Cooking chicken in Marsala wine is how this dish achieves ultimate lip-smacking deliciousness. Why not try it out when you’re next looking for something new to cook?
Chicken in a Marsala sauce is enough to rival any restaurant’s offering. And with a focus on cooking restaurant-quality food at home these past few months, what better way to hone your kitchen skills than with this delicious recipe.
Originating from northwest Africa, couscous is given the Italian touch with pan-fried chicken cooked with Marsala – a fortified wine produced in the region surrounding the town of Marsala in Sicily.
Whether you want this on a weeknight or you’re looking to treat yourself at the weekend, this versatile dish is one to add to your list.
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Marsala chicken with roasted garlic, raisins and almonds
- 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (or use breasts)
- 50g flaked almonds
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole garlic bulb, cloves separated and unpeeled
- 150ml Marsala (or use medium sherry)
- 400ml boiling chicken stock or water
- 2 bay leaves, scrunched a little
- 50g raisins, soaked in warm water for at least 5 minutes, then drained
- 200g couscous
- ½ tsp salt, plus more to season
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
- Dry roast the almonds in a large saucepan or casserole over a moderate heat for 2 minutes, until golden, remove from the heat and put to one side on a plate to cool.
- Heat the oil in the same pan over a moderate heat.
- Add the chicken and fry for 5 minutes on one side, until deep golden brown. Add the garlic cloves and turn over the chicken to fry the other side for a further 5 minutes, until a deep golden brown all over but not fully cooked.
- Pour the Marsala (or sherry) into the pan and cook for 2 minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol, then add 100ml of the stock or water along with the bay leaves.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the raisins for the last 1 minute of cooking to warm through. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.
- While the chicken is cooking, put the couscous in a mixing bowl and cover with the remaining 300ml of boiling stock or water and add the ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to soften.
- To serve, fluff the couscous with a fork and divide it between the plates or bowls. Add the chicken and whole cloves of garlic before pouring over a good amount of sauce. Scatter with the toasted almonds, then the chopped parsley, to serve.
Recipe from Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £30). Photography: Sam Folan.
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