Some of my favorite things to eat and cook are not photogenic at all. For example, anything that is brown--a stew, a roast--is likely to appear a little less than appetizing in a photo.
A better photographer could make these things look delicious. But pictures have always been secondary to this blog. And my method for taking pictures is admittedly poor. Often I'm working with hot food which means there's a steam issue. Sometimes I'm contending with glare. I'm always racing against a grumbling stomach and an impatient husband if it's dinner time. By far, my best photos are of baked things that have long since cooled and I can take my time with.
This is all to say, this photo isn't great--it's too brown and shiny--but I still think it's beautiful because it tasted so delicious. It's Giada's chicken marsala with mustard and mascarpone.
Chicken and mushrooms in a brown sauce isn't exactly a knockout, but it's a winner in the taste department, which is all that really matters. Anything with marsala is luxurious. Add mascarpone and you've got a recipe that's cozy for two, but elegant enough for company.
I've made this a couple of times before, and while I recommend it, I do have a few edits. For one, I only add one tablespoon of mustard. Two, I brown the chicken pieces whole, since that's the way the recipe is printed in the cookbook. They usually take about 16-18 minutes. Three, I do not slice the chicken before returning it to the sauce. And four, while I have made it with the full amount of mascarpone, I think it would be equally good and perfectly creamy with less. I bet half would be just fine.
We enjoyed this lovely dish this the other night and looked forward to eating the leftovers for lunch the next day. But something distressing happened: somehow, we forgot to put the chicken in the fridge and it sat out overnight! The husband woke up and discovered it while he was putting on the coffee the next morning.
This may have been the one time I've been glad to live in a cold place. Our flat is usually around 60 degrees overnight, and while this isn't exactly the recommended food storage temperature, I decided the chicken had probably survived. I decided this mostly because I wanted to eat it again. Plus, I'm fortunate to have a nearly iron stomach. The husband was understandably dubious of my feeble assurances of, "It's probably fine," but he too had had dreams of chicken marsala lunch.
In the end, we ate the chicken, and lived to tell you about it. Literally.