Archive | October, 2008

Easy Chicken Marsala

14 Oct

What does one do when one wants a taste of Italy, but cannot afford the airfare? You make Chicken Marsala! This is a super easy version of the classic recipe using golden mushroom soup ( you food snobs out there: try it yourself and find out). Marsala is a fortified wine that is similar to sweet sherry, but do not use sweet sherry as a substitute. If you must use a substitute, use dry sherry or white wine. Be warned; if you use white wine or no alcohol, you will no longer have a dish resembling marsala. You will have a chicken-with-mushroom- concoction.

4 servings

Equipment List

1 large skillet ( nonstick is ok)
measuring spoons
measuring cups ( liquid and dry measure)
measuring spoons
wooden spoon
cutting board
2 ea. plate
small bowl


4 each trimmed and portioned boneless and skinless chicken breasts
( Perdue Fit and Easy brand is best; they are already prepared), or
I lb. chicken tenders ( fresh, not breaded)

1 cup sliced fresh button or baby bella mushrooms
1/3 cup onion diced finely
1 Tbl. chopped garlic
1/2 cup marsala ( or white wine)
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can water
1 Tbl.  freshly chopped parsley (1/2 Tbl. dried parsley)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbl. butter, cold (opt.)

olive oil for sauteeing
flour for coating chicken

Assemble all ingredients together and read recipe before proceeding

Remove chicken from packaging; rinse well and pat dry. Put 1 cup flour in a large ziploc  bag, add chicken to bag of flour, close well and shake until all pieces of chicken are coated evenly. Remove chicken from bag, place on a plate and refrigerate.

Heat 3 Tbl olive oil in your pan over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, onions and garlic to pan and cook, stirring frequently for five minutes or until soft. Lower heat and remove mushroom mixture; set aside.  Raise heat to medium and add 3 more Tbl. of oil to pan. Add chicken to pan. Brown the chicken for two minutes on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Note: Be VERY careful with the next step!!!!! Alcohol is extremely flammable.

Pull pan away from the stove and add the marsala ( or wine), stir with wooden spoon to loosen up all of the bits in the bottom of the pan. Lower heat and return pan to stove. Cook marsala for 3 minutes, then add golden mushroom soup, water, and mushroom mixture to pan. Whisk together until  blended, then add chicken breasts. Cook for 6 minutes ( 2 minutes for tenders) or until done. Add pepper, chopped parsley and butter. Stir until butter is melted.

Serve over cooked egg noodles, pasta or rice.

Buono Appetito!!


Chicken and Brown rice meatballs

9 Oct

I made these a couple of days ago when my new roommate moved in ( that’s where I’ve been!). I wanted to make a meatball that was light ( wait a minute; it has brown rice in it. How can it be light?), and can hold up in a sauce. Well, I made these and they turned out great! These meatballs have a surprisingly light texture, and great flavor.

Serve these as you would regular meatballs; with tomato or marinara sauce over pasta, or in brown sauce with sour cream over noodles ( Swedish meatballs). This also makes a great meatloaf* as well.

Makes 14 to 18 meatballs

You will need:

food processor


cutting board

mixing bowls

measuring cups

measuring spoons

gloves for handling ground beef

*meat thermometer

sheet pan

spray oil


1 lb. ground chicken ( do not use breast meat for this recipe)

4 ea. baby bella ( cremini, or button) mushrooms

1 ea. small onion

2T. chopped garlic

2 T. olive oil

2/3 cup cooked brown rice

1 egg ( or 1/4 cup egg substitute)

1 T. dried parsley

1/2 t. pepper

2 slices stale bread

1 1/2 t. sea salt

2 T. milk

1/4 c. grated parmesan

Slice and chop the mushrooms and onions in the food processor until finely chopped.  In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil to pan. Saute the onions, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings ( salt, pepper, parsley and italian seasonings)  together until all liquid is absorbed and onion mixture is done. Take onion mixture and cool completely.  Crumble stale bread and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together ground chicken, brown rice, egg, crumbled bread, Parmesan, milk and onion mixture. Mix well. Set aside and chill in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Wash hands thoroughly.

After chilling; either use gloves, or spray cooking spray onto hands lightly. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray. Shape meatballs into small balls and place 1/4 inch apart onto sheet pan. Place meatballs in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until bottoms of meatballs are brown.

Make sure all surfaces that came into contact with ground meat are washed thoroughly with soapy hot water ( including your hands).

* For meatloaf: shape into rounded loaf, and cook in oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees ( or about one hour)

Origin food labels to begin

5 Oct

According to the Associated Press, new regulations regarding labeling of food will take affect over the next six months. Produce companies issued origin stickers for years on their items, and now all meat slaughtered in the U.S. must be labeled as such.

There is one stipulation, however. Food in its natural state will be required to have an origin date. Once processed in any way, the food is no longer required to have any origin labels.

Example: raw lamb ( origin label); lamb stew made from that same lamb and served at a hot food bar ( no origin label)

Whole cantelopes. grapes and pineapple ( origin label); fruit salad made from the same fruit ( no origin label)

Frozen or fresh shrimp ( origin label), shrimp salad sold in market ( no origin label)

You get the picture, right? Some places will label their processed food, but it is not required by law. keep that in mind if you intend to only buy foods from certain places.


Melamine, China and the food supply ( part two)

2 Oct

The New York Times reported today that some candy imported from China and sold in some Asian markets contain melamine.

Read more here.