Boursin cheese is a pretty commonplace item in French and English refrigerators, but my fridge was only just recently introduced to it. Now they're best buds. There is no earthly explanation as to why I have walked past it in the cheese case for lo these many years, but curiosity finally and at last caught up with me at Trader Joe's and I brought some home. And tasted it. (insert forehead- slapping emoji here). Dang, you guys, this is good stuff! But you probably already knew that.
This here is the original version (garlic and fine herbs) discovered in Normandy, France, in 1957, coincidentally, by a chef named Boursin. Francois Boursin. Very French. And this cheese tastes pretty French... rich, creamy and oh so luscious. It's dreamy stuff all on its own with crackers or crostini or a spoon, but beyond that, my mind went to the idea of a very quick, easy, creamy sauce which ended up being astonishingly delicious on chicken cutlets.
You will technically only need 3 ingredients to make this, which means that it very much qualifies as a weeknight meal, but believe me, it would serve beautifully for a dinner party as well. The 3 ingredients? Chicken breasts, mushrooms and Boursin cheese. If you've got some fresh thyme laying around, all the better, but dried thyme is fine, or leave it out.
We'll start by pounding some chicken breasts to an even thickness. We're only going to be cooking these for like 5-6 minutes, so we'll want them about 1/2-inch thick or so. Season them with salt and pepper, then dredge them in a little flour.
Next they'll be sauteed for 2-3 minutes per side and then removed to a warm place to await their final destiny.
Enter 1 lb of sliced crimini mushrooms which we'll saute until they start to give up their liquid and get a little brown(er).
And then we'll stir our Boursin cheese into the pan, and in retrospect wonder why there is no photo of this momentous step in the process. But believe me when I tell you that the cheese will just melt into those mushrooms, surrounding them with creamy hugs and this blissful moment will only get better as you spoon that gorgeous sauce over your chicken along with a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper...
And this is where the inadequacy of my writing skills really shines as I stare in mute wonder at that photo and admit I have no words. As for the chicken, you will need no knife; a fork will slide easily through each bite, which I willingly admit could not come quickly enough. Each bite. My advice is to eat slowly and savor every morsel. I'm going to try that next time too. Here's the recipe...
Chicken with Mushroom-Boursin Sauce
If your chicken breasts are ginormous (as mine were), slice them in half horizontally, creating 2 cutlets before pounding them to an even thickness. Flattening them like this creates a tender cutlet that cooks quickly and evenly and ensures that you can cut through them with your fork. No knives needed here. I served this with our very deliciously lemon orzo with spinach and goat cheese. (I substituted kale for the spinach this time around).
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (see headnote)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 5.2 oz package garlic and herbs Boursin cheese
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Lots of fresh cracked black pepper
Place a chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound (flatten) the thicker end until the meat is of uniform thickness. Repeat with the rest of the breasts. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Dredge each breast in flour, shaking off the excess and place on a baking rack.
Heat enough oil in a medium skillet to just barely cover the bottom of the pan (1-2 tablespoons) and place two of the breasts in the pan. Saute for 2 or 3 minutes, until golden brown and then turn and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. These will cook quickly, so be careful not to overcook them! Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 breasts.
Wipe out the pan (or don't) and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until they begin to give up their juices and start to brown. Reduce the heat to low and add the thyme and Boursin cheese to the pan. Stir until the cheese is melted and a nice sauce is formed. If needed, add a tablespoon or so of chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper
To serve, place a chicken breast on each plate and top with the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, if you've got them, and lots of cracked black pepper.
A couple more thoughts... If, by chance, you have leftover sauce (unlikely, but possible), I used some of it in an omelet and it was dynamite. I'm also thinking it would be ever so good on pasta. I think that will be happening here soon. Enjoy!