I hear it’s cooling off in some parts of this country. In fact, I’ve even seen “first snow fall” photos from some of my lucky friends in the north (ummm TOTALLY jealous).

Well, we wouldn’t know anything about that down here in South Florida! We are still up in the 80’s during the day with a little “reprieve” in the evenings dropping us into the mid 70’s. Explain to me why the weather man calls this a cool front? “Cool”? SERIOUSLY? I shouldn’t be sweating if it’s in fact a “cool” front.

Lies, I tell you!

Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones… or perhaps the fact that our air conditioning system needs to be completely replaced (but we have to wait until an ACTUAL cold front comes in to proceed with 4 days without an AC). See my predicament here?! 😉

Even though we are still schvitzing down here (that’s a little Yiddish for ya! Hey – I grew up in Boca ;)), the fall and winter dish cravings, for me at least, have started. I see posts and photos all day of everyone’s warm you up, stick to your bones, delicious, down home comforting goodness! And I WANT. IT. ALL.

Side Note: I’m pretty sure it’s the end of the 3rd trimester talking… comfort food just sounds so daggum good right now. 8 weeks (or less) left until I meet my sweet baby, ya’ll!!! CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT? AHH!!! <heart pounding… butterflies floating around in tummy>

Okay, back to this dish… CHICKEN MADEIRA. It’s one of my all-time favorites at The Cheesecake Factory. Every time I have it, I think “This seems so simple! I could totally make this at home!” Finally I did. It was in fact, simple to make and even more important, DIVINE. Less that 10 ingredients and with a little prep work, it comes together in a snap!

Hubs was in love at first bite. He had never tasted the Cheesecake version so it was a whole new world to him. There is just something magical about the flavor of the Madeira wine when it cooks down in a dish (well this applies to most wines in general). The distinct Madeira wine flavor paired with the mushrooms, garlic, and broth is absolutely fantastic! Serve this up with some Creamy Mashed Red Potatoes and Oven Roasted Asparagus and you’ve got yourself a winner of a dinner!

Us Wiley’s are huge fans of mushrooms in general. Hubs calls them little flavor absorbers. Which is totally true. They absorb the flavor of whatever you cook them in while adding this earthy and “meaty” element to the dish. I just LOVE them. A LOT.

Sorry if you don’t care for them – this probably isn’t your dish then! For the rest of you… PLEASE try this. It will rock your socks off!

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Chicken Madeira

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10-20 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Total Time: 40-60 minutes

Pan seared chicken cutlets topped with mozzarella cheese and smothered in a mushroom, garlic, Madeira wine sauce! When served over mashed potatoes, this is the perfect fall and winter comfort dish!


For the Chicken:
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4), halved lengthwise to make 2 cutlets each (may substitute 8 cutlets)
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 slices Mozzarella cheese

salt & pepper

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoons extra light olive oil
1 tablespoons butter
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups Madeira wine*
1 cup low sodium chicken broth (could also use beef broth)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (start with 1/2 and add to your liking)
Cracked black pepper to taste

*You want to find actual Madeira Wine which is a fortified Portuguese wine (not to be confused with Madeira COOKING wine which is salt laden). Some grocery stores will carry it (mine do not), but your best bet is to go to a wine store (Total Wine has about 10 different bottles to choose from, but I hear Trader Joe's carries it as well!).


For the Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Heat half of the olive oil and butter in a heavy bottomed skillet (I like to use my cast iron skillet) over medium high heat. While pan is heating, season both sides of the chicken with a sprinkle of salt & pepper and then dredge in flour, being sure to shake off the excess flour.

When pan is hot, add half of the chicken (not over-crowding the pan) and sear on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes each side). Place seared chicken on prepared baking sheet and then repeat process with second half of chicken (using the remaining oil and butter). Remove to baking sheet when seared on both sides. Place baking pan into the oven until all of the chicken cutlets are cooked completely through, a minimum of 165ºF at the thickest part (should only take about 7-10 minutes). Note: Prepare sauce while chicken is cooking. When chicken is cooked through, remove from oven and add 1 slice of Mozzarella cheese to each piece. Return to oven until just melted.

For the Sauce:
While chicken is cooking, in the same skillet you browned the chicken (NOTE: DO NOT WASH OR WIPE OUT PAN - The browned bits add flavor to the sauce), add an additional tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Add the mushroom and quickly saute until softened (2-3 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly. Next, add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir until mixture is coated. Cook for 30-45 seconds, stirring constantly. Next add the wine and chicken broth to the pan, stir well, and bring to a boil. Cook until mixture reduces and thickens up a bit (5-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve over chicken.

Goes great with Oven Roasted Asparagus and Creamy Mashed Red Potatoes.