It is Saturday afternoon. I spent an hour cruising the web looking for something new & interesting that my family might enjoy for lunch. I found the following recipe on the Pioneer Woman blog. Here is her recipe with my adaptations (in bold), as I was missing a few ingredients, & as it didn’t seem to want to thicken properly.
As I haven’t done much with the cajun or creole flavor, this recipe caught my eye, & it was quite an enjoyable new taste for us. This really exceeded my expectations – even my most picky eater told her sister, “it isn’t that bad,” & then she forgot herself & said, “these noodles are way better than I expected” – me too.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Yield – 12 Servings
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook! Set aside.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil & 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side & cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon & place on a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat. (I used a 12 inch cast iron pan, & got it all in one try, but my chicken didn’t cook quite so quickly, & didn’t blacken – just make sure it is cooked through even though later on you’ll be putting in back on the heat for a few minutes, later on).
Add remaining olive oil & butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, & garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, & add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1-3 minutes, stirring gently & trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes & cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine/vinegar & chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low & pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste & add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, &/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!
(I could not get my sauce to thicken – it remained a watery consistency, so I added 2 T. corn starch to cold water (1/2 cup or so), & stirred until smooth, & then added the hot sauce to my corn starch mixture & stirred to create a thick paste, then added it all back into the sauce).
Finally, add chicken & vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir & cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly & hot. Add drained fettuccine & toss to combine.
Top with chopped fresh parsley & chow down!
Approximately 319 calories per serving