I don’t know about you, but I have three teenagers that seem to devour food as soon as I get it home from the grocery store, or as soon as it hits the table – and my budget is getting harder and harder to stretch. This recipe may sound all “gourmet”, but it’s really a very simple recipe with an added “gourmet” ingredient, Brie.
Brie is a well known French cheese, also known as the Queen of cheeses. It is a very soft cheese named after the French region where it was created.
Brie has a rich, creamy, nutty, and sometimes fruity flavor. It’s a very versatile cheese that goes well with desserts and fruits, as well as savory flavors like garlic, caramelized onions and toasted nuts. Because this rich cow’s milk cheese is so creamy, it incorporates well into sauce, like this one.
Getting back to my stretched budget. You’ll notice I used chicken thighs in this dish. I really like dark meat and chicken thighs are my favorite piece. Chicken thighs can also be bought in large packages and are really cheap compared to other meats. You can substitute chicken breasts if you prefer.
This brie sauce coats pasta beautifully, so I cooked a large batch of penne and tossed it with half of the sauce before topping it off with the roasted chicken thighs. It was a huge hit and made a very hearty meal for my hungry family.
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked
- For the mushroom brie sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups half and half*
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 4.5 oz Brie cheese, rind removed & sliced thinly Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Place chicken, skin-side up, in a single layer into the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes. Drain excess fat.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instructions. (If using fresh pasta, wait until after the sauce is finished).
- To make the mushroom sauce, melt remaining tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and continue sautéing for about 1 minute.
- Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in half and half, and continue whisking until flour is incorporated and sauce comes together, coating the back of a spoon.
- Add thyme and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in Brie slices one-at-a-time until incorporated into the sauce, continue adding until all cheese is mixed in. *If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in some of the pasta water a little at a time until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- If time remains on the chicken, cover and set sauce aside until chicken is done.
- Remove chicken from the oven and spoon over ⅓ of the sauce mixture.
- The bowtie pasta should be cooked al dente; drain the remaining pasta water off completely.
- Add the drained pasta to the remaining sauce in the pan, as well as the fresh parsley and toss lightly to coat all of the pasta.
- To serve, portion pasta onto each plate with the finished chicken on top. Serve immediately.
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