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I'm a London-based food writer, stylist and author. Click here to see more about me and my work

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Chicken marsala and mushroom stew

Okay, I know its been a while since I’ve posted. But I have plenty of good excuses. We bought a pug puppy, who is a gorgeous, google-eyed, bundle of fat, named ‘Doug’. Its been five weeks since we picked him up but it still feels like a hurricane has come crashed our home. Even though there are four of us taking care of him, we’re all shattered. Having raised two children already, I swear that was easier because at least babies can wear nappies. Doug hasn’t made the connection yet that you can’t just pee or poo whenever the urge takes you. He covertly finds many dark corners to ‘leave us gifts’. Its a good thing he’s so unbelievably cute and squishy because that makes up for a lot. My freelance work has also been crazy busy. A massive onslaught of food styling and recipe writing has left me with zero time to write posts. So nuf said!

This is one of my favorite stews from ‘Meals in heels’. Not only incredibly simple to make, it has bags of winter cosiness. Its sort of a riff on the classic veal marsala but there isn’t any pounding or unethical meat involved. Marsala is a fortified wine similar to sherry and Madeira, but much sweeter. Produced on a small island off the coast of Sicily, its raisin-like taste is brilliant with meats or stews. Boneless chicken thighs work better here than breasts. Their dark lovely meat stays juicy and tender while braising. Serve it with mashed potato or egg tagliatelle with butter for the perfect cold weather food.

chicken marsala stew
prep time 20 minutes cook time 40 minutes
serves 6

900 g (2 lb) skinless chicken thigh fillets, fat trimmed and halved
plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large French shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
400 g (14 oz) chestnut or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
250 ml (9 oz/1 cup) Marsala
400 ml (14 fl oz) beef stock
chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the chicken, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until browned. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic and rosemary to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5–6 minutes or until the shallot is softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the tomato paste, Marsala, stock and chicken, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Scatter over lots of parsley to serve.

This is my new little friend!

Recipe, food and prop styling Jennifer Joyce Photos Mowie Kay


  1. Kimberley says:

    Oh, chicken marsala! I kind of forgot about this lovely classic. The photos are mouth-wateringly gorgeous.

  2. I love using big meaty portabella mushrooms in stew… I find they hold up better than the white buttons.
    Doug! What a cute little guy!
    - Brittany

  3. That sounds incredibly delicious! Great photos!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  4. jo says:

    Your new little friend is so every adorable. Not forgetting the stew looks delicious and clicks are fab!

  5. Jun says:

    Looks perfect at my dinner table… What a cute pug you have there!

  6. What great picture and recipe!

  7. This is exactly what winter is made for, so we can have your delicious stew !! congrats

  8. Julie says:

    Yum! Can I make this in my socks? looks like great midwinter comfort food to me!

  9. Rosemary says:

    Just found you today via Food News Journal. So glad I did. I want your book; in the meantime, I have the blog. (And I love chicken marsala.)

  10. mealsinheels says:

    Hi rosemary, glad you like the blog. The book is on amazon in the US and has American measurements!

  11. Mike says:

    Just visited for the 1st time and will be back, but had to say how adorable your new little friend is.

  12. Anne says:

    Made this tonight. I could spend all night eating those mushrooms.

  13. That chicken and mushroom stew is looking really good!

  14. Ann says:

    Made this just before Christmas…a real winner, really delicious!

  15. mealsinheels says:

    Thanks that’s one of my favorites as well.

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