitchens. Because it’s fortified with a bit of distilled alcohol, the wine won’t spoil after opening.
Dry, sweet, and aged (vergine) Marsala wines are produced in the area around the port of Marsala in western Sicily. For savory dishes like these chicken breasts with rich cheese and slightly salty prosciutto, choose the dry version.
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- Salt Ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 to 8 thin slices (4 to 5 ounces) cooked ham or prosciutto
- 6 to 8 thin slices (4 to 5 ounces) Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup dry Marsala wine
- Lay the chicken breasts, smooth side down, on a work surface. Loosen the tenderloins and open them like a book. With the smooth side of a meat pounder or heavy skillet, flatten the breasts to 3/4-inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and a dusting of nutmeg.
- Place the flour on a large sheet of waxed paper. Lay an empty sheet of waxed paper beside it. Dip the chicken in the flour to coat both sides. Shake off excess and place the chicken on the empty sheet.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for about 4 minutes each side, or until well browned. Top each chicken breast with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Add the Marsala to the pan. Bring to a brisk simmer. Cook, swirling occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until it no longer smells of alcohol. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. With a spatula, place the chicken breasts on dinner plates. Drizzle with the wine sauce.
Recipe from our e-book SimpleiItaly Loves Chicken, available for purchase online at the Barnes & Noble Nook store and the amazon Kindle store.