Christmas Eve: Chicken Marsala & Chocolate Mousse

Did you know that Patrick proposed almost four years ago?! If you need a reminder, or you're a new blog reader, we took a spring trip to Asheville in 2012. He proposed at the Biltmore House and Gardens and after the proposal we visited the winery and purchased a few bottles of wine.

Now you're probably thinking I'm getting my holidays mixed up and that a proposal has nothing to do with a Christmas Eve dinner (as the post title has promised a Christmas Eve dinner featuring chicken marsala and chocolate mousse).

Well one of those purchased bottles of wine after the proposal was a Merlot and we saved it to drink at Christmas. Christmas 2012 was half way between our engagement weekend and our wedding (August 2013). It seemed fitting to have the wine then and I thought it fitting to have a bottle of Biltmore Merlot every Christmas thereafter. This Christmas we toasted our seventh Christmas together and drank our fourth bottle of Merlot (first bottle, second bottle, third bottle) on Christmas Eve.

Our menu featured chicken marsala served with rice and sauteed kale and instant chocolate mousse for dessert. Here's a printable google doc for everything. This was our first time making chicken marsala and we really liked it! Enjoy!

Martha Stewart's Chicken marsala
Serves 4
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied, pounded thin
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 C dry Marsala wine
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon (3 tbsp)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp chopped oregano
   Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large, shallow dish; set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Dredge chicken in flour, tapping off excess; set aside. Add 3 tbsp oil to skillet. When oil is shimmering, add chicken, and cook until lightly browned, about 3 min. Turn over, and cook 3 min more. Remove chicken to a plate; set aside and keep warm. Wipe skillet clean, if necessary.
   Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in skillet. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are dark golden brown and the liquid has evaporated, 5-7 min.
   Remove skillet from heat, and add wine. Return skillet to heat, scraping up any brown bits. Add garlic, lemon juice, butter, and oregano. Cook for 10 min until reduced and slightly thickened. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with oregano.

Sauteed kale
2 slices bacon
2 tbsp evoo
1 small onion, diced
Salt and pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
2 handfuls of kale, chopped
Apple cider vinegar
   Add bacon to a skillet set over medium heat. Once fat has rendered, add a little olive oil and cook onions until soft. Add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Then add kale. Cook until just barely wilted (and still bright green) and add to a serving bowl. Drizzle with a little cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar) to taste. Garnish with chopped bacon.

Nigella's Instant Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4-6
1 ½ cups marshmallows
½ stick soft butter
9 oz good bittersweet
  chocolate, chopped
¼ cup hot water
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
   Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a saucepan. Use low heat to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
   Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
   Pour into 4 glasses (about ¾ cup each) and chill.
   Serve with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

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