Marry Me Chicken is a delectable and romantic dish that has garnered popularity for its rich flavors and the folklore surrounding its name. The dish’s name suggests it’s so impressively delicious that it could inspire a marriage proposal. While this is a charming piece of culinary folklore, the dish’s popularity really lies in its delicious taste and the delightful experience it offers to both the cook and the diner.
At its core, Marry Me Chicken is a creamy chicken dish. The recipe typically involves boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which are first seasoned, sometimes dredged in flour, and then browned to perfection. The browning process is crucial as it adds depth to the flavor and ensures a tantalizing texture.
The magic of this dish largely lies in its sauce — a creamy, rich mixture that typically includes heavy cream, grated Parmesan cheese, and often a chicken stock base. The sauce is flavored with minced garlic and a mix of herbs, such as Italian seasoning, which may include a blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. This creates a savory, aromatic profile that complements the chicken beautifully.
A key ingredient that adds a unique twist to Marry Me Chicken is sun-dried tomatoes. These tomatoes provide a slightly sweet, tangy contrast to the creamy sauce, enriching the overall flavor palette of the dish. Some variations of the recipe might also include red pepper flakes for a hint of spice, adding another layer to the already complex taste.
The dish is typically finished with fresh herbs like basil, adding a burst of freshness and color. Marry Me Chicken is not just about taste; it’s also about presentation. The final dish, with its golden-brown chicken smothered in a rich, creamy sauce, speckled with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs, is visually appealing and inviting.
Marry Me Chicken is versatile and can be served with various side dishes. It pairs wonderfully with pasta, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables, making it a well-rounded meal. The dish is celebrated for its ability to bring a touch of elegance to the dinner table, making it perfect for a romantic dinner, a special occasion, or a cozy family meal.
In summary, Marry Me Chicken stands out for its creamy, flavorful sauce, tender chicken, and the delightful combination of herbs and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s a dish that promises a memorable dining experience, whether it’s for a special occasion or a regular weeknight meal.
How To Make Marry Me Chicken
This recipe is notably straightforward and can be prepared in less than half an hour. It’s ideal for those times when you might not have planned a dinner date in detail but have the necessary ingredients at hand.
- Chicken Breast: Use chicken breasts sliced into cutlets. Cutlets cook evenly and quickly, making them ideal for this recipe.
- Flour, Salt, and Pepper: These are used for dredging the chicken, which helps create a golden, crispy crust.
- Olive Oil and Butter: The combination of these fats is used for browning the chicken, adding flavor to the dish. Optionally, you can use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes for an extra flavor boost.
- Garlic: Essential for adding depth and aroma to the dish.
- Chicken or Vegetable Stock: Chicken stock is preferred for its rich flavor, but vegetable stock can be a suitable alternative.
- Heavy Cream and Parmesan Cheese: These ingredients are crucial for creating a creamy, thick sauce. Lighter creams are not recommended as they may not thicken as well.
- Chili Flakes, Dried Oregano, and Thyme: These herbs add complexity and warmth to the flavor profile.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes: A key ingredient that gives the dish its distinctive taste.
- Fresh Basil Leaves: Used for garnishing and adding a fresh element to the dish.
- Prepare the Chicken: Dredge the chicken cutlets in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper, shaking off any excess.
- Cook the Chicken: Heat olive oil and butter in a pan and brown the chicken on both sides. Then set it aside on a plate.
- Make the Sauce: In the same pan, sauté garlic, then add chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Follow with heavy cream and Parmesan cheese, letting it simmer to thicken. Season with chili flakes, oregano, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine: Add sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce, then return the chicken to the pan, allowing it to simmer and absorb the flavors.
- Serve: Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened, garnish the dish with fresh basil. Marry Me Chicken is typically served over pasta or rice.
- Opt for Chicken Cutlets or Steaks: While chicken cutlets or steaks are readily available in most supermarkets, you can also create your own by slicing a chicken breast in half horizontally. This ensures even cooking and a better absorption of flavors. It’s a simple technique that can make a big difference in the dish.
- Flavor Boost with Sun-Dried Tomato Oil: When sautéing the garlic, consider adding a bit of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. This oil is often infused with the essence of the tomatoes and can add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.
