"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." ~Harriet van Horne


The Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira (Copy-Cat Version) with Garlic Smashed Potatoes (MY Version)

Published by: Kathy

  • Aug
  • 27

Look veerrrry closely and you will see a chicken breast nestled in a pile of mashed potatoes.

OK, so I’m still working on my food stylist and photography skills…But I promise you, I’ve got the cooking part down pat!

A recent trip to the Cheesecake Factory brought back fond memories of one of my favorite dishes off their menu….Chicken Madeira.  Not that I’ve ordered it for quite some time, due to the fact that their entree portions are so gargantuan.  I usually opt to make one of their appetizers my meal and leave a little extra room for dessert.  (Duh!  It’s the CHEESECAKE Factory!)

When I got home that night, (and was taking a few bites of my Turtle cheesecake) I remembered my handy-dandy Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 cookbook and recalled that it had a recipe for The Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira.  I made it last night  and, oh, yeah!  Another copy-cat recipe success story!   The gravy over the chicken was absolutely divine!  My husband noted that it would taste good on just about anything!  And, my potatoes were equally delicious.  Smashed potatoes are all the rage in restaurants these days and easier to make than mashed potatoes.  However, I ended up whipping them with an electric mixwer, instead of smashing them.  I thought a smoother texture would be better paired with the chicken.  Next time, I will go ahead and just hand-smash the potatoes, leaving them on the chunky side.

This post is a 2-for-1, because I’ve added the recipe I came up with for Garlic Smashed New Potatoes.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed in either recipe.


  • I purchased a pound of asparagus and in addition to putting it on top of the chicken, I served it as a side dish that evening.
  • My husband is a big fan of grilling the asparagus, so he helped me out by cooking them for me on the grill.  To do this, turn on your gas grill.  Season the cleaned asparagus with a little salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Place the asparagus directly on the grill, going opposite the grates, so that they don’t fall into the fire.  Grill for 3-5 minutes, (depending on the thickness) turning frequently.   Presto!  You have grilled asparagus.  Delicious!
  • Don’t overcook the chicken.  You cannot start your sauce until the chicken is done, because you will be using the juices in the pan to enhance the flavor of your sauce.  So…you should keep your chicken in the oven, covered and on a low temperature, so that it stays warm for the 20 minutes your sauce is simmering.
  • When making the potatoes, leave the garlic with the potatoes once you have drained them.  The boiled garlic is very soft and will easily incorporate itself into the potatoes as you smash or whip them.  It gives the potatoes a beautiful hint of garlic, without overpowering them.



  • 1  T. olive oil
  • 4  skinless chicken breast fillets, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • 8  asparagus spears
  • 4  mozzarella cheese slices



  • 2  T. olive oil
  • 2  c. sliced fresh white mushrooms
  • 3  c. Madeira wine (found in the Port section of your liquor store)
  • 2  c. beef broth
  • 2  T. butter
  • 1/4  tsp. black pepper
  • 1  heaping tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1  T. Madeira wine

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil.   Sprinkle each fillet with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Sauté the chicken fillets for 4-6 minutes per side, or until chicken has browned just a bit.  Remove chicken from pan and wrap them together in foil to keep the fillets warm while you make the sauce.

To the drippings in the skillet, and the heat still on medium, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet.  Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Add the Madeira wine, beef broth, butter and pepper.  Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of Madeira wine in a small bowl, until smooth and all the lumps are gone.  Add to the gravy and bring to a simmer, so that mixture will thicken to a silky consistency.

As the sauce is simmering, bring a medium saucepan, filled halfway with water, to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt to the water.  Toss the asparagus into the water and boil for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus spears.  Drop the asparagus in a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.  The asparagus should be slightly tender when done…not mushy.  (Or you can eliminate this method and opt to grill them as I outlined in my Helpful Hints.)

Set the oven to broil.  Prepare the dish by arranging the cooked chicken fillets on a baking dish.  Cross two asparagus spears over each fillet, then cover each with a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Broil the fillets for 3-4 minutes, or until light brown spots begin to appear on the cheese.  To serve, arrange one 1 or 2 chicken breasts on each plate, then spoon 3 0r 4 tablespoons of Madeira sauce over the chicken.  Makes 2-4 servings.



  • 2  lbs. new red potatoes, washed
  • 6  cloves garlic, cut in half with ends trimmed
  • 6  Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4  c. heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8  c. chopped chives  (optional)
  • 2  Tbsp. fresh bacon. cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)


Cut potatoes into uniform sizes (so that they all finish cooking at the same time).  Boil potatoes and garlic, until tender.  (20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes).  Drain.

While the potatoes are cooking,  in a small bowl, heat butter and cream in the microwave.  (I find it easier to work with melted butter and warm cream.  But, cover the bowl you are using in the microwave, and be careful you don’t have a boil-over situation…like I did!)  Using the back of a large spoon, or a potato masher,  smash the potatoes and garlic, so they are large and chunky.  Add the butter, cream, salt and pepper.  Stir gently to combine.  If you like, fold in chives and bacon bits.  Gently reheat if necessary.  Serve hot.  Makes 2-4 servings.


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