One of the great things about getting married is the acquisition of all the new family members. For my part, I gained a mother-in-law, a father-in-law, a brother-in-law, and some very awesome aunt-, uncle-, and cousins-in-law. Since we’re all now officially family (hence the “in law” part), I am legally justified in adding their secret family recipes to my repertoire. What’s yours is mine, right?
From what I understand, my father-in-law came into his culinary own later in life. RJ was astounded the first night we ate dinner at his dad’s house and were served the BEST Chicken Marsala either of us had ever eaten. When RJ was growing up, his dad was never in the kitchen, and was most excited when “Hit ‘n ‘Hingle” was on the menu (a kid-friendly version of the infamous military meal with the abreviation S.O.S.). Yet in the past several years he has discovered quite a knack for cuisine – especially sauces. I have yet to taste his mustardy green peppercorn sauce, but his Madeira gravy is out of this world.
In the past year or so, taking liberties with my new daughter-in-law status, I have hovered over his shoulder on several occasions and taken copious notes about his techniques, sequencing, and secret ingredients. At long last, I believe I have developed a reconstitution of the Marsala recipe. I am today testing the limits of familial love and trust by sharing the below dish, but it is so unbelievably good it would be far more criminal not to. Chip – I love you and hope you will forgive me!
1/2 c. plus 1 Tbs. flour, separated
1 tsp. dried marjoram
6-8 veal scallops (thinly sliced veal) [can also be made with chicken scallops]
1/4 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto
3 Tbs. butter, separated
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. sliced or 1 c. chopped cremini mushrooms (optional)
1 c. sweet Marsala wine
3/4 c. chicken or veal stock
1/4 c. heavy cream (optional)
salt & pepper
In a wide, shallow bowl or pan, whisk together the 1/2 c. flour, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Pat a veal scallop dry with a paper towel and dip in the flour mixture on both sides to cover. Repeat with the rest of the scallops, and set aside. Place a large non-stick skillet, lightly oiled, over medium-high heat until hot. Lay the slices of prosciutto on the pan so they do not touch (this may need to be done in batches). When slices are browned on one side, flip and brown on the other side. Put cooked prosciutto aside on a separate plate.
Add 1 Tbs. butter to the same pan, allow it to melt over high heat, then brown the veal scallops on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.
Melt the remaining butter over medium heat in the same pan used for the meats, then add the white and light green chopped scallions (reserve the dark green parts), stirring to pick up any browned bits. Cook until scallions are softened and fragrant, approximately 4 minutes. At this point, you can also add chopped or sliced mushrooms, cooking until mushroom liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of flour over the scallions (and mushrooms, if using) and stir, cooking, for 1 minute. Pour Marsala into the pan, stirring, until reduced by half and thickened. Pour in the chicken stock, and simmer for 2 minutes. If desired, add the heavy cream at this point, stirring to combine (heavy cream creates a smoother, richer sauce). Salt and pepper to taste – Chip also adds some more dried marjoram at this point. Add the veal back into the pan to rewarm it for a minute or so.
We usually serve the meat and Marsala sauce over egg noodles, using the prosciutto and dark green scallion slices as delicious garnishes.