Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Easy Recipe: Chicken Marsala – Wine Pairing-Merlot and Pinot Noir

Here’s a recipe for super easy chicken marsala, very tender, great flavors, so simple you might want to have the ingredients on hand, as it is a great go-to meal when you are in a rut.

Shameless self promotion: Hey all, sorry about the delay in getting this posted but I had a very jam packed weekend. As it is my first few months living in San Francisco I thought I should participate in as many local events as possible, and so I ran the Bay to Breakers this weekend. And in preparation for such an event I was thinking healthy yet flavorful and easy enough to serve with a carb to get my enegery up for the 12K run.

 Using brown mushrooms instead of white button mushrooms adds flavor, but so do other mushrooms too, so play around with a variety; it adds to the texture as well as the flavor of this dish. And when using Marsala, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on cooking Marsala, it’s just to get that distinct sweetness that counts, so don’t really splurge when you are just going to be cooking out the alcohol.

So because we are cooking with a wine already, this recipe might seem like a tricky one and might give some people a challenge when it comes to serving wine. To pair with this dish I have given you 2 red wine options; a Merlot and a Pinot Noir.

We are pairing a sweeter red to match the sweetness of the Marsala. A white may prove too sweet with this dish, but because the main protein is chicken, it’s not unheard of, and you can experiment for yourself. The Merlot is a bit sweeter to accent the sweetness of the Marsala wine, and the Pinot Noir is less tannic than say a Zin, but also has a sweet hint, while still being able to hold its own against the wine in the dish.

Enjoy this simple yet flavorful chicken recipe, try serving it with egg noodles, or polenta or even quinoa. It’s delicious enough to serve every night of the week. Have a great week and as always…

Happy Cooking from Katherine Pontius

Recipe – Chicken Marsala
4 (5 oz each)boneless skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied
2 tspn coarse salt   1/2 tspn coarse pepper
1 garlic clove, minced   1 whole sprig rosemary
3 Tblspn olive oil
2 Tblspn butter +2 more Tblspns butter for later
10 oz white button mushrooms, quartered
2 cups sweet Marsala wine
In a pan heat oil, season the chicken with salt and pepper, sear the chicken over medium high heat on both sides, not cooking through just browning.  Remove from pan.  In same pan melt butter, add mushrooms and rosemary sprig.  Sautee until brown, add garlic and heat until fragrant.  Deglaze the pan with the Marsala wine, scrape the brown bits off and cook off the alcohol.  Add remaining butter, and stir until thickened.  Return the chicken to the pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through.  Remove rosemary sprig before serving.  Serve alone or with polenta or egg noodles.

Wine Pairing
Because we are using a sweet wine in this chicken recipe, we are going to pair it with a less tannic red, Merlot; and an easy-on-the-palate red, Pinot Noir.

Bargain:  $ 14.99
San Simeon Merlot 2003
Splurge:  $ 59.99
Twomey Merlot 2003

Bargain:  $ 19.99
Wild Horse Winery Pinot Noir 2005
Splurge:  $ 59.99
Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir

At 26, Katherine Pontius has been interested in food since a very young age. Learning tips from her Grandmother over the years on how to “eyeball” a recipe and how to make the perfect gnocchi, ashe has been rather busy in the kitchen.  Having worked under Annette Gallardo at South Bay School of Cooking for 3 years as an assistant, and occasional instructor, she has honed her culinary skills.  Katherine recently relocated to Northern California, San Francisco to be exact, to find her culinary refuge in the amazing food and chefs that the Bay area has to offer.  Katherine loves food, she loves to entertain, she loves people who love food and entertaining as well, so blogging about it is the perfect combination.


  1. Katherine — loved to hear more about you, personally. I have never lived in a big city and I have a secret desire to do so.

    Do you live downtown? I would love to walk to work — great way to burn calories without trying.

    Please share some hilights of your San Francisco experience.

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