Wonderful surprises will just happen sometimes. One day you’re scratching your head wondering what to make for dinner that just might appeal to your picky teen, and the next day your picky teen makes a request for a dish that you can’t remember ever cooking for her, but you know will elevate the dinner hour from the mundane. And you can hardly wait for the day you can prepare it.
Chicken marsala was the request that came out of nowhere last week. Apparently it was a dish Louisa once enjoyed over a friend’s house and remembered fondly. Really? How come I was never informed of that? I could have been enjoying chicken marsala these many months or even years since you tried it Louisa. Okay, you know the expression – better late than never appearing on my table, ever!
It’s been so many years since I made this dish, in possibly our pre-parenting days, that I didn’t have a recipe. A quick web search turned up Emeril’s version of Chicken Marsala on Food Network.com and since it was a 5-star dish I didn’t think I could go wrong. I was right. This was a great version of chicken marsala, and I see no reason to look further for a different variation of the dish. If you decide to try it, it’s really not that hard. At first glance it looks like a lot of ingredients, but that’s just because you have to prepare the seasoning blend first. However, you could do that anytime, long before you need to cook this dinner. And then you can add some “bam” to all of your dishes since the seasoning recipe makes much more than you need for this dish. The other ingredient that would add a little time is slicing the mushrooms, but I solved that problem by purchasing pre-sliced mushrooms. The dish was so quick and good, the chicken was so flavorful, I regret all of those years I haven’t been making this.
Baked yams accompanied it, and we like to top them with a little butter and cinnamon sugar. An easy taste of Thanksgiving on a regular old night. The greens you see are sautéed broccoli rabe which is definitely overcooked (I know you readers have eyes and I can’t fool you), but the taste with the olive oil and garlic was spot on, and the extra cooking time removed most of the bitter flavor from the greens.
And for those of you who may be wondering – Mom! – I didn’t even bother to serve it to Louisa. Why spoil a perfect meal with complaints?
Also, remember a week ago I was debating which direction to take my dinners given my current menu planning challenges? I’ve decided to pursue a combination of the two options. On some days I will cook more predictable, but boring, family favorites and cook something fun for another meal or dessert to tell you about (like yesterday’s pumpkin pancakes). Other days I will make something that Joe and I like and Louisa can take it or leave it, no stress. Because, being together and enjoying one another’s company at dinner is more important than food battles at this stage in our family.