Chicken Marsala with Morels and Wild Rice

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something very different than my usual sweet posts.

I’ve entered a contest at Marx Foods. It’s The 4th Annual Blogger Morel Recipe Challenge. You can vote for my recipe there.

It all started when the talented Marnley at Cooking with Books posted the challenge on Facebook.  I remember voting for fellow bloggers in their past events.

The wild edibles didn’t take long to persuade me to join in on the fun. As nervous as I was, I had faith that I could create something wonderful.

They are morels after all, they’re delicious any way you cook them.

In thinking of the many ways I could prepare these luscious morels, I kept returning to one of my favorite mushrooms dishes, Chicken Marsala.  I wanted to make the dish lighter and fresher, the flavors of the morel and Marsala would do all the talking themselves. Unlike some traditional recipes that call for a heavy breading then deep frying, I went with a creamy light sauce, fresh chicken and the fragrant morels.  Here’s what I came up with and I hope you enjoy them too.

Here’s what you’ll need…

2 chicken breast filets (pounded thin)

2 ounces dried morel mushrooms

2 garlic gloves (pressed)

1 medium shallot (chopped fine)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup dry Marsala wine

1 cup water

1 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup wild rice

1/4 cup brown rice

Reconstituting the morel mushrooms:

Using a heat safe bowl, place the dried morel mushrooms inside. Add 1 cup of warm chicken stock and 1 cup of Marsala wine, covering the morel mushrooms completely. Allow to sit for 1 1/2 hour. Strain the mushrooms and place in a bowl, setting aside for later use.  Reserve the stock and wine mixture for making rice and sauce.

For the Rice:

On medium high heat, in a saucepan, add 1 cup of the reserve stock and wine mixture, 1 cup of water and a tablespoon of butter, bring to a boil.  Add the rice, both the 3/4 cup brown and 1/4 cup wild, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

Saute the morel mushrooms:

Cut the mushrooms into small julienne strips. In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of butter, shallot and garlic, sauteing for 2 minutes.  Add the morel mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Remove the morel mushrooms from the pan and place on a plate, set aside.

For the Chicken:

Using the same pan on medium heat, add the chicken breast and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, remove from pan and set aside. Return pan with drippings to heat, add remaining cup of morel and wine stock and deglaze the pan .  Add the heavy cream and simmer on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Add chicken and the morels mushrooms, simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and plate by adding a 1/4 cup of wild rice in the center, layering chicken with morel mushrooms and sauce. Serve immediately.

* Disclaimer: The kind folks at Marx Foods provided me with a free sample of this product to enter their recipe challenge.  All the opinions here are my own. I think Marx Foods is super delicious!

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