Monday, April 27, 2015

Quick Chicken Breasts with Bacon, Marsala, Peas, and Cream

More than a dozen years ago I read and reviewed a delightful foodie/adventure book called A Trip to the Beach. It was the true story of Melinda and Bob Blanchard who decided one day, while on vacation in Barbados (and isn't vacation the place where the most genius plans are hatched?), to sell their successful  Vermont-based food company and open up a beach bar and restaurant on the island of Anquilla. It was a delightful book to read, full of food, fun, failure, and ultimately, remarkable success. All of the while I was reading the book I wished that I could make some of the delicious sounding food described therein.

As if in answer to my prayers, three years later At Blanchard's Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook was published. As charming as the initial book detailing their adventure, this book contains delicious recipes, beautiful pictures, and engaging side notes on the people who work with them, as well as charming anecdotes.

This recipe is one from the cookbook that I make frequently. The wordQuick in the title is what initially drew me in, and, boy was I glad. Yes, it is quick, but it is also delicious and company worthy. You'll need Marsala, please do not substitute, but it will be a wise purchase because you will undoubtedly make this again and again.
Quick Chicken Breasts with Bacon,
Marsala, Peas, and Cream
From At Blanchard’s Table

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 
pounded to an even 1/4–inch thickness
1 cup Marsala wine
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup frozen baby green peas, thawed 
under cool running water and drained
4 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled into small pieces
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper, and put the mixture on a plate or in a shallow bowl for dredging.  Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Dredge the chicken in the flour on all sides, shaking off any excess.  Saute in a single layer until brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side.  If the pan does not hold all of the chicken, saute it in batches, transferring the cooked pieces to a plate as they are done.

Remove all of the chicken from the pan and add the Marsala.  Loosen the browned bits of chicken from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and cook until the Marsala is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add the cream and simmer over medium heat until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the chicken.

Return the chicken to the pan and coat well on both sides with the sauce.  Add the peas and bacon and simmer for a minute or two so to heat through.  Taste for salt and pepper, and serve garnished with parsley.

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Linda said...

I would prefer this to chicken Marsala - wouldn't miss the mushrooms at all. Love those crispy edges on the chicken - yum!

Harol said...

Looks and sounds delicious, though, unlike Linda, I'd probably add some mushrooms. :-)

Marigene said...

Pattie, this looks delicious. I think I might have just about a cup of Marsala left. I know what dinner will be tomorrow.
I must find that book, I was born and grew up in Vermont...went to school with many Blanchards.

NewMrsAdventures said...

What a beautiful dish, can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!