Friday, August 28, 2009

Chicken Marsala: A First Attempt

The idea started out so well.

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Try to make Chicken Marsala. It had to be a pretty straightforward dish, didn't it? I googled a couple of recipes, picked one with minimal ingredients, and hey, it was from Gourmet. It had to be good, right?

And in the beginning, everything was looking just right. The mushrooms were sauteeing up beautifully, and they smelled delicious.

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So there I was, slaving over the stove, making an incredible mess of the kitchen on a random Wednesday night, like always...

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And I diligently followed the recipe, right up to the point where it said "2/3 cup heavy cream." Hey, we watched Julie & Julia the other day -- and she spent practically her entire life eating whole sticks of butter. I can't be afraid of a little heavy cream. So I poured it right on in. With a flourish, even!

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And then the recipe said to simmer for 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickened slightly.

So I simmered. And simmered. And simmered some more. And that sauce never thickened one teeny bit. It was still very . . . not saucy. Very thin and liquidy. Not thick and delicious-looking, at all.

After fifteen minutes of simmering, I gave up. Steven looked like he could gnaw his own arm off any minute, so I figured we'd better go ahead and eat.

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So we did. Un-saucy sauce and all. And it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great by any means. Steven even said, "Its not that bad," which, when translated in our house, means: Please don't make me eat this ever again. Please.

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So the Chicken Marsala has bested me, for now. I managed to redeem myself the next night with this surprisingly good Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta, to which I added some chopped up mushrooms and Roma tomatoes toward the very end of the cooking. It was amazing. So I haven't lost the kitchen mojo entirely, but solely as it relates to Chicken Marsala.

(And believe you me, I will take a mulligan on this, but first we have to wait till Steven forgets how bad this attempt was. Dearest, you can expect another attempt at this recipe (or maybe a Newer! and Better! version in a few weeks. You have been duly warned.)

PS - Everybody go wish a very happy birthday to my brother, Chris! He's on Twitter as @thechuff. Go send him some birthday love. You have approximately 1.5 hours to make this happen. So hurry.

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