Chicken Marsala over Spaghetti Squash is a rich and satisfying dish. It makes the perfect intimate dinner for two, but can be a great dinner party entrée as well. It is a variation of traditional Italian scaloppini dishes, of which there are many varieties throughout Italy.
What is Chicken Marsala?
Scaloppini is basically thin, boneless slices of meat, typically veal, sautéed or fried. Today, we made our dish with Chicken and served a Marsala Mushroom sauce over it. Marsala wine is a fortified wine native to Sicily. It is most commonly used in cooking to create nutty, rich caramelized sauces, but you can drink it (like you would Sherry).
In our version of Chicken Marsala, we use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Chicken breast meat tends to cook quickly, but can become dry. Plus, it is hard to hold if you are serving it to a big group. Where as dark meat can be held for a long time and it will still be juicy when you serve it.
You have lots of choices of mushrooms to use when making Chicken Marsala over Spaghetti Squash
Another great thing about this dish is the numerous types of mushrooms you can use. We like to throw in baby bellas (also called creminis) and shitake mushrooms, but any mushrooms you like will work. Whenever I can find chanterelles, I love to use them. You can also make things easier by using mushroom variety packs that are available from most supermarkets.
Spaghetti Squash is a nice alternative to pasta
Today we served our Chicken Marsala with a side of spaghetti squash, instead of the pasta. Spaghetti squash is a great gluten free or low carb alternative. The Marsala sauce is a thick and hearty sauce enhanced by the presence of the mushrooms. It will coat the pasta or squash really well and also ties the entire dish together.
Finally, if there was ever a dish that called for a crisp garden fresh salad with a vinaigrette dressing, this is it. If your inner Italian is calling for a hunk of crunchy Italian bread (like mine does!), this Marsala sauce is perfect to dip it into.