Last week, I was shocked and saddened to hear that the inventor of boxed wine, Australian winemaker Thomas Angrove, passed away at the tender age of 92. After playing a game of slap the bag to drown my sorrows, I thought about how to best honor his passing.
After all, this man was a visionary. He pioneered a way to bring wine to the masses in cheap and convenient packaging, even against criticism from his own family:
"His son, John Angrove, who has taken over the family business recalled his first reaction to his dad’s idea, calling it 'ridiculous' and saying 'nobody is going to buy wine out of a cardboard box and plastic bag.' "Luckily for us, Angrove decided to let the haters hate and watch the money pile up.
I decided to share with you my delicious recipe for Chicken Franzia. This recipe is EXACTLY the same type of recipe you would see for Chicken Marsala, and the taste is similar (though not quite as rich and heavy.)
It was born out of desperation one night when I had a hankering for Chicken Marsala but did not have the time or budget to run to the store to buy Marsala wine. So, I went to the next best thing: an old box of Franzia hanging out in the back of my fridge. Thanks, Thomas Angrove!
So pour out some Franzia in Mr. Angrove's honor, and for more reasons why Franzia is awesome, check out this hilarious link. Enjoy!
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp. garlic salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme. Or 2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves.
- 1/2 package sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup frozen peas. These are optional, but I think they add nice color and texture. No need to thaw beforehand, as they will thaw and cook in the sauce.
- 1/3 cup Franzia white wine. I am sure many Italian grandmothers would hit me with their rolling pins if they knew I was suggesting this instead of Marsala wine. But really, Franzia or any other white wine will do in a pinch.
- 1 tbsp. butter
Cut your chicken breast in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. This will help the chicken to cook faster and will even give you the impression you are eating more!
Cover the chicken breast halves with a piece of plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag. Then pound the meat flat with a meat mallet, rolling pin, heavy pan, or your forehead. You want them to have a uniform thickness of about 1/2 inch for even cooking.
Mix the flour, pepper, and 1 tsp. of the garlic salt in a plate or shallow pan to dredge the chicken breast halves. Cover both sides of both halves of the chicken completely and shake off the excess flour. The flour will give your chicken a nice golden crust and will help thicken the sauce!
Heat a sautee pan to medium high and melt your butter. Then put your chicken in. Don't move it around! Let it sear and develop a nice crust.
After a couple minutes, the side against the pan should be a lovely golden brown. Turn the chicken over, and add the sliced mushrooms to the pan around the chicken in an even layer. Drizzle the chicken and mushrooms will a little olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and remaining garlic salt.
Once the mushrooms have softened and browned after a minute or two, add the Franzia and peas to the pan. Let the mixture simmer at medium low until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is completely cooked through (should only take another couple minutes.)
Put the chicken on a plate, pour the sauce and mushrooms over the top, and enjoy. Viva la Franzia!