- Choosing the Right Cream: It’s important to use heavy cream in this recipe as single or light creams won’t thicken the sauce sufficiently. The fat content in heavy cream contributes to the rich, velvety texture of the sauce, which is a signature characteristic of Marry Me Chicken.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese: For the best results, buy a block of Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself. Pre-grated cheeses often contain anti-caking agents that can affect how it melts and incorporates into sauces. Freshly grated Parmesan will provide a more authentic flavor and smoother texture to the sauce.
- Be Mindful of Cheese Quality: Additionally, the quality of Parmesan cheese can vary significantly. Store-bought pre-grated Parmesan might lack the depth of flavor found in a freshly grated block of high-quality Parmesan. The difference in taste can significantly impact the final flavor of your dish.
- Use a Sealed Container: After the chicken has cooled down, place it in an airtight container. This will prevent it from absorbing any odors from the fridge and maintain its freshness.
- Refrigeration Duration: Marry Me Chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s important not to keep it longer than this to ensure the chicken remains safe to eat and retains its quality.
- Method of Reheating: You can reheat Marry Me Chicken either in the microwave or in the oven. The method you choose may depend on your convenience and the amount you are reheating.
- In the Microwave: Place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and cover it loosely. This helps to retain moisture. Microwave it on medium power, checking and stirring the sauce occasionally to ensure even heating.
- In the Oven: Preheat your oven to a moderate temperature, around 325°F (165°C). Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish, and cover it with aluminum foil to prevent the chicken from drying out. Heat it until it’s thoroughly warm, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the oven.
- Adding Water: The sauce tends to thicken when refrigerated. To bring back its creamy consistency, add a splash of water before reheating. This helps to thin out the sauce, restoring its original texture.
- Avoiding Freezing: It is generally not recommended to freeze Marry Me Chicken. Creamy sauces can change texture when frozen, often becoming grainy and separating upon thawing. If you do choose to freeze it, be aware that the sauce may not have the same smooth consistency when reheated.
By following these storing and reheating tips, you can enjoy your Marry Me Chicken leftovers while preserving their flavor and texture as close to the original as possible.
Full Detailed Recipe For 6:
- Chicken Breasts: Use 3 large, boneless and skinless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise into thin cutlets. This ensures even cooking and better sauce coverage.
- Seasoning: ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper for seasoning the chicken.
- Flour: 6 tablespoons (50 grams) for dredging the chicken, giving it a nice crust.
- Fats for Cooking: 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil and an equal amount of unsalted butter for frying.
- Garlic: 3 cloves, minced, to infuse the sauce with a rich aroma.
- Liquids for Sauce: 1 cup (240 ml) each of chicken stock and heavy cream (double cream in the UK) for the base of the sauce.
- Cheese: ½ cup (43 grams) of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a rich flavor.
- Herbs and Spices: 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, ¼ teaspoon each of oregano and thyme for seasoning.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes: ⅓ cup, chopped, adding a unique sweetness and tang.
- Fresh Basil Leaves: 1 tablespoon, chopped, for garnish.
- Preparation: Season and dredge the chicken in flour.
- Cooking Chicken: Brown the chicken in a mixture of olive oil and butter, then set aside.
- Making Sauce: Sauté garlic, add chicken stock for deglazing, followed by heavy cream and Parmesan. Season with herbs.
- Combining: Add the chicken back into the sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, and let it simmer.
- Garnishing: Finish with fresh basil and serve over a bed of pasta or rice.
- Chicken Cutlets: These can be bought or made by slicing chicken breasts in half. For an even thickness, pound them down if necessary.
- Alternative Meat: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be substituted but may require longer cooking.
- Sundried Tomato Oil: Use a bit of this oil while sautéing garlic for an extra flavor kick.
- Cream Choice: Avoid using half and half or single cream as these don’t thicken the sauce adequately.
- Cheese Quality: Freshly grating a block of Parmesan is recommended for better flavor and texture in the sauce.
The quantities listed in the Marry Me Chicken recipe are designed to serve approximately six people. This makes it a convenient option for family meals or small gatherings, ensuring everyone can enjoy this delicious dish.
This recipe balances the richness of cream and Parmesan with the tanginess of sun-dried tomatoes and the aromatic flavors of herbs and garlic, creating a dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated. Remember, the key to a great Marry Me Chicken is in the details: the quality of your ingredients, the browning of the chicken, and the simmering of the sauce to the right consistency. Enjoy your cooking!