Chicken Marsala – for “one of those days”

Ah, nothing like sitting down in the morning with a cup of French Roast Peet’s coffee, ready to catch up on what your blogging friends are doing when you’re suddenly hit with the smell of burning plastic and smoke billowing out of your laundry room.  Yes, you know you’re going to have a day.  Maybe not the day you’d planned or hoped for, but certainly a day.

I should have known that something wasn’t right when I shifted the water lever on the wall over to turn the water on and it moved a little too easily.  Hmm, it normally gives a little resistance but who am I to complain when it slides over without any effort?  So, load up the washer with a batch of towels and push the start button.  I did wonder if the lever might not have turned the water on so I waited until I heard water going into the washer and went back to my coffee… until the smell hit me, and then the smoke, and a grinding kind of noise… time for action:

#1 – shut the water lever to the off position (notice the panel on the washer shows a code of ‘nF’ (huh?)
#2 – hit the off button on the washer (oh, so you don’t want to shut down?  Fine!)
#3 – pull the plug
#4 – open the window & doors
#5 – consider calling husband to say I just burnt up the washing machine
#6 – reconsider and using bad language, get the owner’s manual out

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to find out what the “secret code” is for this washer.  The display is 2 characters but I didn’t know that the first time I got a code of “DO”.  I stood there waiting for the rest of the secret code to scroll across the screen assuming that it was going to tell me exactly what to “DO”.  As it turned out, I was supposed to realize that it meant Door Open…okay, got it, the door wasn’t fully closed but it took me a while to figure that out.  So although I kind of remember long ago looking in the manual for what the codes meant, and discovering that in the 46 pages (ok only 13 pages in English), I still went back to it to see if the secret codes had magically appeared.

No, they had not.  However, I did find all sorts of extremely useful tips like:

– Install the washer on a floor that can support the weight – I guess you find that out when your new washer lands in the basement.
– Do not allow children to play around or IN (YES IN) the appliance  – kids don’t do well on the spin cycle
– Of course – Do NOT sit on the washer
– Here’s a good one for all of you cooks out there – Do not wash or dry items that are soiled with vegetable or cooking oil.  These items may contain some oil after laundering.  Due to the remaining oil, the fabric may smoke or catch fire by itself.  Don’t say I haven’t warned you if you spontaneously combust!
– My favorite though:  Do not add gasoline or explosive substances to the wash water.  I’d like a show of hands please…how many of you out there have added gasoline to your laundry?  If yes, please tell me why.

So forget about that secret code of “nF” – maybe non-functioning although the capital F makes me think of something else.  I ended up telling my husband what he had to come home to and of course got the standard “I’ll take a look at it when I get home” response.  That’s ok, I’m used to it.  He’ll take a look at it and decide that we need to call a plumber.  This is the situation as of now…

IMG_1555

That’s not a pretty picture and I think this one makes me feel much better:

chicken piccata2

When your day starts with almost burning the house down, it’s definitely a day that needs a quick and easy dinner.  There is nothing faster, easier, or more tasty than this Chicken Marsala recipe and a huge benefit is that you get to take the mallet and pound that chicken into giving you the ‘secret code’.  (My chicken however decided not to give it up).

CHICKEN MARSALA

4          Chicken boneless chicken breast, thin sliced or pounded
¼         Cup flour
½         teas Salt, pepper to salt
½         teas Oregano
4          Tbsp Oil
4          Tbsp Butter
½         Cup Marsala wine
Optional:  mushrooms and/or capers

Pound chicken breasts between sheets of Saran Wrap

  • On plate, combine flour, salt, pepper & oregano
  • Dredge chicken in flour, shake off excess
  • Heat oil & butter in large frying pan over medium heat
  • Saute chicken on medium high heat until lightly brown (just a few minutes each side)
  • Add mushrooms/capers around chicken & cook a few more minutes
  • Pour wine over chicken & cover, simmering for about 10 minutes or until chicken is not longer pink.
  • If more sauce is needed, additional sherry can be added or canned chicken broth.  Just before serving, baby spinach leaves may be added
  • Serve over buttered noodles

 

Advertisements

33 thoughts on “Chicken Marsala – for “one of those days”

  1. One time I destroyed my person’s washer when she left me home alone during a thunderstorm. I hope you get yours fixed. But I’ll be over for chicken either way.

