Crusty Cornmeal Chicken with Boursin Sauce
Crusty Cornmeal Chicken with Boursin Sauce

So...since easy is key here this week, I thought I'd share yet another variation on the ubiquitous chicken cutlet that's short on effort and big on taste, which makes it perfect for weeknight meals. Crunchy, double coated, slightly spicy, cornmeal-breaded chicken cutlets topped with a light garlicky cheese sauce (or served "on the side")--My family loved it and yours will too! And you'll have this on the table in no time!

Did you grow up eating Boursin, the garlicky/peppery spreadable cheese? I always thought of it as "the party cheese" because It was generally a staple at any celebration in our house--my mom would unwrap it, peeling off the little circle of aluminum foil and then carefully loosening the sides before turning it onto a plate, so that the cheese would hold its cylindrical shape. Then she'd scatter assorted veggies or crackers around it and the party guests would dig in. Who knew that that very same "party cheese" would be reimagined as the base for a delicious sauce?Basically all you do is boil together a little white wine and chicken broth and then whisk in the Boursin, so that it melts into a lovely creamy little concoction.

Then you simply coat chicken in some seasoned cornmeal, dip into egg and then back into the cornmeal mixture again so that the chicken winds up having a wonderfully crunchy exterior. Then you pan-fry them in a little olive oil. And because the cutlets are thin, they cook up very quickly.

They're yummy on their own (which is how half of my crew enjoyed them) or topped with a little of the Boursin sauce.

The chicken is tender with a wonderful crunchy coating, perfectly complemented by the tangy, herby, garlicky sauce, which never overpowers.  Each bite is a perfect blend of creamy and crunchy. Try it when you're pressed for time. You'll be surprised at how amazing a meal you can whip up in less than half an hour!


Crusty Cornmeal Chicken with Boursin Sauce

Makes 5-6 servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes; Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5.2 ounce package of Boursin cheese
  • About 3 pounds thinly sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you have thicker ones, cut them in half lengthwise and pound thinner if necessary)
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (I used a medium ground variety)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2-1  teaspoon of chili powder (use the higher amount if you like things more spicy)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly chopped parsley to use as garnish (optional)

The Recipe

1.  In a medium saucepan, stir together the chicken broth and the wine and over high heat,  bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Lower the heat and whisk in the Boursin, mixing until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside or keep warm over a very low light.

2.  In a large shallow bowl, mix together the the cornmeal, salt, pepper and chili powder. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Dip the cutlets, one at a time into the cornmeal mixture, coating well, but shaking off any excess. Then dip into the egg mixture and quickly dip back into the cornmeal mixture. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

3.  Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to lightly cover the bottom of the pan and heat over medium-high heat, until hot. If you have them, you can use two pans, otherwise you will have to cook the chicken in batches. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, only turning once throughout the process. When chicken is golden brown on each side and cooked through, transfer to a platter and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.

4.  Serve chicken topped with a few spoonfuls of the warm Boursin sauce and some fresh chopped parsley as a garnish or plain with the sauce on the side. Either way is wonderful.

5.  Leftover chicken can be stored in the refrigerator and is great cold on sandwiches or in salads. Sauce reheats well and can be kept in an airtight in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and warmed in a small saucepan over low heat.

Enjoy!

Note:  Recipe adapted from Cook What You Love by Bob and Melinda Blanchard. I cut the salt in half and decreased the amount of Boursin by more than half by accident but it was great. Might have been too overpoweringly cheesy if I'd used the 12 ounces of Boursin the recipe originally called for.

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