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Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala, Soul Connections, Audrey Hepburn, Paul Desmond, Henry Mancini & Elgar

Updated: May 5


Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala. Marvel at the beautiful people (past and present) in your life, pop a bottle of wine, and revel in your own "Breakfast at Tiffany's" sophistication.


Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala Slideshow.




Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala, Soul Mates, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, Audrey Hepburn, Paul Desmond, Henry Mancini & Elgar

When I was in my twenties, like most young girls, I would chatter excitedly amongst my girlfriends and discuss the idea of “soulmates.” As I reminisce, it truly was the blind leading the blind, (bwahaha!), all of us attempting to reconcile our wants and needs with the harsh realities around us. Some believed in soulmates, would tell me why they their partner was their one and only true love and we would all giddily laugh and scream at the potential of their karmic union.


Belying my silly demeanor (which I continue to relish), I still questioned whether or not this presence could be real. (I'm pretty logical deep down...) Some of those girls continued on with their partnered soulmates but the majority moved on. There was a younger part of me that believed or wanted to believe in the idea, but honestly, my heart was bruised too many times to believe that “magic” could be sustainable in the longterm in conjunction with the overwhelming responsibilities of reality. (I know. I should sound like a romantic, dreamy musician but we’re the ones with the most wacky, hence weathered, personal lives).


True to my Myers Briggs type which says I’m a simultaneous dreamer and intellectual (wonderful... aren't those diametrically at odds?), my conclusion is this. Yes. I do believe in soul mates. Some situations and circumstances are too eerily coincidental and beautiful to ignore the magic of happenstance. I also believe that we have multiple soul mates (not necessarily romantic), in different iterations, as we move through life. (Yes!) They love us, challenge us, break us down, build us up, shelter us in our most vulnerable and ugly seasons, bringing out our best character traits because of their presence, whether it was for a short time or for a lifetime. I have friends I’ve known since childhood and friends I’ve know for a few short years (a lifetime in entertainment). I cannot deny that with some, there is a spark, a knowing that this person will shelter me and I will shelter them… a glorious possibility in our uncertain world. I hope when you feel it, you do not ignore it and hopefully, whatever optimistic and fragile desires you may have, it can be cajoled into something beautiful (and vice versa).


I think too many people box themselves into a rigid belief of soul mates. When the relationship ends, it crushes their ability to see the possibilities in new beginnings. Soul mates are gifts but just as important, is taking the time to water and tend to the relationship. Here’s to whatever phase your relationship is in.


Soul Mates

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/18-signs-youve-found-your-soulmate.html


Here’s a lovely article on the types of soul connection you may feel. I’ve encountered many of these types over the years and am truly grateful (including the difficult ones). Here’s to recognizing the possibility of connection.


Soul Connection

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22169/you-have-4-kinds-of-soul-mates-heres-how-to-recognize-each-one.html


If you don’t believe in happenstance and quiet admiration, check out this magical tale. In 1954, Audrey Hepburn was starring in “Ondine” at the 46th St. theatre while the Brubeck quartet was playing a few blocks away. Every night, Paul Desmond would ask to call intermission at the same time. He would duck out, head to the theatre and watch Hepburn enter into her limo but would never speak to her. Desmond, the original saxophonist of the “Dave Brubeck Quartet” wrote a song for Audrey Hepburn. Upon his death, they found out she played it every night before going to bed. He never knew she heard it. Aww!



An article on Paul Desmond in “Rifftides” and the original “Audrey” note for note.

https://www.artsjournal.com/rifftides/2015/05/paul-desmond-38-years.html


How could I not mention Audrey Hepburn without “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?” Btw, while girls would stare at jewelry in Beverly Hills, when moments were tough, I’d stare at the Hollywood sign for hours… dreaming, hoping and willing myself to have the continued strength for possibility. Here’s to your possibilities.


“Breakfast at Tiffany’s" Opening Scene - HQ


Because a good song can stand alone, stripped.


“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Moon River,” Sung by Audrey Hepburn


Finally, here’s Elgar’s “Salut d’Amour.” I feel like I’m giving you the “Bridgerton” version of a cellist. Enjoy the music (and eye candy)! Btw, his pianist, LoLa Astanova is amazing, too. Don’t let their packaging bely their musical prowess.


Hauser - Salut d’Amour, Op. 12


Thanks for reading! I hope this made you laugh, smile, sparkle a bit, and emerge with a bit more joy and possibility. If there’s music or an idea you’d like for me to discuss, please contact me. Have a great week! Xo, Melissa





Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala


Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala

This slow cooker version is extremely decadent with the enrichment of mascarpone cheese. It’s perfect for Hump Day or the weekend since it’s such a comforting, rich meal with little effort.

Here’s the original link: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/chicken-marsala.html


Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Dennis Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).


Ingredients

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 6 oz.

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 Tbs. olive oil

4 shallots, minced

1/4 lb. pancetta, diced

2 1/4 cups Marsala

1 cup chicken broth

2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 lb. cremini or button mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed and caps cut into slices 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup mascarpone

3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives


Directions

1. On a plate, stir together the flour, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. One at a time, turn the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, gently shaking off the excess.


2. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 1/2 Tbs. of the butter with 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the shallots and pancetta to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the Marsala, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the wine is reduced and thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the broth and oregano and return to a boil.


4. Stovetop method: Transfer the chicken to a large Dutch oven and add the Marsala mixture. Cover the pot, set over low heat and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout and very tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over high heat, melt the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. butter with the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the edges begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone, bring to a boil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the mushroom mixture and the remaining 1/4 cup Marsala to the Dutch oven. Cover and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes more.


5. Slow-cooker method: Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker and add the Marsala mixture. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until the chicken is opaque throughout and very tender, about 2 1/2 hours on high or 5 hours on low. About 30 minutes before the chicken is done, in a large fry pan over high heat, melt the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. butter with the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the edges begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone, bring to a boil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the mushroom mixture and the remaining 1/4 cup Marsala to the slow cooker. Cover and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes more.


Spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the chicken, garnish with the chives and serve immediately. Serves 6.


Thanks for reading! Hope this brightened your day (and hopefully provide some creativity). Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa


#slowcookerchickenmarsala, #soulmates, #breakfastatTiffanys, @audreyhepburn, @pauldesmond, @davebrubeck, @hauser, @yo-yoma, @lola


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