    Like

    • Thunderstorms are very scary things. Unfortunately washing machines are collateral damage (just like doors, chairs, rugs,etc.). When we have chicken here, everybody gets some…come on over and I won’t put capers on yours. Now I’ve got to get over to your site to see where you’ve been. Since I’ve not been getting notifications I’m guessing that WordPress dropped me again – I hear a few people have been losing their followers.

      Like

      • I still have the numbers on followers but I wonder how many of them actually get notified of my posts. Anyway, I’m on my way to your house for chicken.

        Like

  2. Hi Diane. I am pretty confident ‘nF’ stands for ‘now FUCKED!!’ What really gives me the shits with these things is quite often it is not worthwhile to repair them. Often the repair bill costs nearly as much as a new one so we go with the new one. We live in such a throwaway society. If you have to get a new one, and it is a front end loader, get your hubby to take out the glass door. They make great heat proof bowls. I am also told on good authority that the tubs make good containers for an outdoor fire. :).

    ‘Always look on the bright side of life, da… dum… Da… dum…’

    Like

    • I knew you would know what the code was! As it turns out, I’d just gotten the latest Consumer Reports magazine which said that the average cost of new washers is $1,600. After looking at their top 5 picks, I read the actual customer reviews…not good; lots of leaks, severe vibration problems, burnt out memory boards. Not what you want to hear for those prices. My other problem is that they’re making them bigger, and I’ve got just barely the clearance I need now. I know what you mean about those repair bills though. We’ll have to see what the story is once we get that water valve checked out…hey, I could get lucky.

      Like

  3. Hmm.. I do not watch wash often but I am pretty sure gasoline is off the table…
    I hope your washing machine gets fixed or replaced asap, you do not need more days like that!
    Love the look of this chicken, my brother really wants to try it 😛

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Like

    • Well CCU I’m glad that I’m not the only one who wouldn’t be mixing gasoline in with my laundry. For the life of me I just can’t figure out who would have tried that, prompting them to put a warning in the manual.
      I hope your brother gets a chance to try the chicken because it really is delicious.

      Like

  4. Aren’t manual such a hoot sometimes – they must think we are completely brain dead! Oh Diane, I do hope your washer is sorted soon – I was just saying to my sister-in-law yesterday the worst thing to be without is a washing machine – hers is also being problematic at the moment.
    Your chicken marsala sounds fabulous!
    Have a wonderful weekend and what a pity I can’t offer to do your washing for you.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Like

    • After going through the manuals for all the new appliances in the kitchen, I guess I wasn’t expecting to find much helpful info in the washer manual. At least they’re good for a laugh but it scares me when I think of why they pit those warnings in there…do people really?
      I agree about not having a washing machine and was without for a couple months while we were re-doing the kitchen because the floor tiles continue from the kitchen, down the back hall, and into the laundry/half bath.

      Like

    • But the bad news is the average price is $1,600…and they’re making them bigger which is a problem because I’ve got just enough room now. I’m hoping that the washer fairy will come tonight and fix it.

      Like

    • Omg! I LOVE that one. I might seem intuitive but I’ve seen some kids dirty enough that you might want to just take the entire package and dump it in.
      Chickens can be real dumb clucks when you’re looking for information.

      Like

    • I couldn’t agree with you more about the restorative effects of good food. And, the good news is that my husband figured out that it was the water valve causing the problem. Not enough water was going in so when the pump tried to pump out the water (that wasn’t there) it started to smoke. Thankfully I didn’t actually burn it out – just sort of stressed it – and it’s working now! Good all around.

      Like

  5. $1,600? That’s bS (you know what that code means). You can get a nice front loader for half that price — delivered! For the record, I’ve added some acetone to the laundry just for the hell of it. (I figured if soap removes stains, nail polish remover should do even better.) Also, I place my children and pets in our front load dryer all the time. It makes for great entertainment when nothing is on TV.

