In this latest version of Tasting Tucson, the Good Morning team stopped by Grant and Tucson to see the pros play with fire (literally).

Inside the kitchen of Dante’s Fire, chef and owner Kenneth Foy shared his spin on a classic Italian dish. He said his Chicken Marsala is one that’s meant a lot to him for years; now, it’s a staple for repeat customers.

Before Foy started cooking, he reflected on how he learned to cook the basics, like Chicken Marsala, from his uncle Marty. “Geez, 13, 15 years old, I was catering with my uncle,” Foy said.

“He had Chicken Marsala on the menu and it was a staple for every catering in that area,” Foy said about growing up in New Jersey.

“I just had to have the Chicken Marsala we opened the restaurant, it gave us a chance to elevate it, and it’s a really personal connection with me, because (Marty) passed away a couple years ago. It’s a really awesome dish. It’s lots of fun. We’ve elevated it and done it the Dante’s way, but it’ll always mean something to me.”

Foy said his approach to the food at Dante’s Fire is to take a dish people know, then put a creative twist on it. We even touched on how Italian food, in general, really is just part of the American experience. “Spaghetti and meatballs… It’s now American food, you know?” Foy said.

Chef Foy coated the chicken cuts with excess flour for a reason. “The trick here,” he said, “is when you get your chicken breasts, and you kind of leave way more flour in it than you think you need. That’s what’s going to make the sauce come together.”

Let the chicken get a char and then turn the heat down. After that, Foy got started on the truffle risotto that will serve as a bed for the chicken. The short grain rice gets some chicken stock, cream and a healthy handful of parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

“What’s life without cheese?” GMT said. “Nothing i want to be a part of,” Foy said.

Back to the chicken Foy said if you want to try this recipe at home, make sure the breasts get the right golden color, because that will help set the sauce over the top.

Then you see what else comes with experience: Foy’s pro technique flipping the risotto.

“When we were in culinary school,” he said, “they make us track practice with dry beans in a pan. My dog, when I was going through culinary school, was a very happy individual.”

Next, Foy threw in some wild mushrooms and let the asparagus soak in water, so he could prepare for a more intense step.

“Now we’re putting the fire into Dante’s Fire!” he said, pouring in Marsala wine on the chicken pan. Out of curiosity, we asked Foy how he would describe the wine that gives this dish its name.

“It’s earthy. It’s got a lot of notes, but it’s I wouldn’t say it’s dry either was very sharp. It’s just almost like smoked wood…”

The chicken then got more flavor from the chicken stock. Get that mix to a simmer, then put it in the oven.

Fast forward a few minutes and Chef Foy pulled the pan out.

He said it’s important to wait before adding the truffle oil to the risotto, so that anyone who tastes it will notice the flavor in each bite.

The asparagus gets one last bath in the truffle and cream before getting plated, as Foy called it, ‘criss-cross applesauce.’

And Tasting Tucson saw a first-of-its-kind ingredient: Foy served one last helping of parmesan cheese as foam. The flair from the home made sense, when you remember Foy flexes his creativity at Iron Chef contests in the community. He is the reigning champ of Iron Chef Tucson.