recipe | chicken marsala & mashed potatoes

Earlier last week we had the sis and her man over for dinner -- we like to feed them home-cooked things as often as possible as they are in that stage of life that is gloriously marked by college cafeteria food. Also, because we love them. I opted for a good comfort food meal and these mashed potatoes were on the menu. I got them all mashed up and dipped my spoon in them to check the salt and pepper balance. After taking said bite I quietly concluded, with my eyes closed and my arms thrown into the air, that I will never make another type of comfort-style mashed potatoes again. They are just that good. Look at the ingredients list and you'll understand why. 

This meal will not be making any diet list, but on the weekends we splurge, and this was our splurge. Any sauce involving mushrooms, wine, and cream is a win in the Coobs household and when it covered potatoes that are filled with butter, cream, and cream cheese, the combination is utter decadence. I believe that this is the very type of meal that Julia Child would cook up and then proceed to exclaim joyfully over throughout the whole of dinnertime, as she soaked up every last bit of the sauce with her baguette.

In her honor, Bon Appétit!

Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

12 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered

1 cup Marsala wine

1 cup beef broth

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup heavy cream

mashed potatoes or cooked noodles, for serving

chopped parsley, for serving

Directions

Hold one hand on top of one piece of chicken, then use a sharp knife to carefully slice it in half horizontally. Pull the two pieces apart. Repeat with the other chicken breast, to give you four thinner chicken cutlets total. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then pour the flour in a dish and dredge the chicken pieces in flour. Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken cutlets and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, until browned. Then turn them over and cook them on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. They should be well browned and cooked through. Remove them to a plate and set them aside. 

In the same skillet, add the mushrooms and stir them around, cooking them until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the Marsala and beef broth, stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the liquid reduces by half. Whisk the cornstarch into the cream in a small bowl. When the sauce is dark and rich, pour in the cream mixture and let it bubble up and thicken for another minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. To serve, place a piece of chicken on a bed of mashed potatoes or noodles. Then spoon on some of the sauce and sprinkle on the parsley. 

*Trader Joe's sells thinly sliced chicken breasts so that's the perfect shortcut for this dish. 

Stovetop Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled or unpeeled and scrubbed clean

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup heavy cream, more to taste

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

4 ounces cream cheese

Directions

Cut the potatoes into wedges. In a pot or large saucepan, boil them in water over medium-high heat until fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Pour them into a colander to drain them, to set aside. Return the same pot to the stovetop over medium heat and add the milk, butter, cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to heat the milk mixture and melt the butter, then add the cream cheese and stir as it melts. When the mixture is melted and creamy, throw in the potatoes and turn off the heat and use a potato masher to mash them until they're totally smooth. Put the lid on the pan and keep warm, splashing in a couple tablespoons of cream if you need to reheat them. 

original recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime