December 2, 2023

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Creamy Chicken Madeira – The Forked Spoon

6 min read

Chicken Madeira is made with juicy seared chicken, tender mushrooms, and crisp asparagus cooked in a luscious Madeira cream sauce covered with melted cheese. This Cheesecake Factory copycat is even better made at home and is absolute perfection served over buttery mashed potatoes.

White dinner plate with creamy mashed potatoes topped with chicken madeira and mushrooms and a creamy madeira sauce with a side of asparagus.

Why You’ll Love this Easy Chicken Madeira Recipe

If you’ve ever been to The Cheesecake Factory, then chances are you probably recognize this popular recipe. Whether you’ve tried it before or not, I’m positive you’ll love it! Especially if you love other wine sauce dishes like chicken marsala. The ingredients are simple, and everything cooks completely in one pan, which means fewer dishes and easy cleanup. Most importantly, this creamy chicken Madeira really is a phenomenal-tasting chicken dish. It is restaurant-quality and feels fancy but is really quite simple to make.

What is Madeira?

Madeira is a long-lasting fortified wine with its origin on the small Portuguese island of Madeira. It may be served as an aperitif, dessert wine, or used in cooking, particularly in sauces. Because it is fortified with brandy, it has a higher alcohol content than non-fortified wines. Madeira, like Marsala wine, has varying levels of sweetness and may range from dry to sweet.

Ingredients needed to make creamy chicken madeira set aside in small serving dishes.

How to Make Chicken Madeira

1. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels, then season them generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Whisk the flour, salt, and black pepper together in a shallow bowl, then dredge the chicken in the flour until well coated on both sides.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the chicken to the skillet and sear for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Collage with six images: image one shows a plate with four thinly sliced chicken breasts; image two shows a plate with flour and seasoning; image three shows one chicken breast placed on top of the plate that has the flour and seasoning mixture; image four shows one chicken breast covered completely in flour; image five shows four dredged chicken breasts cooking in a large stainless steel plan; image six shows four seared chicken breasts in a stainless steel pan.

4. Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in a large pot or saucepan filled with boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately so that they don’t get soft, and transfer to an ice water bath to stop any additional cooking.

Cooking asparagus in a large pot of boiling water.

5. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a clean plate. Add the butter to the same skillet. Once it’s melted, add the chopped onion and cook until it is translucent and starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

6. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the mushrooms have reduced significantly.

Collage of four images; the first image shows butter melting in a large stainless steel pan; image two shows diced onion added to a stainless steel pan with melted butter; image four shows sliced mushrooms added to a stainless steel pan with softened onions; image four shows a stainless steel plan filled with cooked onions and mushrooms.

7. Pour in the Madeira wine and chicken broth and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced significantly, stirring every 2-3 minutes.

8. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Add the fresh thyme and return to a gentle simmer. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Do not boil.

Collage of three images, from left to right: Image one shows broth and Madeira wine added to cooking mushrooms and vegetables; image two shows the cream being added to the simmering madeira broth; and image three shows a stainless steel pan filled with tender mushrooms and onions in a simmering madeira cream sauce.

9. Nestle the chicken in the sauce, then arrange the asparagus around the chicken and sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, as registered with a digital meat thermometer, and the cheese is melty.

10.  Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh thyme if desired.

Modifications and Substitutions

  • Madeira wine is what gives this recipe its beloved and unique flavor. If you choose to make it without Madeira wine or substitute it for something else, you’re no longer cooking chicken Madeira. With that in mind, possible substitutions include dry sherry, dry port, or even marsala wine.
  • Omit the cream or replace it with equal parts Madeira wine and chicken broth. The cream adds an extra layer of deliciousness to this recipe, but it isn’t required.
  • Use beef broth in place of the chicken broth for a deeper, more complex sauce.
  • Alternatives to asparagus include green beans or broccoli.
Collage of three images, from left to right: image one shows seared chicken added back to pan filled with creamy madeira sauce; image two shows the asparagus added back to the pan; image three shows the chicken, asparagus, and sauce all in the stainless steel pan sprinkled with mozzarella cheese.

Storage and Reheating

  • Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until the chicken is heated through.
  • I do not recommend freezing.

What to Serve with Chicken Madeira

This amazing chicken recipe pairs perfectly with a side of buttery mashed potatoes, rice, or crusty bread. Anything to sop up the luscious Madeira sauce.

More Easy Chicken Recipes,

If you try making this Creamy Chicken Madeira Recipe, please leave me a comment below! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!

White dinner plate with creamy mashed potatoes topped with chicken madeira and mushrooms and a creamy madeira sauce with a side of asparagus.
White dinner plate with creamy mashed potatoes topped with chicken madeira and mushrooms and a creamy madeira sauce with a side of asparagus.

Creamy Chicken Madeira