Karen McCleave: Ontario Resident and Avid Cook Shares her Favourite Winter Recipe

by Editorial Team | December 23rd, 2020 | Cooking Basics

Although we are advised not to gather with friends and family outside of our residences in this challenging COVID time, we can still cook up a storm when there is one outside!
Whether it’s curling up on the sofa to binge watch Netflix shows, decorating the house with festive items, connecting over a ZOOM happy hour or conjuring up something wonderful in the kitchen, now more than ever, we need all the happiness we can get!  It may be chilly outside, but embrace your warm kitchen and fill the air with the aroma of a home cooked meal.
Instead of takeout, consider making something scrumptious to not only fill the stomach, but nurture the soul on dark winter nights.
To help with meal ideas is Karen McCleave.  Along with her board appointments and community volunteer work, Karen is passionate about cooking and enjoys spending time exploring new recipes. We all have a few “tried and true” dishes to which we keep returning. Here is one from Karen to supplement your winter menu, and fuel you through those cold months ahead, feeling happily satiated.
“Winter is one of my favorite times of year to cook and hopefully I can help make it tastier for you”, encourages Karen.


This is a delicious protein dish that gets better overnight, so it can be a “make ahead” special dish or one to ensure the work week begins with leftovers to actually anticipate.

Make sure to use the Marsala, a sweet wine from Italy. It imparts special flavour!  If you can’t find it, try Madeira.

6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
½ cup milk
¼ cup flour 
1 ½ tsps Kosher salt
1 tsp ground pepper
4 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps butter
1 small red or green pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, chopped, about ½ cup, or more as suits
½ lb small mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 cup Marsala wine
1 envelope instant chicken broth
1 lemon, sliced thinly
How to:

  1. Flatten the chicken breasts between sheets of waxed/parchment paper with mallet or rolling pin
  2. Combine milk and egg in dish; combine flour/salt/pepper in another
  3. Dip chicken into egg and then flour mixture to evenly coat
  4. Refrigerate for an hour or two
  5. Heat oil and butter on medium heat; brown chicken on both sides; remove to platter
  6. Sauté the pepper, onion, mushrooms and garlic in same pan until softened; remove to platter
  7. Add Marsala and broth to pan; boil, uncovered, for ten minutes to reduce liquid
  8. Return chicken and vegetables to pan and heat to complete cooking
  9. Top with lemon slices

With the main course in the oven, there’s only one more thing to do: prepare side dishes that pair well with the chicken marsala.  Karen McCleave suggests complementing it with a salad and noodles or rice. 
Bon appetit! 

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