Grandma's Chicken Marsala with Pancetta Cream Sauce

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I found a handwritten recipe from grandmother for her Chicken Marsala. It is one of my grandfather’s favorites. One mother’s day I wanted to make something special. I took this recipe and added the pancetta with the cream.  This created a new favorite dish.

A couple years later I ended up on this journey with Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family show. I entered a video submission for the show’s best home cook contest. I could have never anticipated the outcome. My friends and family see the day to day and week to week of what I been trying to do career wise. The risks that took me years to get enough confidence to take. They have watched me take wrong turns and be disappointed. God is good and God is faithful when you walk with him. Although there were times where I was unsure or wanted to give up I finally stuck it out with God’s strength.

During the show’s cook off they handed me a bunch of ingredients and gave me 45 minutes. That was my worst fear! If I had known that was part of the competition I may not have seen it through. I said a prayer and he led me through it. The next day I returned as winner and cooked this recipe for chicken marsala. This is probably my favorite appearance to date. I am still smiling ear to ear and will forever be grateful.

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Grandma’s Chicken Marsala with Pancetta Cream Sauce

This creamy version of chicken marsala takes my grandmothers recipes and adds a decadent twist.


for the mushrooms

  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted

  • 1 Tbsp shallots, finely chopped

  • 2 c mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

for the chicken

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, thin sliced (or pounded into thin cutlets)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 3 oz pancetta (ask the deli counter for one 1/4 inch thick piece, then cut into cubes)

  • 1/2 c shallots, finely chopped

  • 1/4 c flour, for dredging

  • 1 c marsala wine

  • 1/4 c heavy cream (possibly a tablespoon more)

  • kosher salt

  • pepper

  • flat leaf parsley fresh


prep the mushrooms

  1. In a large skillet or frying pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, then add the shallots. Saute together for about 3 minutes, then add in the mushrooms, moving them around the pan. Let them saute for about 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms become softer and brown. Then season with salt and pepper giving the mushrooms another stir, remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and reserve.

prep the chicken

  1. In a large skillet on medium high heat add the diced pancetta and cook until lightly browned and crisp. Remove the pancetta from the pan, leaving any rendered fat in the pan.

  2. Add the shallots and cook until lightly browned and translucent (about 4 minutes). Make sure to adjust the heat as you go along, you may need to lower it when working with the shallots. If you find they are burning or sticking to the pan add a touch of olive oil to the pan to help. Remove from the pan and reserve shallots along with the pancetta.

  3. Pat the pieces of chicken dry with a paper towel and discard the paper towel. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

  4. Put the flour in a shallow bowl for dredging. Then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.

  5. With the pan or skillet on medium/high heat fry the chicken on each side until browned. Add more olive oil to the pan if necessary. As the chicken browns on each side set aside. Fry the chicken in batches to not crowd the pan.

  6. Pour off any excess fat. Then add the marsala to the hot pan to deglaze it. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the pan. Let me marsala boil down until it reduces by about a quarter of a cup. Then add in your reserved mushroom mixture.

  7. Add in the cream and let the sauce boil until it thickens.

  8. Return the cutlets, pancetta, and inions to the pan. Coat each piece with the marsala sauce. Let the cutlets reheat in the sauce for about a minute or so.

  9. Serve the cutlets with fresh chopped parsley.