Marsala Massacre

Riddle me this: what do you call Chicken Marsala that doesn’t include any Marsala?

This was my dilemma last weekend when, halfway into the cooking process, I discovered a distinct lack of Marsala wine in the apartment. (I had also run out of mushrooms, but that’s another issue.)

During my extensive search for a substitute alcohol, I retrieved a tall blue bottle from the back of the pantry that had long since faded from memory. The liquid, dubbed Attitude III, was described on the bottle as “Blueberry Wine with grape spirits added.” Hmmmmmm…

I tried a little and, tasting a slight resemblance to the sweetness of Marsala and port wines, decided to throw it in. I almost immediately regretted my decision as strange, blueberry fumes rose from the pan. In a desperate attempt to save the sauce, I grabbed some refrigerated chardonnay and poured in a healthy splash.

Then, as a final cover-up, I doubled the amount of lemon juice I normally add. If there was going to be an edge to it, I thought it better to err on the side of citrus.

The result? Surprisingly, not bad.

Although it took a bite or two to get used to the less-familiar taste, the wife and I both enjoyed the experiment.

I can’t say it was the best meal I’ve ever had, but I can’t say it was the worst either. It was just a happy accident… but one I hope not to repeat anytime soon.


4 responses to “Marsala Massacre

  1. “I almost immediately regretted my decision as strange, blueberry fumes rose from the pan.”


    I’m glad to hear it wasn’t a total disaster, but blueberry with pretty much anything other than pancakes sounds awful to me. 🙂

  2. Had the same thing happen not too long ago (wanted Chicken Marsala, had no Marsala wine). Used a tawny port instead, and it actually turned out halfway decent. Then again, it’s not as much of a stretch going from Marsala to port as it would be going from Marsala to blueberry wine. 🙂

  3. I can understand how the port worked out a little better. If I had to quantify, I’d call my experiment “thirdway” decent. 🙂

  4. Pingback: A Slight Delay » Blog Archive » Culinary Disasters

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