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Cornmeal Crusted Chicken with a Boursin-mushroom sauce

Recipe: Cornmeal Crusted Chicken with a Boursin-mushroom sauce

Remarks:

    I had a hankering for a creamy sauce for chicken and decided the easiest way to make a French chicken cheese sauce would be to borrow from the selection of French cheeses. I had never thought of using Boursin in a sauce before. I'm sure others have, but it was news to my brain. This dish is very easy and tastes good enough to serve to company too. I've even added a couple of easy side dish recommendations at the end of the recipe.

Servings:
Serves 4

Ingredients:

    For the Chicken
    4 skinless chicken breast halves, washed and dried.
    2 cups milk (skim or 2% are fine)
    Cornmeal for dusting, 1 cup should do it.
    3 Tbl butter, divided
    2 Tbl Extra virgin olive oil

    For the Sauce
    4 shallots peeled and diced
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 - 4.4 ounce packages of Boursin cheese. Garlic and herb flavored. You'll find this in tubs in the cheese section
    16 oz. sliced button mushrooms (or if you want to be fancy you can use any exotic mushrooms - Morels are in season, or Cremini, Chanterelles, etc.)
    8 cherry tomatoes cut in half

Instructions:

    Put the milk in a shallow baking pan (9X13"). Place the chicken in with the milk and let it soak 15 - 30 minutes. If you are going to leave it longer, put it in the refrigerator.

    Place the cornmeal on a dinner plate. Take each piece of chicken out of the milk and dredge it in the cornmeal. That means place it in the cornmeal, press down on it so the cornmeal adheres to the chicken. Using a fork, turn the chicken over and do this on the other side so the entire piece of chicken is coated in cornmeal. Do this with all 4 pieces.

    Get out a large sauté pan and heat the olive oil and 2 Tbl of the butter. When the butter is melted add the chicken. Sauté on medium until the first side of the chicken gets a nice brown crust. This should take about 5 minutes. Don't be tempted to peek. If you move the chicken around too much the coating will flake off. That won't make it inedible but it will not be as pretty. Turn the chicken over, golden side up.

    At this point you have a decision to make. The easiest thing is to take the chicken out and put it in a 9 X 13 heat proof pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It will finish cooking unattended. Drizzle the butter on the chicken when you put it in the baking dish.

    Or…You can also leave it in the sauté pan and continue to sauté on low until the chicken is done. If you do this you have to keep an eye on it. Many folks would end up with chicken that is too dark and chicken that has been flipped with the cornmeal crust coming off but if you're really good at it, this will work. You choose.

    While the chicken is continuing to cook you can make your sauce.

    In a medium sauce pan add your shallots and chicken broth. Reduce on medium high until it's half as much liquid as when you started. You should have about a cup in the pan. This is called a reduction.

    While the liquid is reducing take out a medium sauté pan, melt the last Tbl of butter and put in the mushrooms. Sauté them on medium high until their edges start to brown.

    Now for the really easy part. When the reduction is ready, take out your tubs of Boursin and scoop them into the hot liquid. Take off of the heat and just stir the cheese until it melts. You'll have a beautiful, smooth sauce. If you have to re-heat it, be careful to do it on very low heat so you don't separate it or scorch your sauce.

Serving Suggestions:

    When ready to serve, put the chicken on the plate. Add the mushrooms and raw tomatoes to the sauce and spoon it over the chicken. Leave some of the crunchy, cornmeal crust showing and let the sauce drizzle down the sides.

    Serve with simple boiled red potatoes and green beans. Taste it and you'll think you just flew to France.

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola

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