Tasty Tuesday: Steve Garagiola shares mouthwatering chicken marsala recipe

Anchor wants to make cooking fun

DETROIT – If cooking isn’t fun, why bother?

That’s a question from Steve Garagiola, author of “The ‘I Only Need One Cookbook’ Cookbook.”

Garagiola, a guest for a Local 4 segment, stresses that fancy cooking doesn’t have to be hard. In his book, he aims to teach people how easy it can be.

Read some of the introduction (PDF)

The anchor showed off his recipe for chicken marsala, and even included some helpful tips: For example, try putting your chicken breasts in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you slice them.

The preparation and cooking time all clocked in at about 30 minutes, start to finish.

Here’s his recipe:


Chicken Marsala (sort of)

An elegant dish that will have your guests thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. Don’t tell the secret that this one takes 30 minutes or less prep and cooking time.

**Note: The most common mistake here is choosing a cheap wine under the false assumption that it doesn’t matter, since when used in cooking, the flavor is disguised among so many other flavors. A chef once posed the question to me, “Why would you cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink?” And of course, he’s right. You can get a perfectly delicious wine for $12 to $15. It’s worth it.

I call this Chicken Marsala (sort of) because I usually make it with white wine, not Marsala. My wife prefers white wine, and I like the clear color of the sauce.If you prepare real Chicken Marsala, you need to use Marsala wine.

A little bit about wine— you can skip this paragraph if you want to get to the cooking. Marsala wine is Italy's most famous fortified wine. What, you ask, is a fortified wine? That means a distilled liquor, like brandy, is added to boost the alcohol content up to about 20 percent.  Marsala is not a red wine, but usually a more golden color.

OK, let’s get to the cooking.


3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
¾ cup flour (for dredging chicken)
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup white wine (or Marsala)
¾ cup chicken broth


In a bowl, combine flour, thyme, sage, black pepper, and paprika. Stir to combine.

Slice the chicken breasts into ½-inch thick slices. I suggest the same technique as with slicing raw beef. Remove the meat from packaging, rinse and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes to make slicing easier.

Next you dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture. Dredging is a fancy cooking word that means you dunk each piece in the flour, coat it, shake off the excess and set it aside.

Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add chicken pieces and cook for about two or three minutes, turn pieces over and cook one more minute. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

In that same pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the already hot oil. When melted, cook the onions, mushrooms and garlic for about two minutes scraping the pan as you cook. 

Add back the chicken and wine. Cook until sauce has slightly thickened. Now add the chicken broth. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Chicken Marsala goes well with brown rice or your favorite pasta.