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.