Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grilled Chicken Marsala

Do you remember the first time you ever thought to yourself, "Wow.....I can actually cook!" ? One of the first times for me was the first time I ever made Chicken Marsala probably back in 1993 or so.

Lately I had been trying to think of a way to convert that to the grill. The hard part was figuring out how to keep the delicious pan sauce that is the centerpiece of this recipe to the grill.

I finally gave it a shot this afternoon. I decided to cheat on the pan sauce and then use it as a glaze while the chicken is grilled. It doesn't benefit from the pan searing of the chicken in a traditional Chicken Marsala but it gains the grilled on taste of the sauce. I think it's an even trade.

Grilled Chicken Marsala

Source: Nibble Me This

3 ea chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 Tbsp coarse kosher salt
2 tsp pepper (I like to use garlic pepper)
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 ea shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted and chilled
2-3 springs fresh thyme

1) Pound chicken breasts to 1/2" thickness, cut each in half, and then season with salt and garlic pepper. My tips for this are
  • making sure the breasts are completely thawed. If they are still partially frozen, pounding will tear the meat instead of flattening it.
  • pound them with the flat side of a meat mallet
  • you can put it between two sheets of plastic wrap so the meat slides as flattening, but I like to do it in a gallon zip top bag. It's thicker and prevents break through, but more importantly it helps keep e-coli chicken goo from flying around your kitchen.
2) Set your grill up for direct heat and preheat the grill and a grill safe pan to medium hot (400f).

3) Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in the saute pan and saute the diced shallots until softened (about 2-3 minutes).

4) Deglaze the pan with the marsala wine and simmer until the wine is almost totally evaporated .

5) Add the chicken stock and allow to simmer until the volume is reduced by half.

6) Remove the pan from heat, add the cold pat of butter, and stir in to emulsify into the sauce. Don't just let it sit. That's the point of using the COLD butter (tip courtesy of Rouxbe) will slowly melt into the sauce as you stir, much like slowly adding olive oil into a vinaigrette to make sure it all stays mixed together (emulsified) instead of separating into an oily mess.

7) Grill the chicken over 400f direct heat for 4 minutes.

8) Flip, brush the cooked top with some of the sauce, sprinkle with thyme leaves, and cook 4 more minutes.

grilled chicken marsala
9) Flip, turning 90 degrees (for cross hatch grill marks), brush with more sauce and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until the internal temp is 160f. The nice part about this is it is grilling the sauce onto the chicken.

10) Remove from the grill, plate on a cheap paper plate because you weren't sure if this would work out or not and then drizzle the remaining sauce on top.

grilled chicken salad
We just ate it as is but everyone loved it. It had that marsala flavor mixed in with the taste of grilled chicken.

You could take this in a more formal direction and would be exceptional sliced up into pasta, then topped with more of the sauce. Or you can go casual and toss it on to a toasted onion roll with dijon mustard for an amazing grilled chicken marsala sandwich. Either way, chicken marsala is perfectly adaptable to the grill!


  1. That loos amazing, too bad all we have is my blueberry chipotle brisket for dinner :)

  2. You can definitely cook and this dish is proof.

  3. I always enjoy reading about your experiments on the grill. Chicken Marsala is a favorite for me and this looks exceptional. Great idea!

  4. You've done it again! I would not have thought of doing this on the grill, but I'm beginning to realize that you aren't bothered with silly details like that. This looks and sounds delicious as always. Nice job, Chris!

  5. Your pics look amazing! Wonderful cook as well.

  6. I think it looks and sounds delicious - I've never made chicken marsala before. Bookmarked.

  7. It was probably 1990 in your folk's kitchen. I remember you making it with mushrooms. Great times, my friend.

  8. Very creative Chris! Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes so I am going to have to give this recipe a try.

  9. Winner Winner Chicken dinner

    Such a great photo with the coals underneath. great post

  10. As always, this looks wonderful and great photos. I had chicken masala in a restaurant once and thought it was wonderful...why haven't I tried to make it at home??? Love this grilled version and thanks for passing along the butter/emulsification tip.

  11. I love how you are modernizing the classics to the grill. Looks and sounds truly awesome!

  12. Great idea Chris - chicken marsala is a favorite around here, but never thought of grilling it like this.

  13. What a great idea! Another "why didn't I think of that"? moment! I love the idea of serving it over pasta. Thanks for sharing, Chris! :-)

    Kim in MD

  14. Well done. The more dishes we figure out how to grill, the better.

  15. I'll have to try this. I am not a mushroom fan, so this a good version for me!

  16. LOve this idea Chris, a twist on the traditional is a great way to play.

  17. Great job Chris! I imagine the grill adds another element of flavor to it. This is one of my family's favorites. And I'm feeling bummed because I promised myself I would learn how to grill this summer - and I haven't. I'd rather be inside in front of a fan/ac cooking...

  18. Love this recipe. It's too hot during summer time to make this on the stove top. You've saved the day with this recipe!

  19. The grill taste is totally worth it. Chicken marsala is already a pretty complexly flavored dish...but add that smoke layer...I just got chills.

  20. That is one of my favorite ways to have chicken- wonderful flavors!

  21. this sounds like a wonderful grilled version!

    I'm heading to Bama in a few weeks so I'll get to play with my dads green egg and hopefully show him this blog so he can figure out all the great things he can do!

  22. Marsala on the grill - only you could do this Chris! It looks delicious and I'm better it's even better cooked this way. Excellent job as always :-)


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