Made from chicken breasts, marsala wine, chopped shallots and a few other ingredients, chicken marsala is one of the easiest yet most sophisticated and delicious meals a cook can whip up in a hurry. It also goes well with many side dishes. Here are a few of them:
Vegetable Sides to Go with Chicken Marsala
- Asparagus Salad with Roasted Red Peppers
- Celeriac RemouladeStarchy Sides to Go with Chicken Marsala1. Basmati Pilaf
2. Mushroom RisottoVegetable Sides to Go with Chicken Marsala
- Asparagus Salad with Roasted Red Peppers
Like the chicken marsala main dish, this warm salad is simple to prepare. The green asparagus spears, slivers of red bell pepper and golden dots of chickpeas make it look as good as it tastes.
The ingredients are:
- 1 lb. of asparagus, with the tough ends of the stalks snapped off
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons of pale honey
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- About 1 teaspoon of salt
- 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 jars of roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into strips
- 215 ounce cans of chickpeas
- Black pepper to taste (you can use pepper mill to grind)
Roast or steam the asparagus, then rinse them under cold water or shock them in ice water to bring out the green color.
Whisk together the garlic, honey, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. As the mixture is being whisked, slowly add the olive oil until it’s completely blended.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them with the roasted peppers and the asparagus to the vinaigrette and toss. Adjust the salt, and add a bit of black pepper. Add a splash of lemon juice to brighten it just before serving.
This blend of veggies is also easy to make, and very filling when combined with the chicken marsala. Ingredients are:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 lbs. tomatoes
- 2 to 3 medium onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 red or green sweet peppers
- 1 lb. zucchini
- 1 large eggplant
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a small pan. Chop the tomatoes and simmer them in oil with bit of salt and pepper. If they’re not as ripe as they could be, add a pinch of sugar.
Peel the onions and chop them coarsely. Peel and slice the garlic, cut the peppers into strips, discarding the core, ribs and seeds. Cut the zucchini into slices or quarter them lengthwise. Peel and cut the eggplant into slices and quarter each slice.
Heat the rest of the oil in a Dutch oven, add the onions and garlic and fry them until they’re soft. Then add the pepper, zucchini, then the eggplant. Add salt and pepper and cook slowly over low heat.
When the vegetables are beginning to soften, add the tomatoes. Stir to make sure the vegetables don’t catch. When all of the vegetables are soft, the ratatouille is ready to eat. It’s even better as a leftover.
3. Celeriac Remoulade
Celeriac is an admittedly ugly root vegetable that has a delicate celery taste when it’s finally cooked. When added to a remoulade, it’s unusually good. Ingredients:
- 2 heads of celeriac
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup of peanut or safflower oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of light cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Whisk the mustard and egg yolk together, and add the olive oil a drop or two at a time until it resembles mayonnaise. Add the cream at the end, taste and adjust the seasonings.
Pelt celeriac and grate it. As it’s grated, drop the shreds into a bowl of water and lemon juice to keep it white. Bring a pot of salt water to a boil, then drop in the grated celeriac. Wait a few seconds, then drain it in a colander. Rinse with cold water, drain and chill. When it’s cold, add to the mayonnaise and serve right away with the chicken marsala.
Starchy Sides to Go with Chicken Marsala
- Basmati Pilaf
Few things smell as good as basmati rice, and the flavor and fragrance of this dish is enhanced with that of spices, fruits and nuts. Here are the ingredients:
- 2 cups of basmati rice
- As much as 3 1/4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste
- Up to 1 1/2 cups of slivered almonds or pistachios
- 1 tablespoon of sweet butter
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 2 teaspoons of orange or lemon zest or a combination
Add the rice to the water, bring to boil, turn down the heat, and cook until the rice is tender. In the meantime, put the oil in a large skillet and add the onion, garlic, ginger and cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of alt. Cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes over low heat or until the onion is very soft. Remove from the heat.
Toast the nuts in a cool oven until they’re fragrant or sauté them in butter. Watch them to make sure they don’t burn! Set them aside when they’re done.
Add the rice to the onion mix, then add the raisins, the zest and additional salt while stirring. If this pilaf is going to be eaten right way, add the nuts. If not, wait till the meal’s ready to be served.
2. Mushroom Risotto
Rice and mushrooms go surprisingly well together, and this side dish complements chicken marsala deliciously.
- 1 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 1 quart of chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of sweet butter
- 1 cup of minced onion
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1/2 pound of fresh mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and minced
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cups of risotto rice
- 1/2 cup of marsala wine at room temperature
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, or to taste
- Black pepper
Revive the porcini in a bowl with the boiling water. They’ll be soft in about a half an hour.
When they’re ready, strain the mushroom liquid into a second bowl, then mince the mushrooms.
Strain the mushroom liquid again through a coffee filter into a pot and add the stock. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the onion. Cook for about two minutes, then add the garlic and thyme. Cook for another two to three minutes or until the onions are soft.
Add the porcini and fresh mushrooms, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then cover for five to eight minutes. Do not stir.
Add the rice and stir over medium heat for a minute to coat it, then add the rest of the salt and the marsala. Stir until the marsala is absorbed. This should take about a half a minute.
Ladle in enough of the stock to cover everything. Stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the mixture is creamy. Remove from the heat while the rice has some chew but before it gets mushy. Add the Parmesan, taste, then adjust the seasonings.
These scrumptious side dishes not only go well with chicken marsala but lots of other Italian or Mediterranean dishes. Indeed, these nutritious side dishes can be meals in themselves. If you enjoyed this article, don’t hesitate to share your comments.
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