Essentially, this dish is quite fancy and lethargy-inducing (specially the restaurant style) since its cooked with heavy cream, butter and marsala wine. Not surprisingly, it’s somewhat heavy on the digestive system. But what’s the point of being a food lover if you can’t modify a dish to make it healthier, right?
That’s why I present to you a Low-Fat Virgin Chicken Marsala. This might sound like a dish which needs hours of cooking but it takes only about 30 min, that’s all. A traditional Marsala recipe requires two key ingredients: Dry Marsala Wine and Heavy Cream. Now, as a yoga instructor and runner, I prefer my food to satisfy my taste buds but also to keep me alert, awake and keep my energy level high. That’s why I have replaced heavy cream with Greek yoghurt. Not only is it a way healthier substitute, Greek yoghurt is flavorsome and is packed with probiotics which helps soothe the digestive tract and is a great recovery food.
Now the key ingredient, marsala wine. Since the dish is named after the wine, you might think it’s impossible to substitute it, right? Not really. You see, this Italian wine is known for its smoky, deep flavor and is primarily used to deglaze the pan and to add a bit of sweetness to the dish. But since this is an improved version of an old-style dish, I have swapped Marsala wine with grape juice mixed with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Simple! Grape juice is perfect for adding the “sweetness” and the balsamic vinegar cuts off the extra sweetness and together, this blend makes a brilliant auxiliary sauce for the dish. Also, sometimes Marsala wine is difficult to find in which case, this non-alcoholic portion is just ideal. But if you still prefer to add alcohol, you can also add port wine, red vermouth or Madeira wine.
Also, this dish is butter free and the only fat used is olive oil. Similarly, the traditional recipe consists of only mushrooms as a vegetable but I have also added boiled sweet corn for texture, scallions for a mild but powerful subtle flavor and white onions. For garnishing, its cilantro all the way because I simply love cilantro! But keeping my personal preferences aside, using cilantro instead thyme of oregano as herb makes it hit just the right spots and infuses the recipe with that touch of “freshness”. It’s amazing what a simple swap can do.
Because of the modifications, this dish is no longer just a fancy-restaurant item but also makes for a very healthy weekday dinner. If you have leftovers, I recommend stocking it on the fridge and having it the next day as a cold salad or simply, place the mixture between two slices of whole wheat bread you there you have it! A healthy snack or an even better post recovery meal.
If heating it in the microwave, sprinkle some water or chicken broth before so that it doesn’t get too dry.
Since this Low-Fat Virgin Chicken Marsala is beautifully nifty, you can also serve it as it is, or with brown rice, roti, bread or even as a spaghetti sauce.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Servings: 3
For the Protein
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes.
Note: Instead of flattening chicken breasts, I recommend cutting them into cubes because it cooks faster and is easier to consume.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp. cup light olive
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
For the Sauce
- 250 gm of thinly sliced mushrooms
- 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
- 1 medium glass of chicken broth
- 1 cup of Greek yoghurt mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour (this avoids curdling of the yoghurt on high temperature)
- 1 cup grape juice mixed with 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
- 1 small cup of chopped white onions
- 1 small of chopped spring onions
- 1 small cup of boiled sweet corn
- ½ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
Prepare the Chicken
- Sprinkle the cubed chicken pieces with all-purpose flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Keep aside for 10 min.
Fry the Chicken
- In a deep pan, heat the olive oil on medium flame. Once hot, add the chicken piece by piece and fry until golden.
- At this point, increase the flame to high and keep turning the chicken over every 45 seconds.
- Once golden and somewhat crispy, take it out on the plate, cover it with a plate or foil to keep it warm and keep aide.
Prepare the Sauce
- Heat some more olive oil in the same pan.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, sweet corn, chopped spring onions, chopped white onions, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Cook for 7 minutes till all the vegetables are well done and especially the mushrooms are brown.
- Now add the chicken broth, grape juice and balsamic vinegar mixture along with the Greek yoghurt.
- Stir all the ingredients together gently.
- Let the sauce simmer on medium heat for 8 min.
Making the Marsala Chicken
- Once the sauce has reduced a bit, add the fried chicken cubes to the sauce and stir well.
- Simmer for 1 more minute and take it out in a large bowl.
- Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serving the Marsala Chicken
- Serve it with brown rice, spaghetti, pita bread or any other bread. Or simply, serve as it is.
How simple was that, right? The beauty of this dish is that its fuss-free yet loaded with intense flavors. In case you are a vegan, replace the chicken with tofu or seitan and the yoghurt with almond milk and you get a delicious and protein heavy meal. Also, feel free to add more vegetables such peas or carrots to make more fibrous.
If you have leftovers (which I doubt you will!), enjoy it the next day as a sandwich mixture or a cold salad. So, are you ready to cook?