So my doctor put me on this diet she calls an anti-inflammatory diet or more accurately an elimination diet. In a nutshell (not peanut!) I am on a strick diet whereas I cannot have any wheat, corn, potato, diary, tomato, citrus, red meat, alcohol or peanuts. I am especially not to have anything processed or fried and should use only olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil. In addition, I should eat organic everything when possible. On a whole this is not too terribly hard but what is life without cheese and wine I ask?!
So that brings me to where I am now with experimentation with new foods, a few great recipes and several not so great recipes that I rather not make again. Also, somethings should not be made vegan – Tofutti Sour Cream I am talking to YOU! However, Veganaise you may stay.
Now lets get to the successes! Lately I have been making a lot of stews & soups; this has got M asking very politely for food he can actually, you know CHEW! So last night I made a friendly version of Chicken Marsala. I know the wine, but really 20% alcohol at the most here so I think I am ok. This could be made without the wine I suppose but then it would not be Chicken Marsala now would it.
I love this dish and I didn’t think I would be able to pull it off with my restrictions to be honest. I mean butter makes this sauce so velvety I didn’t think olive oil would be able to compete. Well it needed a little help but the dish came out perfect.
2-4 boneless chicken breasts ( leave the skin on if you can)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I love shitake, so I did 1/2 shitake and 1/2 crimini)
1 large shallot or 2 smaller chopped small
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup and 1 T. Marsala wine
1 cup and 2 T. chicken broth
1 T. tapioca flour/starch (corn starch works fine here)
2 T. of flat leaf parsley
2 t. fresh sage
1 T. olive oil
2 t. Earth Balance buttery spread (or butter)
salt and pepper to taste
Start by heating your pan and 1 t. fake butter with the olive oil. Pat your chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. When pan is hot place the breasts skin side down in the hot pan. There will be loud hissing but DO NOT TOUCH THEM! Let them cook for about 5 minutes. Test with your tongs; if the chicken releases from the pan without a fight then you can flip them, if not leave them cook another minute or so. Sear the other side for another 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and cover with foil. In the hot pan add your shallot and stir to coat evenly in the fat. (If you used boneless/skinless chicken you may have to add another T. of oil.) Cook shallots till fragrent about 1 minute and then add the mushrooms. Coat the mushroom with the fat in the pan and let cook for about 2-3 minutes; you want to see a nice color on the veggies. At this point salt and pepper and add the garlic. Cook for about another 30 seconds to a minute and deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of the wine. Scrape up all the leftover chicken bits from the bottom of the pan, bring to boil and let reduce for a few minutes; this gets all that flavor into each mushroom! Now add 1 cup of your chicken broth or stock and bring to a boil. While you wait for that mix the starch with the remainder of the broth and stir into the pan. You may not need all of this mixture so do it a little at a time, each time wait for the sauce to come back to a boil to reach full thickness. When you have the desired consistency (should coat the back of a spoon) place the chicken back into the pan (skin side up) to finish cooking. When you are ready to plate add the rest of the (fake) butter, 1 T. of Marsala wine and the fresh herbs to the pan and give a good stir to incorporate everything.
Serve over pasta or rice and ladle the sauce, generously over the chicken. I used quinao pasta which I am quite a fan of. I swear I don’t notice the difference, you just have to be more diligent when cooking it and make sure you keep stirring the pasta while it cooks or it will stick together.