Veal or Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Tomato for 100
A good quality imported Marsala costs a few dollars more per bottle, but makes a big difference in the quality of the finished dish. The chicken and sauce can be prepared ahead, refrigerated or frozen, and combined day of for cooking. Thaw frozen items in the refrigerator,and do not re-freeze leftovers.
16 pounds sliced mushrooms
36 pounds boneless chicken breast or leg of veal, cut 1/4" thick
1 quart lemon juice
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper (white for chicken)
about 5 cups flour
1 quart onion, minced or shallot; OR 8 pounds frozen pearl onions
OPTIONAL 16 cloves garlic, crushed
1 gallon imported dry Marsala (using Marsala alone will result in a very sweet sauce. By “tempering” the wine, using about 1/4 dry white wine, you take the edge off of the sweetness but still maintain the flavor of the Marsala. That would be 4 bottles of Marsala, 1 of dry white wine. Info on dry white wine in notes below.)
1 gallon broth (beef for veal, chicken for chicken), preferably unsalted
6 quarts tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups oil, divided (light olive traditional)
6 cups butter, divided
1/3 cup tarragon leaves, crushed (may also use fresh basil or oregano)
OPTIONAL minced parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees if cooking the same day. Coat baking pans with non-stick spray; you need enough pans to lay the chicken out in a single layer, barely overlapping.
Rinse and pat dry sliced mushrooms; set aside.
Pound chicken or veal pieces between 2 pieces waxed paper until thin (about 1/2 the starting thickness). Combine lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Dip both sides of the meat. Dredge meat with flour, carefully shaking off excess.
In large skillets, heat 2 cups of the oil and 2 cups of the butter until hot but not smoking. Cook the floured cutlets in a single layer without crowding the pan, over moderate heat, until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Add additional oil and butter to skillet as needed, reserving the last 2 cups of butter to use on the veggies after all the meat is browned.
Place the browned pieces in shallow ovenproof casseroles. OR, if preparing ahead, flash freeze the browned meat on cookie sheets, bag in freezer bags and day before remove to refrigerator to thaw.
Put the remaining butter in the pan. To the hot butter/oil, stir in reserved mushrooms and onions or shallots; saute' until golden. Remove mushrooms and onions to a bowl.
Stir marsala/wine and broth into the pan; bring to the boiling point. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring to loosen particles on bottom of pan. For finest flavor, reduce volume 1/4 to 1/2- this takes a while (half hour).
Add tomatoes, tarragon and reserved mushroom mixture; simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat; season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
To serve immediately, pour sauce over meat in the pre-greased baking pans. To freeze the sauce, freeze in baggies, about 4 cups per gallon bag.
When ready to bake, pour sauce over meat. Cover. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
To serve, arrange meat down center of hot serving platter. Spoon sauce over meat. Garnish with minced parsley, if desired.
Omit tomatoes, add grated fresh ginger and garlic
Yield: 100 portions
A note about dry white wine:
A dry white is a wine with residual sugar lower than 1 percent.
Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and dry champagne or prosecco would all work fine. Riesling and Sauternes would generally be too sweet, chardonnay (especially oaky) too heavy.
If you need to select a white for another dish, ask yourself what is the type of sauce? Is the sauce butter/cream and fairly heavy or rich? Use a chardonnay. If it is very heavy, use a chardonnay aged in oak. Is the sauce light and fresh? If it is light and herby, use a sauvignon blanc, if it is light and fruity, fume blanc or pinot gris.
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If you have any extra, you can freeze it in ice cube trays, pop out and keep in a baggie in the freezer for future use.