Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rustic Chicken Marsala Bake and Rocker Chick

For Father's Day this year, I decided to ditch the usual golf gifts for my husband and treated him to concert tickets to two of his favorite bands;  Styx and Boston.  They happen to both be playing the same venue and night in Denver which resulted in the best date night ever!

I am a girl of the 70's and 80's.  I grew up with big hair bands, big speakers and a lot of rock'n roll! My very first concert was Motley Crue in San Diego when I was 14 years old...I remember it like it was yesterday. Watching Tommy Lee spinning around with his entire drum stage like a roller coaster (while playing a solo set) was like nothing this small town Alaska girl had ever seen!  Super Cool!!

My husband and I had an abosolute blast watching both bands and I got to release my inner rocker chick once again (yes, even at 50 years old)!  Both bands were like listening to them as if time had never passed...awesome, just awesome and so much fun!  Pure talent from both bands and a show that we will cherish for a very long time.

Many years ago I had a friend I worked with who was an avid concert goer in the L.A. scene.  She and her guy friend started collecting memorabelia at the concerts they attended;  drumsticks, pics, song set lists, etc.  They would just go up to the stage after the concert and get whatever they could find, then go home and make a CD of songs (pre iTunes days) that were played during the concert.

She got me started on doing the same thing and we now have a collection of souvenirs as well.  I tried my hand at getting the set lists for both bands that night but struck out...however, I chatted it up with one of Boston's roadies and he was nice enough to hand over both bands' itinerary for that day.  Well, it's not a set list, but it's something for us to remember the most amazing night ever!

Another favorite of my husband's is Chicken Marsala. He absolutely loves this dish.  In the past I have made him Mushroom Marsala Ravioli and Steak Marsala.  This time I thought I would try out a new version of Chicken Marsala...I stumbled on the recipe in Pinterest, of course and now it's one of our go-to favorite casserole dishes.

Rustic Chicken Marsala Bake
Adapted from of

*These portions below make an 8"x8" baking dish - I doubled this recipe for a 9x11 baking dish.

1/2 pound penne pasta, boiled to al dente and drained
2 Tbl. olive oil
6 Tbl. butter
3 Tbl. flour
1 cup Marsala wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half (or heavy whipping cream)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
1 chicken breast, cut in half, grilled and sliced
4 ounces of pancetta, diced (or small cubes)
12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely minced

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8x8 square (or 8x10 oval) baking dish with non-stick spray.  Cook pasta as directed and drain.

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, add pancetta and cook until slightly crispy on both sides.  Add mushrooms and garlic, cook until mushrooms are tender.  Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour.  Gradually stir in Marsala wine and boil for 2-3 minutes to cook out the alcohol.  Slowly stir in chicken broth.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; remove from heat.  Stir in half-and-half, grated cheese, chicken, pancetta and mushrooms.

In a large bowl, add pasta and chicken mixture together; toss gently to mix well.  Spoon into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese.  Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until hot in the center and to is slightly golden.

**You may also broil the top with the oven on low for 3-5 minutes.

Enjoy and Rock On!!

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