Saturday, April 13, 2013

how to: cajun chicken pasta

We were invited over for dinner to our friend's house and they made this Cajun Chicken Pasta from The Pioneer Woman and it was delicious. I just had to make it again. I would eat this every week probably. It takes a bit of preparation - took me about an hour from start to finish - but it's totally worth it.

  • 3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3+ teaspoons cajun spice mix, depending on your taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 whole green bell pepper
  • 1 whole red bell pepper
  • 1/2 whole large red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 whole roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste

Cut the tops and bottoms off of the peppers. Core and seed them. Slice them in nice 1/4 inch slices.
Slice the onion in half from top to bottom. Cut off the top and bottom and remove the outside layer. Slice up only half the onion.
Peel the garlic and mince it by hand - or buy a garlic press and use that (I have one and love it).
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. You're going to keep this separate. Cut them in about four vertical slices and then cut them horizontal so you get little dices of tomatoes.
I didn't notice that the tomatoes go into the pasta separate so I didn't do that so  DON'T LET THIS PICTURE MISLEAD YOU!! :)
 Cut the chicken into cubes and add the cajun spices. The more the better!

 Heat a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat. I don't have a skillet but by the pictures from The Pioneer Woman's blog I think it would have made the food tastier. Anyways.
Add half the butter and olive oil to the skillet.
When it's very hot add the chicken - only add enough so that there is a single layer. I could do it in one shot but you might need to do this twice.
Don't stir the chicken; let it get nice and hot and black until you flip it over and do the same on the other side.
Remove the chicken and add it to a plate.
With the pan still on high add the remaining butter and olive oil. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Add some more cajun spice. You won't regret it.
You want to cook the veggies like you did the chicken - get a nice brown outside. After you've cooked the veggies for only a minute or so add the tomatoes. (Like I said earlier, I just threw all the veggies in at once and it didn't kill the recipe). Cook all the vegetables together for another minute or two. Add the vegetables to the plate with the chicken.

This is when I started cooking the fettuccine. Make sure not to forget about it - overcooked pasta is :P

Put the pan back on the stove and add the wine and the chicken broth (the heat should still be on high). Side note: I got carded for the first time when I bought the wine - preeettty exciting :)
Stir the liquid around scraping the sides of the pan to keep all the yummy flavors in. Cook on high for a few minutes until the liquid goes down by half and gets a deep brown color.
Reduce the heat and add the cream. Whisk it around on medium heat until it thickens. Add some more cajun spices - YUM. I put some sauce on my finger to taste it and kept adding spices until I liked the flavor.
Once the sauce is thick add all the chicken and vegetables and all their juices. Stir everything around and add some pepper.
Dump the drained pasta into the pan with everything else. Toss it all together and make sure the noodles get covered. Let everything cook together for a few more minutes and try not to taste it. Oh who am I kidding - I always eat things I like while I'm cooking so when I serve Spencer and I I can give us equal amounts but really.. I got more :) oops.

After you deem it ready add some fresh parsley and enjoy!

Okay so my picture isn't awesome.. But trust me it is delicious. Check out the Pioneer Woman's recipe she has amazing pictures.

Let me know what you think!

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