Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Speckled sea trout (I think) on a wooden cutting board - inspiration for menu ideas and recipes for chicken, mushrooms, greens, cabbage, cauliflower, speckled sea trout, and striped bass

Menu ideas and recipes for chicken, mushrooms, greens, cabbage, cauliflower, speckled sea trout, and striped bass

Chicken Marsala and mushroom casserole

Last Sunday, I made a chicken Marsala and mushroom casserole, a recipe that’s evolved over the years.

  • 8 ounces (or more) elbow macaroni (regular or wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil
  • 1 to 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices pancetta (or bacon), chopped
  • 14 ounces sliced mushrooms (I like a mix of cremini and shiitake)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary and/or thyme, chopped fine
  • 3tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cupMarsala wine
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley

Start pasta. Cook per box instructions. Drain. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the chicken, sprinkle with salt. Cook until browned and almost cooked through. Remove.

Add the pancetta/bacon, cook until most of the fat is rendered, so it’s not looking so raw. Add mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary or thyme, and salt, cook one minute.

Stir in the flour, cook for a few minutes. Stir in the Marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Taste for salt.

Stir in pasta and chicken. Pour everything into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly, 20 minutes, maybe more. Remove the foil, sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake for 5 minutes more. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

On the side, we had a kale and red cabbage sauté with red onion, orange bell pepper, green onions, habanero pepper, and dried cranberries. I also made a sheet pan of roasted cauliflower with garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, fresh oregano, and parmesan.

Speckled sea trout (I think) on a wooden cutting board - inspiration for menu ideas and recipes for chicken, mushrooms, greens, cabbage, cauliflower, speckled sea trout, and striped bass

Two recipe ideas for fish

I prepared one of our favorite fish, speckled sea trout, with a white wine, tomato, and basil pesto sauce. On the side, a mix of sautéed greens (chard, radish, arugula, and spinach) with orange bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, and slow-roasted tomatoes.

The next night, we enjoyed sweet and spicy citrus striped bass with leftover greens and roasted sweet potatoes. “Spicy” is a misnomer. Next time, I’ll increase the heat.

I hope you have time (and cooperating weather) to go outside and enjoy the blooming beauty of spring!


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Creative Commons licensed photo by monika1607 via Pixabay

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