One of the things I am finding as I am going though my cookbook project is that it doesn’t really seem like all published recipes in cookbooks are actually ever tested prior to being published. My next recipe falls into on of those recipes that I don’t think was ever tested…or even proof read. Sadly I was super excited to make this next dish because it sounded delicious, and while my end result (with a lot of improvising on my part) was edible, it was far from being the awesome dinner I was envisioning in my head.
The recipe came from the cookbook Rocco’s Real Life Recipes. The recipe I had tagged was for Chicken and Wild Mushroom Marsala.
According to the cookbook, this recipe is done in less than 15 minutes…seemed perfect for a weeknight! Reality…it took at least 45 minutes, possibly an hour, I didn’t really keep track of when I actually started cooking.
To start with I heated a large skillet with olive oil over medium high heat. I dropped in whole mushrooms and gave them a stir. They were suppose to start to lightly brown in 1-2 minutes…I left my mushrooms in for about 4 minutes when they were barely lightly brown. They were removed from the pan
Next I needed chicken cutlets. So I cut chicken breast into slices about 1/4 inch thick, I seasoned them with salt and pepper. I took a cup of flour and seasoned it with salt and pepper, mixed and coated each piece of chicken, shaking off the excess flour. Why I needed a cup of flour I don’t know, because 1/4 cup of flour would have been more than enough.
I melted lots of butter (4 tablespoons) into my skillet over medium low heat. It took a long time for the butter to melt which should have warned me then of what was about to happen. But once melted I added my chicken and flipped after 2 minutes. The chicken “cooked” 2 minutes on the other side and was suppose to be done. This chicken was no where close to be done! Maybe if the heat was significantly higher it would have been done, or at least close to done, but it wasn’t. So I improvised, cranked the heat and cooked the chicken another few minutes each side. BTW at this point I was already “over” the 15 minutes the recipe said it would take to make…
The chicken was removed from the skillet and kept warm in the oven. For the next step the recipe didn’t specify a heat level for the skillet so I brought it back to medium low as it was suppose to be for the chicken in the step prior. I was first suppose to mix in 1 teaspoon of flour to the remaining butter, but I had no remaining butter so I added a bit more butter to the skillet and waited for it to melt. Then I mixed in the flour. Once combined I added chicken stock and marsala wine. I mixed and waited and waited for the liquid to simmer and then thicken (which was suppose to occur in 1-2 minutes??)…again I don’t possibly see how the heat was hot enough, so after about 5 minutes of waiting for simmering I cranked the heat to medium high.
After I bringing the heat up and actually simmering for several minutes it became apparent no thickening would be occurring. So I gave up on that and added the mushrooms back to the skillets, along with the juice of a lemon and a stick of butter. I was to stir constantly to make a smooth silky sauce.
I was to serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the chicken and the mushrooms on top. Instead since I wasn’t 100% sure the chicken was cooked through and since the sauce was super thin, I added the chicken back to the skillet and let everything simmer for several minutes all together and finally mixed in some parsley.
The Verdict: I think everyone can already see how much I think the recipe itself is poor. But as far as the taste went, it was ok…I wouldn’t make it again, even if this recipe would have been written better. The chicken was by far better than the mushrooms though. The mushrooms absorbed some really weird flavor from simmering in the sauce. Hopefully my next Rocco recipe works out better!