Counterfeit Veal

A chicken in every pot, that was Herbert Hoover’s campaign promise. He would bail the country out of the Depression and return it to prosperity. Only the rich ate chicken then. Diners complained restaurants served counterfeit chicken, veal. It’s hard to believe that every grocery store’s loss leader today was once synonymous with luxury.

Today’s factory farming has changed all that. Every month or two, somebody practically gives away whole body fryers just to get you in their store. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts sell for less than ground beef, and offer a palette to sketch a gallery of gourmet delights.

Bake them. Broil them. Barbecue them. Treat chickens as if they were still expensive and they will taste like they still are. Give up deep-fried and chicken-fried. Take a step beyond fast food, for a grown-up taste sensation.

There are millions of ways to cook chicken. Whole books are written with nothing but chicken recipes. Google “chicken recipes” and you get thirteen million responses. Chicken teams with almost anything. Recipes vary in what you put on it, what you put in it, and how you cook it. Try some of the great poultry recipes offered in The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook. Later you can branch out into those thirteen million recipe web sites. The rewards are worth the effort.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are many a cook’s favorite parts. They offer a blank slate, the beginning of many a culinary masterpiece. You can fry them, bake them, or broil them. They show up in soups, salads, and spaghettis. You can even counterfeit veal with them. It’s only fair since veal was used to counterfeit chicken not long ago. Many great boneless skinless chicken recipes are adapted from veal dishes.

Chicken Marsala

There are so veal recipes that work great with boneless skinless chicken breasts, but Chicken Marsala is a personal favorite. Chicken Marsala presents the rich flavor of sauteed onions blended with the taste of two sweet wines. Whether it’s an intimate dinner for two or for four: I hope you enjoy chicken Marsala as much as I have.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts


Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 onion –sliced

2 cloves of garlic — crushed

1/4 cup Chablis

1/2 cup Marsala

Flatten the chicken breasts to 1/4″ thickness. Cover them with wax paper and beat them with a meat mallet. No mallet? Use a rolling pin. No rolling pin? A 750 ml wine bottle will do. Sprinkle both sides of each breast with flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic in a large frying pan in a little olive oil. Cook until the onion is clear-not brown. Remove the mixture from the pan and deglaze with the Chablis. Pour it over the onion and garlic.

Reheat the pan and add a little more olive oil. Saute the breasts and cook until just done-about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 on the second. Remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate. Deglaze the pan with Marsala and return the onion/garlic/Chablis mixture to the pan. Cook to reduce the wine a little, then pour over the chicken and serve.