There are few things more comforting than the heat, texture, and flavor of chicken marsala. It is a meal of few ingredients made with the utmost simplicity yet can still fill you up without making you feel bloated. What do you serve alongside it though? How do you add to a meal that is already so close to perfection?
There are a few answers, and here you will find them listen in ascending order of superiority. It should be noted that “superiority” does not consider how easy something is to make. Some things are worth the trouble though.
1. Egg Noodles
Egg noodles are a unique kind of noodle, which is a pretty funny sounding sentence. Most noodles just exist to carry flavor to your mouth. The flavor of cheese on macaroni, the flavor of meat sauce on spaghetti, et cetera.
Egg noodles, however, have the unique trait of being flavorful in their own right. This is because, as the name indicates, they are made from egg rather than wheat. This flavor mixes excellently with chicken marsala.
Seeing potatoes on a list like this can almost feel a bit too obvious. Many people have had potatoes in some form or another so many times in their lives that even if they never mixed potatoes with chicken marsala, they have a strong idea of how it would taste anyways.
But do not be so quick to write potatoes off. You might say that you are not writing them off, they are just not very compelling to you. Which is understandable. But the reason potatoes are unexciting is that potatoes are everywhere. The reason they are on this list is that they are delicious.
Similar to many types of pasta, potatoes carry more flavor than they offer. That is to say, they are better at taking on flavors while their own flavors are not very domineering. This does not mean they are without flavor, however. And besides, potatoes are uniquely good at amplifying certain textures as well as flavors, like butter.
It is common for people to have negative experiences with spinach early in their lives that ends up slighting them against it till the day they die. This is because they will be given spinach for its iron content when they are young and iron deficiency is common. But there is an issue there, as spinach has an extremely bitter taste.
The receptors on the tongue that taste bitterness actually do not mature until much later in life. When humans are young, their sweetness receptors are actually much more developed. As the human gets older, the sweetness receptors go away and are replaced with bitterness receptors.
This is why people prefer black coffee as they grow older. They are literally tasting something different than when they were younger. This is also why kids hate spinach, as they can only taste the worst parts of it. But spinach is great in chicken marsala, as you cannot taste it “over” the chicken marsala itself.
4. Roasted Broccoli
Opinions on broccoli have always been fascinating to follow. If you look, you can actually find renaissance era newspaper articles discussing and debating whether or not broccoli tastes good. It is a remarkable situation where it is not an acquired taste, nor is it a taste people develop into like spinach and black coffee.
For some reason people simply like broccoli, or they do not. This creates the amusing situation where one person’s favorite part about broccoli is another person’s dreaded poison. Broccoli, for instance, is very absorbent. This means that in chicken marsala’s sauce it will become rich with the flavor of the sauce.
Some people love this. Others find it impossible to stomach that much chicken marsala sauce at once. It is ultimately down to personal preference, but it is always something you will either love or totally hate.
Much has been said in this article for certain flavors covering other flavors, and there is no flavor more in need of covering than asparagus. This might sound like highly subjective conjecture, but if you spend any time in healthy food culture one of the first things you will learn is that even people who eat asparagus regularly hate it.
The thing is, there are also few vegetables that contain as much fiber as asparagus. So, it might be the worst food that has ever entered the human body without killing it, but it also the fast track to a healthy stomach.
Getting that kind of food into your body is all a matter of creating the right environment for you to eat it out of. In this case, chicken marsala. It will not hide the flavor entirely, but as long as you have some chicken marsala sauce left, you will have something to counterbalance it. The chicken will help with the texture as well.
6. Bread Rolls
This is another obvious one, but much like potatoes before it, you should never discount the versatility of bread. As you might know, chicken marsala is Indian food. Now, like all human cultures, India has bread. But they do not make bread in the way Americans make bread.
That is to say, they make bread in a few ways, but America is a great melting pot. American bread is actually a bunch of different kinds of bread from a bunch of different cultures. This is the versatility of bread. Southern cornbread goes great with chicken marsala. But so does Italian garlic bread.
French baguettes, German pretzel buns, they all go amazingly with chicken marsala. But more importantly, they all offer something different. French baguettes, for instance, are plainer but have a mixture of textures that make them better for dipping into the sauce.
Really, there is no wrong answer when it comes to bread. It makes sense too; it is not an exaggeration to say that every human culture develops bread. For every kind of person in the world, there is a kind of bread that will appeal to them. That means it can complement anything.