Let’s start with what the heck is Mema Style? Mema is me – it’s what my grandchildren call me. If you hail from Texas or are a fan of “The Big Bang Theory” then you know what I’m talking about. But there is a bit more to the story, especially since no one is my family actually hails from Texas. When my youngest sister became a mother for the first time, she was living in Germany. And so it was that my dad and his wife became known as “Opa” and “Oma”. When my grandson was born a year later, my daughter wanted something “catchy” for her children to call my husband and I. And so it was that we became “Mepa” and “Mema”. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered people from Texas often call their grandmother “Mema”. It’s suppose to be a southern term of endearment, although I’ve never heard it used by non-Texans except in our house. And that explains that . . .
A while back, we had dinner at Olive Garden. I like Olive Garden, although it is a bit pricy for semi-casual dining. One of the things I really like about Olive Garden is that they are willing to “share” their recipes on their website. I had the Chicken Marsala. It was the first time I’ve been disappointed with the food at Olive Garden. Maybe it’s just me, but when eating Chicken Marsala, you should be able to taste the Marsala wine and the chicken should be absolutely smothered in succulent mushrooms. That’s my opinion, for what it’s worth. Still craving Chicken Marsala, I went on line, got Olive Garden’s recipe and played around with it a bit until the dish was “just right”. Since then, we’ve had Chicken Marsala at home. Tonight is one of those heading to Italy if only in our dreams & the dinner table nights.
When you read the ingredients below, you’ll notice one ingredient that seems a little strange and out of place. I add a little of the brown gravy powdered mix to my sauce for two reasons – it acts as a thickening agent for the sauce and it give a nice flavor to the sauce. You can always skip it if you like.
Chicken Marsala Mema Style
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Tablespoons Oregano
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced Portobello or brown mushrooms
½ cup Marsala wine (more to taste)
¼ Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Tablespoon Brown Gravy Mix (the powder stuff)
Place chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with meat hammer until ¼ inch thick.
In a shallow dish combine flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
In a large skillet, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and lightly brown on both sides.
Add mushrooms. Pour in wine and chicken broth, cover and simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Taste and adjust sauce as needed – if too sweet, add small amount of Chicken Broth, if not sweet enough, add small amount of Marsala Wine. Remove chicken from the pan and transfer to a rimmed serving platter. Tent and keep warm.
Add Brown Gravy Mix and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes to allow sauce to reduce and thicken. Return chicken to the pan, roll to coat with sauce.
Place chicken on serving platter, spoon sauce over and around chicken and serve with roasted potatoes.
Italian Roasted Potatoes
2 lbs red bliss baby potatoes (or assorted baby potatoes including purple)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450-degrees.
Wash and dry potatoes. Cut into wedges and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss potatoes with oil and melted butter to coat. Season with garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper. Toss to blend.
Transfer seasoned potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 25-30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally for even roasting.
Once tender and nicely browned, transfer to serving platter and serve.