A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken, Pork, Veal Marsala

Marsala dishes come from Italian/Sicilian cuisine. Most scaloppini cuts (chicken pork or veal) may be made with Marsala, as Marsala is the style of alcohol, similar to sherry, used at the end of cooking to de glaze the pan. Marsala is sold regular and sweet. If you use sweet you will need to adjust the sauce with a little vinegar in addition to the Marsala, see notes at the end of recipe. Even if you have a great butcher who cuts thin scaloppini cuts of meat, it is still worth the extra effort to use your mallet to pound the cuts a little thinner. In this instance you can practice cutting your own meat then pounding it thin since we will start with a pork loin.

Pork Marsala

1 pork loin about 3 pounds-
To prepare the pork cut off any excess fat, and slice the pork as thin as possible against the grain to create oval like cuts of meat- then place the meat under a piece of plastic wrap and pound the meat out working from the inside of the meat outward. The meat will become almost paper thin and double in size. Season all of the scaloppini cuts generously with salt and just a dash or fine ground pepper (these seasoning will flavor the sauce so do not go overboard). Set aside.

1 medium yellow onion, small dice
1 pound sliced mushrooms, portabella, or white button are fine- slice about 1/8” thick
2 small cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil (1/3 cup to start, more as needed during cooking)
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups Marsala
1 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
3-4 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley for garnish

Into a large and fairly deep sauté pan place 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 Table spoon of butter.
Turn heat to medium/ medium high and once the oil is warm start to add cutlets in batches, adding more oil to pan as you cook if the bottom of the pan seems dry. I am able to fit about 4 in the pan at a time. Sear on the first side for about a minute and a half then on the second side for about a minute. Remove each cutlet form pan when no pink remains on the outside. Set aside.

Once all the cutlets are cooked and have been set aside, add the onions and second tablespoon of butter to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the onions for about 1-2 minutes until translucent. Add in the mushrooms and turn heat up just a bit to medium. Cook the mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes until just cooked through. Add to pan another tablespoon of oil (the mushrooms will have absorbed most of the prior oil) and add in the garlic. Cook for just under a minute then add in the Marsala, chicken stock, bay leaf. Turn heat up to medium high or high to reduce for 4-5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add cutlets back into pan to warm through before serving. Re season the sauce with salt and pepper as necessary. Sprinkle with minced parsley.

Other options- when finishing the sauce I sometimes whisk in a heaping tablespoon of demi- glaze, if you have it you might want to use it (get it mail order or in cook shops), also when sautéing the onions sometimes people like to add in a little pancetta, or a tablespoon of tomato paste for extra flavor
Notes on Marsala- Marsala is regular and sweet. Regular Marsala is often used for this dish, but if all you have is sweet proceed with recipe and when adding the Marsala also add in 2-3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, this will help adjust for the sweetness-

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