    Like

  6. You know I think you don’t need any more than 2 letters for a good code. But OMG! You put more than one kid in at the same time? Don’t you know how dangerous that is – why you NEVER put more than one in, maybe two for balance.
    I’m still curious though about this cooking oil on your clothes claim – I know I’ve splattered myself but I just haven’t spontaneously combusted….yet.

    Like

  7. I’m happy to know that your washer was just stressed out and not burned out. Your marsala dinner along with a glass of wine would take the stress out of any day. 🙂

    Like

    • I love that… Stressed out, not burned out and you don’t know how happy I am! There wasn’t anything new that would match the dryer and they’re in the downstairs bath so I couldn’t very well have non matching machines.
      Wine does soothe a person when you have these moments.

      Like

  8. Ok…..we are in stiches right now laughing at (with) you…..step away from the front loader thought…..we have one, and it (what’s the code for “sucks”?)…smelly, mold grows inside, and sometimes it randomly leaves the clothing soaking wet…not sure how it would handle kids…

    Like

    • Ah, so were you like me & one of the lucky ones to buy the Maytag front loader when it first came out? Within 2 weeks the control panel burnt out, the soap/bleach/softener dispenser cracked & doesn’t drain well…but I heard about the mold problem early on & leave the door open after the last load. That also helps let kids crawl inside.

      Like

  9. I had been saving this post to read when I had more time, and I’m so glad I did — this morning was perfect for your funny, real life, honest, yummy story and recipe. I hope by now the washer is fixed and doesn’t ever ruin your morning coffee again. (I love my Peet’s coffee, too! It’s my morning ritual, and I sure hope it never gets interrupted by a burning plastic smell! If it does, I’ll remember your formula: read ridiculous manual, call husband, make easy chicken.)

    Like

    • All’s well with the washer thankfully! I guess as Karen was saying “It was just stressed out, not burned out” because of no water going in. I guess the motor must need that wash water to cool it off when it tried to drain. I really got lucky there.
      You like Peet’s too? Other than this local roaster where I sometimes buy specially roasted & ground coffee, that’s the one I’ve been sticking with – but you’re right, it just doesn’t taste the same with burning plastic smells going up your nose.

      Like

  10. Diane, did you do all this while hopping around on your crutches? You poor thing! Actually I had something similar happen to me with my dishwasher. The first time I tried to run it we had the odd smell of burning plastic. Little did we know that the Chinese workers had failed to open the water line in our apartment. However, that is the beauty of apartment living you just have to call someone to fix it as you don’t own it. The bad news here in HK it takes about 5 visits for them to get it right and have to keep re-fixing everything as they don’t take the time to do it correctly the first time around… that is just the culture here. I am glad it has been sorted and just in time for a beautiful meal of chicken marsala. Take care, BAM

    Like

    • Oh my no, no more crutches, no walker, not been the cane. As a matter of fact I’ve been out on my back hill cutting brush and digging stumps. The hip feels fantastic, it’s the rest of my parts that are aching.
      I can see why it might get a little frustrating getting repairs done over there. Do they pull the “no English” on you as they pack up their tools and walk away?

      Like

      • I am delighted to hear that your recovery is going well. My body would ache too if I was out there cutting brush and stumps. Be careful do not over do it!
        Actually they pull the no English card from the moment they walk in and the day usually deteriorates from there… Take care, BAM

        Like

  11. Sigh. I reckon I know what that F stands for. Now Fd? 🙂 But I just read your last comment which said it was Now Fixed, which is fabulous news! The chicken looks perfect for a “disastrous but could have been much worse if I’d burnt down the house” kind of day.. 🙂

    Like

    • Celia, starting your day with the house burned down is never good & yes, thankfully I’m not investing in a new washer…right now. It does make some odd noises but as long as it’s chugging along I’m a happy camper. Since the washer & dryer are in the downstairs bath, I like them to match & there’s no way I could get away with a washer that matches…note to self, always buy plain old white.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s