Chicken with Three M’s: Mustard, Mascarpone and Marsala

I realize that lately I keep saying “this is my new favorite... INSERT DISH HERE.” I suppose it’s a side effect of trying so many new recipes. Sure, I have my staples. This soup. This pasta. And a few others. But it’s been a while since chicken has really amazed me. Though skin, definitely, is a big help. For months and months I had only skinless, boneless chicken in my freezer. Bor-ing. There was only so much of it I could take. So during my latest Costco trip, I broke free and grabbed bags of skin-on thighs. I’m so glad I did.


And did you know you can make Chicken Marsala without Marsala? I suppose at that point it would need a new title, but don’t cast this recipe aside if you don’t already have some in the fridge. I added a splash each of white wine and balsamic vinegar instead and it was wonderful. The mushrooms add an earthy flavor and taste delicious wrapped up in creamy mascarpone sauce.


Chicken with Three M's: Mustard, Mascarpone and Marsala

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis


1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each breast cut crosswise into 3 pieces (I used four chicken thighs)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup dry Marsala wine (I substituted splashes of balsamic and white wine vinegar)
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish
12 ounces dried fettuccine


Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

While the chicken cools, melt 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and mustard. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Toss the fettuccine with 3 tablespoons of butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates. Spoon the chicken mixture over top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.

Ina's Chicken Pot Pie

Leave it to Ina to master the best comfort food recipes. One tip: Don’t get excited (like we did) and burn your tongues on the filling. Just be a little bit patient, let some steam release, and wait. Pulled from the oven, these will be very, very hot. And you can use any chicken you like. Also, don't be confined to her bone-in, skin-on method. It works, of course, but if you have boneless, skinless chicken in the freezer (like I did), you're set.



Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe courtesy Ina Garten

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa



In honor of Independence Day, I had to post something perfect for an afternoon BBQ. Even if you don’t have an outdoor grill, I highly recommend putting this dish on your summer menu. The contrast of spicy cayenne with cool, smooth avocado is a zesty combination that will perk up your taste buds. The recipe below serves four, but one avocado isn't nearly enough. I recommend at least one avocado for every two people.


Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa


Everyday Food


Coarse salt and ground pepper


1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)


2 tablespoons olive oil


1 medium red onion, finely diced


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks


In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne; rub all over chicken.


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chicken, and cook until browned on the outside and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes per side.




Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice; set aside. Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa.


Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil



The tagline for Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home is “Everyday recipes you’ll make over and over again.” This chicken is a perfect example of a delicious, easy, five-ingredient-or-less entrée you’ll want to make frequently. Creamy goat cheese and sweet basil give flavor to the chicken as it roasts, and the crisp, golden brown skin ensures that several textures pop in your mouth.




Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil


6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on


8-10 ounces goat cheese


6 large fresh basil leaves


olive oil


salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Cut the goat cheese into ½ inch thick slices and place 1 or 2 slices, plus a large basil lead under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible.


With your fingers, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.