Paleo Chicken Madeira
It’s just like a project born from passion to take on a life of its own, isn’t it?
I started this food blog because I was passionate about sharing my healthier recipes with family and friends. I love food, loved what I’d learned about nutrition, and was floored by my own health breakthroughs. After some words of encouragement many, many moons ago by Jenna, I launched Fed+Fit.
Years of work and hundreds of recipes later, I still love what I do. Following my feet and listening to my readers (you), I opened my budding “business” to new possibilities. I pursued a post-graduate nutrition certification so that I could start taking on individual clients, made a lot of friends in this Paleo/primal world, and payed attention to needs in the industry. I like to think of myself as an observer and forever student. I’m always eager to learn, grown, and evolve so that I can continue to put my best foot forward for YOU! Where Fed+Fit was born from a passion for healthy food that actually tastes good, it has evolved into a passion for providing a support system that truly enables lifestyle transformations.
You’ve probably caught wind of my new podcast by now, but there’s some even more exciting stuff cooking up behind the scenes! It really represents the culmination of 5 years of work and observation. I can’t wait to formally announce what’s brewing but if you’re signed up to get my newsletter, I promise to drop some hints over the next couple months!
Anyhew …back to the now! I was spurred to write the above because it seems like it has been SO LONG since I posted a recipe! I’ve been so consumed by creating great content for the podcast and my other secret project, that my recipes have been hanging out in my paper notebook and on my camera memory card. High time I post one!
My friends over at the Paleo Parents asked me to participate in an upcoming roundup they’re hosting that will highlight Paleo-friendy recipes inspired by the Cheesecake Factory menu! I scoured the menu and chose this dish – Chicken Madeira. It’s one of the most popular dishes on the Cheesecake Factory menu, and for good reason!
Chicken Madeira is traditionally served as chicken breast cutlets with asparagus, melted mozzarella, and a generous pour of a Madeira wine-infused mushroom sauce. The plate comes out with a big pile of mashed potatoes and the whole thing is just dreamy. If you want the same restaurant experience, save for the (most likely) canola oil, cheese (though, feel free to add it back in if you tolerate dairy), and other mystery ingredients found in the deceiving notation of “other flavors” on spice jars, this recipe is just for you!!
To makeup for the flavor boost from the missing cheese, I chose to write this recipe for chicken thighs – the chicken breast’s more flavorful and more affordable cousin. The Madeira wine is mostly cooked off in the mushroom reduction, leaving behind wonderfully sweet flavors with some rustic depth. Instead of mashed potatoes, I chose to serve this Chicken Madeira on a bed of Parsnip Mash.
If you’re having a hard time finding this exact bottle of Madeira wine OR if you’d prefer to not use wine at all, I’ve got you covered in the recipe card below.
Enjoy and be sure to check out the other Cheesecake Factory recipe remakes on the Paleo Parents when the roundup goes live on the 24th!
Paleo Chicken Madeira
Yield: 4 servings
Total Time: 45 minutes
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan. Generously dust both sides of the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper. Lay in the hot frying pan and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes on one side and another 3-4 minutes on the other, or until both sides are starting to brown. If you have to work in batches, repeat until all the chicken is cooked. Lay the chicken on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, add the asparagus to about 3 inches of boiling water. Boil lightly for 4-5 minutes then remove the asparagus and place it into an ice bath (1 cup ice and about 1 cup water) to stop the cooking process and lock in a bright green color. Remove from bath to drain and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter back to the pan where you cooked the chicken (the more brown chicken bits left, the better). Add the mushrooms and saute until they start to reduce in size. Pour in the Madeira wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits. Set the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or until it starts to reduce slightly.
- To assemble a plate: spoon the parsnip mash onto a plate or bowl and top with 2 chicken thighs, 3-5 asparagus, and some mushrooms plus wine sauce.