Barefoot contessa chicken marsala recipe

Barefoot contessa chicken marsala recipe

In the realm of home cooking, few names stand as prominently as the Barefoot Contessa. Her approach to cooking—emphasizing simplicity, flavor, and the use of quality ingredients—has inspired countless home chefs to explore the joy of making restaurant-quality meals in their own kitchens. Among her repertoire of dishes, the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe stands out as a testament to the elegance of simplicity in cooking. This dish, with its rich, mushroom-laden Marsala wine sauce draped over tender chicken breasts, brings the essence of Italian cuisine right to your dining table.

The beauty of the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe lies not just in its exquisite taste but also in its approachability. It’s a dish that demystifies the art of cooking with wine, proving that creating a sophisticated and deeply flavorful meal can be straightforward and enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a dinner party or simply want to treat yourself to a special meal, this recipe promises a culinary experience that is both gratifying and accessible.

This dish embodies the philosophy of cooking with love and attention to detail. From selecting the freshest chicken to choosing the right Marsala wine, each step is a building block towards achieving a harmonious blend of flavors. The recipe encourages cooks to engage fully with the process, from the sizzle of chicken hitting the pan to the aromatic release of wine as it reduces, culminating in a dish that is as rewarding to prepare as it is to savor.

Moreover, the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala is a canvas for creativity. While the core elements of the dish—chicken, mushrooms, and Marsala wine—remain constant, there is ample room for personal touches and adaptations. This versatility makes it a perfect dish for both novice cooks seeking to hone their skills and experienced chefs looking for a base upon which to experiment.

In the following sections, we will delve into the specifics of this beloved recipe. From the meticulously curated list of ingredients to the detailed cooking directions, each component plays a crucial role in achieving the depth of flavor and texture that define this dish. Additionally, we will explore variations and toppings that can enhance or subtly alter the dish’s character, followed by serving suggestions to elevate the dining experience. Finally, we will reflect on the enduring appeal of the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe and its place within the broader narrative of home cooking.

Barefoot contessa chicken marsala recipe

Recipe by Sandra J
Prep time


Cooking time






  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely diced

  • 8 ounces cremini or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and halved

  • 1 cup Marsala wine

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Begin by flattening the chicken breasts to an even thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge each breast lightly in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  • In the same skillet, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are browned and their moisture has evaporated.
  • Pour in the Marsala wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half.
  • Stir in the chicken stock and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Simmer until the chicken is heated through.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Variations and Toppings for Barefoot contessa chicken marsala

The Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe serves as a wonderful foundation for culinary creativity. While the traditional recipe is undeniably delicious, there are numerous ways to adapt and enhance the dish to suit different tastes and occasions.

One popular variation involves incorporating heavy cream into the sauce, transforming it into a richer, more decadent version of itself. Another option is to add a variety of mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster, to introduce different textures and flavors. For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness, a sprinkle of dried cherries or figs can add a unique contrast to the savory elements of the dish.

Toppings offer another avenue for customization. A scattering of toasted pine nuts can add a delightful crunch, while a garnish of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary can bring a fragrant freshness. For a burst of color and flavor, consider finishing the dish with sun-dried tomatoes or a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

These variations and toppings not only allow cooks to tailor the dish to their preferences but also encourage experimentation and discovery in the kitchen. The Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe, with its inherent flexibility, invites you to make it your own, whether through subtle tweaks or bold additions.

Serving Suggestions

Serving the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe is an opportunity to create a memorable dining experience. This dish pairs beautifully with a variety of sides that complement its rich flavors and textures. For a classic pairing, consider serving it with buttery mashed potatoes or a simple risotto, allowing the sauce to be the star. For a lighter option, a crisp green salad dressed with a lemon vinaigrette or steamed green beans can balance the dish’s richness.

Presentation also plays a key role in elevating the meal. Consider plating the chicken on a bed of pasta or polenta, spooning the mushroom and Marsala sauce generously over the top. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan or a few leaves of basil can add a final touch of elegance.

When it comes to wine pairings, a medium-bodied red wine or a dry white wine can complement the dish’s flavors without overpowering them. The key is to choose a wine that harmonizes with the Marsala sauce’s complexity and the earthiness of the mushrooms.


The Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of simplicity, flavor, and the joy of cooking at home. It embodies the principle that great food doesn’t have to be complicated or inaccessible. With its rich flavors, elegant presentation, and versatility, this recipe has earned its place in the hearts of home cooks everywhere.

As we’ve explored, the possibilities for personalization and adaptation are endless, making the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Marsala recipe a canvas for culinary creativity. Whether served at a casual family dinner or a formal gathering, it promises to delight and impress.

In closing, this dish stands as a testament to the power of simple ingredients, thoughtfully prepared, to create something truly extraordinary. It encourages us to slow down, savor the process, and appreciate the beauty of home-cooked meals. In the hands of the Barefoot Contessa, chicken Marsala becomes not just a recipe, but an experience—a reminder of the pleasures of cooking and the joys of sharing food with those we love.

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About Author

Sandra J

Sandra J. is a food blogger known for simple, delicious recipes on her widely-followed blog. Her approachable style makes cooking accessible to everyone.

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