Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala

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Like many people, I love chicken marsala. If you’ve gone gluten-free, no worries. You don’t have to leave chicken marsala behind. This version is a simple variation on the classic. All you need is brown rice flour to use in place of wheat. I made this for company the other night, and it turned out well.

I hadn’t expected the brown rice flour to hold up as well in the sauce as it did. This is also a lower cholesterol version of the recipe -the original called for butter. I only used olive oil to stay within a guest’s dietary restrictions. Modify the recipe as you see fit.

I prefer to serve it with a side of roasted potatoes rather than gluten-free pasta, but it’s a to each their own kind of comfort food. For what it’s worth, mashed potatoes or Hasselback potatoes would work wonderfully, too. And if you’re going lower carb, serve it over a bed of quickly sauteed greens like kale or spinach. This will also add some color to an otherwise pale plate.

And yes, I’m totally cheating and using pictures from the first time I photographed chicken marsala. (I was hosting a dinner party and have only just found my 50mm I thought I lost in a move).

If you want to speed up production, you can use two skillets. Since I was cooking for a group, I let the mushrooms begin to cook down in a second skillet while I cooked the chicken. Just be sure to use the pan used for the chicken so you can scrape up all those wonderful bits of goodness produced by the Maillard Reaction; they should NOT go to waste.

I went with a sauvignon blanc brought over by a friend, and we finished it with the meal.

Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala Recipe

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup seasoned brown rice flour (add a pinch each of: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried basil. Stir)
  • Approximately 4 TBSP of olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sweet white wine (preferably Marsala)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced – baby portabellas, crimini, shittake or even button
  • salt / pepper to taste
  • optional green onions for garnish

Remove any visible fat from the chicken breasts and cover them with plastic wrap or wax paper and pound thin with a mallet, empty wine bottle, or rolling pin. Don’t skip that step. Go ahead and take out some of the day’s frustrations. It’ll be worth the effort, I promise.

Pro-Tip: Pounding the chicken breasts physically breaks down the muscle tissue, leaving you with tender chicken you won’t ever need a knife to cut.

Cut the chicken into manageable pieces. You don’t have to go to bite size, but generally you want pieces people will only need to cut in half. This is a nice compromise between fiddly, fussy cooking and providing a pleasant dining experience. Cut it smaller than in the picture, that’s just to illustrate what the pounded chicken should look like.

Heat your pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2 TBSP of olive oil to the pan. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned rice flour, and shake off the excess.

Cook the chicken 2 – 3 minutes a side in the hot pan. Then set aside. You’ll need to cook the chicken in two – three batches to avoid crowding the pan too much.

When the chicken has been browned and set aside, add another small drizzle of olive oil to the pan, then the 3 cups of mushrooms.

Cook the mushrooms until they start to sweat. If your pan starts to dry up too much, turn the heat down a little and cover. When the mushrooms are golden brown around the edges, releasing their liquid magic, it’s time to add the 3/4 cup of wine.

Simmer until about half the liquid is gone, then add the 1 cup of chicken stock or just more wine, if you prefer.

Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 3 minutes and add the chicken back to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Return the chicken to the skillet and ensure it has all been coated in the sauce.

Serve and enjoy.

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