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Home Cook: Virginia Vaccaro, Mahopac, N.Y.
"Once upon a time, on one of my first dates with my husband, I had a very similar version of this delicious chicken. I have tried several different variations over the years in order to recreate this wonderful dish and have been cooking it with 'my twist' ever since."
Recipe: Madeira Chicken (makes 4 servings)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 large-cut into 4 to 6 filets)
- 2 cups mushrooms, cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 springs fresh thyme
- 1 cups madeira wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup seasoned flour
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
- Swiss or Asiago cheese (your choice)
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Pound chicken breast with a meat mallet between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap until meat is uniform thickness; about 1/4-inch. Cut into serving-sized pieces (2 or 3 pieces per breast)
- Heat the butter with *1* tbs of olive oil in deep, heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
- Dredge chicken in seasoned flour. Add to hot oil/butter in skillet. Sauté until golden on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
- Add remaining olive oil to hot skillet. Sauté mushrooms and garlic until mushrooms begin to brown.
- Add white wine to skillet, scraping up all the browned bits that are at the bottom of the pan ("deglazing"). Bruise the fresh thyme by twisting it between your fingers or hitting it with the dull side of a knife in a few places. Add thyme to mushroom/wine mixture in pan.
- Add chicken stock and reduce 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pan. Add the cream and heat through.
- Continue cooking until sauce is reduced by about 1/2. If you wish to skip the reduction step, you may thicken the sauce slightly with about 1 tbs instant flour or 1 tbs cornstarch mixed with 2 tbs water, however, the reduction will taste much better.
- Add chicken back to pan and top with cheese, spooning mushroom wine sauce over chicken. Heat through for a couple of minutes.
- Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme. May be served with rice or over any pasta.
- Note: You may substitute white wine in place of madiera.