I knew I’d marry Mr. RGBistro before we were even dating.
A couple of years ago we had arranged to spend a mid-week evening together. We’d been bragging about our home-cook skills and decided it was time to flex them. Mr. RGB volunteered his bachelor kitchen, which I accepted because it seemed a lot better than my sublet shoebox. Since it was my first time at his place, I brought with me a bottle of wine, crackers and some St. Agur bleu cheese.
Despite the platonic set-up, I wanted to make a good first impression.
So on that summer evening, we split a bottle of wine, a block of cheese and a handful of crackers. With his iPod playlist of Brazilian music in the background (think Caetano, Stan and Astrud), Mr. RGB worked on a tomato and avocado salad and I whipped up a chicken marsala.
I’ll be honest – there were no sparks; none… until ten minutes after eating when I changed my mind.
After dinner, I caught Mr. RGB stuffing flatware into the dishwasher. But not like any normal person I’ve seen do it; the man was meticulously picking out flatware from the sink so he could put all the spoons into one cubby hole, the forks in another, and the knives in a third.
Who does that?
Me, that’s who.
So I followed suit and put some more forks and knives into the same cubby holes. Mr. RGB looked at me. I looked at him. He grinned at me… I winked at him…
Game. Set. Match.
Our chicken marsala has evolved somewhat; but it still evokes good memories. Cooked in the iron skillet Mr. RGBistro bought me for my birthday (but I hadn’t broken in), it was very fitting as our first post-weekend meal at home together. Since it’s on heavy rotation at the RGB, now would be a good time to share it with you, too. This summer version includes some fresh white corn I couldn’t resist at the market. Enjoy!
Do first impressions mean much to you?
Today’s Garden Picks and RGB Goods: Italian parsley, Meyer lemon, Oregano, Thyme, Garden Chicken Stock
Summer Skillet Chicken Marsala
~ Makes 4 servings ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 14 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
- 1 3 oz. slice prosciutto (cut to ¼-inch thickness)
- 1 ear fresh white corn
- Handful Italian parsley (yield ½ cup whole leaves)
- 1 Meyer lemon
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Grind of fresh black pepper
- 8 oz. dry linguine pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup Marsala wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon capers
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 1 hour
- Prepare ingredients: Dice chicken breast into uniform-sized cubes. I like ½-inch. Scrub mushrooms clean with a brush, cut off stem and uniformly slice lengthwise; set aside. Dice prosciutto and set aside. Remove husk from corn and in a one-quart bowl, corn from cob. Reserve as much of the corn milk in the bowl as you can. Rinse Italian parsley clean and spin or pat dry. Pluck off whole leaves from stems until you have about ½ cup whole leaves; set aside. Slice Meyer lemon in half cross-wise. Set one-half aside, and slice the other half into four individual wedges. Place lemon wedges into a small dish to be served at the table. In a one-quart bowl, combine all-purpose flour, kosher salt, dried thyme and oregano and a grind of black pepper. With a small whisk, stir the flour mixture to evenly distribute the ingredients.
- Prepare pasta: Cook linguine “al dente” according to package directions. Simultaneously:
- Prepare chicken and sauce: Set out a one-quart oven-safe dish and turn on the oven to “warm.” Add two tablespoons each of unsalted butter and olive oil to a 12-inch iron skillet and bring level up to medium-high. When the butter gets foamy, toss half of the diced chicken in the flour mixture to coat it, then gently place in a single layer in the skillet. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Let the chicken brown on the first side for a minute or two, then using a small metal spatula, turn the chicken to coat the second side. Once chicken is thoroughly browned, remove from pan and place into oven-safe dish. Repeat with remaining batch of diced chicken. Once all chicken is cooked and placed into the oven-safe dish, cover and place in oven to keep warm. Save bowl with unused flour.
- Add another tablespoon each of unsalted butter and olive oil into the pan. Turn heat level down to medium, and add mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook in pan for about 3 minutes, then add in diced prosciutto and corn. Let prosciutto and corn cook for additional 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup Marsala wine and let absorb into mushrooms, prosciutto and corn. Then whisk in remaining flour mixture with ½ cup of chicken stock. When the flour is dissolved into the liquid, add the remaining chicken broth and let cook until you obtain a sauce-like consistency.
- Finish pasta: When linguine is cooked, lift out of pasta water and let sit in colander over bowl (or in sink). Drizzle about ½ tablespoon of olive oil and combine to prevent sticking.
- Once Marsala sauce has reached a sauce-like consistency, add in capers and check for final seasonings. You may want to add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper, or all of the above. Stir in diced chicken, linguine and half of the Italian parsley leaves. Top the skillet with the remaining Italian leaves and serve immediately.
Nutrition content per serving: 656 calories, 58g carbs, 49g protein, 26.5g fat, 4.5g fiber
Cost per serving: $3.61 – $4.73
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro