Chicken, Potato, Boursin & Thyme Tart w/ Caramelized Onions

Our love affair with Boursin started about a year ago. Being cheese lovers I’m not sure why it took us so long to try it, but we are definitely under its spell now. Years ago, it was an imported delicacy from France, so creamy and so garlicky. Now made in Canada, and even though manufactured on an industrial scale, the garlic and herb Boursin is very similar to the French version.

It’s easy to understand why Boursin may well be the most popular flavored soft cheese in the world. More than 50 years later, the original recipe remains unchanged and food lovers in more than 35 countries have spread their passion for Boursin all around the world.

Boursin was developed by French cheesemaker Francois Boursin in 1957 in Normandy. He was inspired by a traditional fromage frais dish in which dinner guests use bowls of fine herbs to season their own cheese.

A major newspaper in France reported incorrectly that Boursin’s cheese was flavored with garlic. It was actually a competing cheesemaker who had introduced the garlic cheese. The newspaper article generated such interest and demand for garlic Boursin that the cheesemaker spent two years developing a garlic-flavored cheese—which was introduced in 1963 to quickly become a household name across France.

Not only was Boursin an excellent cheesemaker, but he also had marketing smarts. In 1968, Boursin made history as the first cheese featured in a TV ad campaign. It featured famous French comedian Jacques Duby cast in the role of the first ‘Boursinophile,’ a cheese lover unable to resist the alluring taste of Boursin whatever time of day or night. Waking in the middle of the night, he rushes to the fridge in his pajamas yelling for Boursin over and over again. You may recall seeing Boursin commercials on Canadian TV.

Today’s tart consists of a puff pastry shell encasing a layer of sweet caramelized red onion, topped with roughly broken up chunks of potato and chicken dotted with luscious Boursin. The tart is then baked in a creamy egg filling and sprinkled with a little thyme. Yum!

Print Recipe
Chicken, Potato, Boursin & Thyme Tart w/ Caramelized Onions
  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy based pot. Add onions, salt & pepper; cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar & sugar, remove the lid; cook a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  3. Put potatoes in a medium pot, cover with water, season with salt & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook potatoes 15-20 minutes until just able to be pierced with a knife. Drain & set aside to cool.
  4. Roll out pastry to fit a 10-inch round removable base tart tin. Pop in the freezer to chill.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Layer the onion, potato and chicken into the pastry shell. Dot with Boursin cheese and thyme. If you happen to be using left-over roast chicken & have a bit of stuffing spare, pop that in too! Whisk eggs and cream and pour over filling.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set & pastry is golden.