Recipes for Nuit


Chicken never tasted so good, stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, Swiss cheese and then covered with a rich and full-flavored French Boursin Mornay cheese sauce. A Frenchman named Francois Boursin from the small town of Gournay-en-Bray created the cheese by mixing a fresh, creamy cheese with fine herbs. It has been a favorite offering for family and friends ever since it was first served.

Chicken Ingredients
12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry, lightly pounded flat
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
1 pound Swiss cheese in cheese sticks, 1/2” thick and 3” long
2 tablespoons butter for sauteing the mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter for covering the breasts for cooking
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Olive oil for coating the pan

Sauce Ingredients
3 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons butter for the roux
4 tablespoons flour for the roux
2 5-ounce packages of garlic and herb Boursin cheese
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

In a small saucepan over low heat melt the butter and slowly whisk in the flour for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and set aside. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Take a 1/2 cup of the hot milk and whisk it into the roux until combined. Pour the blended roux back into the remaining warm milk and whisk until blended. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk until thickened. Add the Boursin cheese and wine. And stir until all is smoothly blended.

In a large frying pan melt the 2 tablespoons butter and saute the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, cover, and turn down the heat to lightly steam the spinach for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and mix with the garlic and mushrooms, and set aside.

Prepare the chicken, pounding the inside gently to create larger, thinner breasts, but not too much that they fall apart. Salt and pepper the inside of each chicken breast. Arrange a layer of the mushroom and spinach mixture over each breast, and add one slice of cheese next to the mushrooms and spinach. Adjust the stuffing ingredients so that they are as full as they can be without overflowing. Fold the chicken breast over capturing all the ingredients inside. If pounded thin enough, one can even partially fold in the sides to hold in more stuffing.

Melt the remaining butter and add the Italian seasoning. With a pastry brush coat the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan. Place each chicken breast snuggly into the pan, seam down. Liberally coat each chicken breast with the remaining butter. If any is left over, just add it to the inside of the pan. This dish can be prepared ahead of time. Cover, chill and hold until ready to bake. When ready, place in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the breasts are lightly browned. To serve, arrange the finished chicken breasts in a deep serving platter and just before serving, cover with heated Boursin Mornay sauce. If there is extra sauce, serve it on the side. Decorate the top of the platter with more parsley and a dash of paprika.

Butter, milk, and mushrooms are of water, and white wine is fire of water. Spinach and Swiss cheese are of earth, and flour is air of earth. Italian Seasoning is made up of dried herbs: parsley, garlic, sage, oregano, basil, pepper, onion, rosemary, and thyme. Oregano and parsley are of air, and thyme is air of earth. Sage is air of fire, and the dried basil, garlic, onions, pepper, and rosemary are of fire. Nutmeg and olive oil are also of fire, and chicken is earth of air. Boursin cheese is un-aged, and it has some fire and air aspects to it, but it is primarily a food of water.