I cannot imaging not having Marsala to cook with and aid in recipes. I just love the taste and use it many times, even when a recipe might call for something else. It just depends on the ingredients and how I want the outcome to be. Sometimes though, even with the best planning, I run out of my 'basic' ingredients.
A decent substitution for Marsala, even though the taste will not be the same, is to, as in this recipe, use 2/3 cup of white wine with 1 tablespoon brandy. It will get you through a recipe.
Now, this way of preparing chicken is favored in many southern homes along the coast. Thin cutlets of chicken, quick fried in butter and served with a delicate mushroom Marsala stock pairs with the nutty taste of, as in this case, butter and Fontina cheese. Normally served with white rice, I wanted to make it this time over sauce-laden angel hair. Here's how I did it. Enjoy!
Chicken Lombardy over Angel Hair
serves about 4
2 tablespoons AP flour
1 tablespoon softened butter
Slice each breast in half horizontally. Using a mallet, pound each piece as thin as possible, to about 1/8 inch thickness. (An 8-inch flat-bottomed iron skillet works in a pinch) Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Lightly season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge the chicken in flour lightly covering both sides.
Place about 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken pieces about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Do not crowd the pan. Remove to a 3-quart oblong casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Add more butter to the skillet making about 2 tablespoons. Sauté over medium high heat the mushrooms until tender. Drain and sprinkle over the chicken. Add the wine and chicken stock, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally to loosen up any brown bits on the bottom.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix the 2 tablespoons of flour with 1 tablespoon of softened butter to form a paste (beurre manié). Stir half teaspoon at a time into the sauce to thicken. Pour about half of the sauce evenly over the chicken.
Cook the angel hair in salted boiling water al dente, about 2 minutes.
Combine the cheeses and sprinkle over the chicken dish. Bake about 12 minutes or until bubbly and if needed, run under a broiler a couple of minutes to lightly brown.
Toss the drained pasta with the remaining sauce and plate with the Chicken Lombardy on top. Serve with crusty French bread and a side vegetable if desired.