Who’s ready to make Olive Garden chicken marsala at home?
Olive Garden has a long list of deliciously addictive dishes, and their chicken marsala lands high on my list.
The marsala sauce is amazingly flavorful, with plenty of rich spices, mushrooms, and Marsala wine.
It’s sweet, earthy, savory, and worth the time it takes to whip up this stunning main course.
If you crave Olive Garden but don’t want to face the crowds, check out this spot-on chicken marsala recipe below.
Olive Garden Chicken Marsala
What is it that makes Olive Garden chicken marsala so delightfully addictive? First, it’s the marsala wine sauce.
It’s rich, flavorful, and adds a beautiful sweetness that pairs perfectly with mushrooms and pasta.
While most of the ingredients are pantry staples, you might need to make a special trip to the grocery store for it.
There’s simply no substitute!
Marsala wine hangs out with the vinegar in the baking section, not the wine selection.
With fragrant marsala wine, earthy mushrooms, and juicy and crispy chicken breasts, it’s sure to be your family’s next favorite meal.
The best part? It’s surprisingly easy to whip up on a hectic weeknight.
Chicken. Two boneless and skinless chicken breasts pounded thinly are all you need for this hearty dinner dish.
Flour, garlic, salt, and pepper. Adding flour to your stock helps to thicken it, and the spices add even more flavor.
Vegetable oil. A dash of vegetable oil in the pan helps sautee your protein to perfection.
Butter. Adding butter makes the sauce so rich, creamy, and glistening. Be sure to opt for unsalted butter, or your dish will be overly salty.
Mushrooms. Mushrooms add hearty and earthy flavors that make this dish so filling. Any mushrooms work in this dish, like white, cremini, or porcini.
Marsala wine. This fortified wine adds a robust and slightly sweet flavor to this dish. When picking it up at the grocery store, it’s found in the vinegar section, not in the wine section.
Chicken stock. Chicken stock helps create a meaty, decadent sauce. For a different flavor profile, you can also use vegetable stock.
Brown sugar. There are a lot of heavy, earthy flavors in this dish. Brown sugar helps to keep the sauce light and slightly sweet.
Worcestershire. Adding a dash of Worcestershire plays so well with earthy mushrooms. It’s tart, sweet, and adds intense flavor.
Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard is slightly spicy and bitter and takes the earthy flavors of this dish to new heights.
How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Marsala
1. Pound the chicken breasts about 1/2 inch thick. Thinly pounded chicken breasts ensure a crusty crust and more surface to soak up that magical marsala sauce.
2. Bread your chicken. Coat chicken breasts in a coating of flour and spices to get a nice crusty crust that locks in moisture.
3. Sautee breaded chicken breasts. In a heavy pan, cook chicken breasts until they’re golden, crispy, and delicious. Set it aside, and cover it.
4. Cook the mushrooms. In the same pan used for the chicken, sautee the mushrooms until they’re soft.
5. Make the marsala wine sauce. Pour the wine and chicken stock into the pan, and cook it on low until the wine reduces. Add the brown sugar, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, and butter into the pan and cook it until the butter is nice and creamy.
6. Combine the chicken and sauce. Add the cooked chicken back into the pan, and cover it with the marsala sauce. Keep the chicken warm on the stove in the sauce until it’s ready to serve.
7. Garnish it right before serving. For that authentic Olive Garden experience, garnish it with fresh parsley, and don’t be shy about adding grated Parmesan cheese.
Tips and Tricks
Weigh your chicken. No one wants raw or overly dry chicken. Weigh your chicken breasts on a kitchen scale so they cook evenly in the pan.
It ensures that both chicken breasts cook at the same rate.
Leave your chicken alone. Ensuring a crispy crust is key to insanely moist chicken. Avoid the urge to flip your chicken every few minutes. Let it cook in the pan, and only flip it when necessary.
Leave no crispy bits behind. After your chicken and mushrooms cook, crispy bits will be in the bottom of the pan.
Scrape up those bits and infuse them into the sauce. These crispy bits pack loads of flavor and are the secret to a rich and flavorful main course.
Give the sauce the time it needs to thicken. Waiting for your sauce to thicken is a test of patience. Cook it low and slow to draw out those flavors, and resist the urge to turn up the heat to speed up the thickening process.
It will thicken. You have to be patient!
Taste as you go. It’s easy to get carried away with the salt. Many chicken or vegetable stocks boast a lot of sodium, so be sure to taste your sauce at each step to ensure that it’s not overly salty.
There are two ways to store your chicken after it cooks.
You can pop it in the fridge or the freezer. If you want to reheat leftovers for lunch the next day, place the chicken in an air-tight container.
It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you want to make a batch on hand for another day, you can freeze it.
Place it in a freezer bag, and squeeze out as much excess air as possible.
It will stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to make it, let it defrost in the fridge overnight, and heat it in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
What to Serve With
If you want to recreate the Olive garden at home, serve your chicken marsala with fettuccine Alfredo.
Making a homemade alfredo sauce is easy, but you can also opt for store-bought.
It also goes great with simple angel hair pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.
To keep calories low, swap out heavy carbs for zoodles (zucchini noodles) or a bag of cauliflower rice.
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