6:45 am: Rahul, fully dressed and ready for work, tries to get me out of bed. He uses a few different tactics over the next 20 minutes. A hug and some kisses (which never works, and only makes me more comfortable under my mountain of blankets), some pleading, “Please get out of bed?” “No.”, berating, “WHAT are you doing?” “Why can’t you just let me be happy?!”. A final kiss goodbye and he’s on his way. I get out of bed.
7:30 am: Teeth brushed, cup of tea in hand, I read the news for 10 minutes before spending 45 minutes on Facebook.
8:15 am: I’m driving to the gym and, because I’m too lazy to sort out the music situation in my car, I’m singing along to “Walking like an Egyptian” on the radio.
9:45 am: Favorite part of my day – grocery shopping. My local Trader Joes is out of frozen naan. I panic, a life without the pillowy bread flashes before my eyes. Wild eyed, I go to the cashier to make sure they’re just out of stock and not discontinuing the naan. They’re not. It’ll be back on shelves soon. Relieved that I don’t have to drive to every TJ’s in the state to buy up the last of their stock of frozen naan, I pay for my groceries and drive home, this time singing “Saturday night fever”.
12:00 pm: Lunch! I’ve been looking forward to leftovers from dinner all morning – chicken marsala with ribbons of parpadelle. The chicken is juicy. The mushrooms deeply flavored from being browned and simmered in marsala. The parpadelle is silky and perfect.
12:30 pm: I am very full.
12:45 pm: It’s time to study. But wait! I have a Facebook notification!
1:00 pm: Ok, now it’s really time to study. But first! I need some strong tea!
1:05 pm: And I’m studying.
5:00 pm: And I’m done studying. Forever. Or till tomorrow. Whichever comes first.
6:00 pm: I forage through the fridge to figure out dinner. Today’s menu is virtuous – chicken, kale sprouts and salad. I can’t help dreaming of the winey-buttery chicken marsala from last night.
7:00 pm: Rahul bursts through the door. Not out of a sense of urgency. Just because it’s his style.
- 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I prefer the thighs here)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3½ tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 4 large cloves garlic, grated or pushed through a garlic press
- 1 cup dry Marsala
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Pat chicken dry, cut in half, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil and half the butter over high heat and brown the chicken (in 2 batches if necessary). Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion, mushrooms and remaining butter to the hot pan, stir to coat with the fat and spread into a single layer. Cook till the mushrooms give off their liquid and start to brown.
- Once the mushrooms are well browned, add the garlic and cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the marsala and cook, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.
- If there is still a lot of liquid in the pan, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and simmer the mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about ½ cup. Add the chicken, and you're done.