Whenever I cook at home, I always find myself drawn to Italian recipes. With their comforting flavors and often simple, yet quality ingredients, I usually have a hard time justifying another type of cuisine.
I recently snagged a copy of celebrity chef Fabio Viviani’s cookbook, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, and immediately fell in love with several of the recipes. I first met Fabio several months ago when I interviewed him for Today’s Chicago Woman. I was instantly blown away by how down to earth, kind and sharp he is, and we have since become friends.
Fabio has been spending a good deal of time in Chicago, since opening his restaurant, Siena Tavern, which he owns with partners at the DineAmic Group. It is fabulous, and if you haven’t been, call now for a reservation – rumor has it they are sold out through September!
Fabio is a perfect example of how good things happen to good people. His success is well deserved, and not only due to his culinary talents, but equally because he is a great person and kind to everyone around him. As I flipped through the cookbook’s pages, gazing at one mouth-watering dish after the next, I didn’t know where to start. The common theme in his book, and perhaps in most Italian cooking, is the overall simplicity and approachable nature of the recipes. In the end, I chose to make Chicken with Marsala Sauce, and after one bite, my boyfriend said, “This is the best dish you’ve ever made.” Thank you to Fabio for not only sharing his cookbook, but for making me look good, too!
Chicken Marsala from Fabio’s Italian Kitchen:
2 tbsp. butter
1 sprig thyme
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup oyster or shitake mushrooms, sliced (I used shitake)
Salt and pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup sweet Marsala wine
¼ cup heavy cream
Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the thyme and let it heat through, then add the garlic and the sliced mushrooms. Season the entire pan with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pound the chicken breast with a mallet until they are about ½-inch thick. Dredge each chicken breast with flour and shake off the excess.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a separate nonstick pan. Add the floured chicken breasts and cook them for about 2 minutes on each side. Add the wine to the pan and let it start to reduce, then add the mushroom, garlic and thyme mixture to the chicken pan, along with the heavy cream. Cook over medium heat until the cream has reduced and thickened. Remove the chicken from the pan and serve topped with the remaining sauce.
This recipe was taken directly from Fabio’s Italian Kitchen by Fabio Viviani. Copyright © 2013, VF Legacy, LLC. Published by Hyperion in April 2013. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.