7.09.2013

cajun chicken pasta

original recipe HERE
with much better lighting for pictures, I might add

Okay guys, I'm a sucker for pasta dishes, but this one is uh-mazing. The sauce is just how I like it-- creamy yet not heavy. The dish is full of flavor and a little crunch. It is right up there with the chicken scampi my heart beats for at Olive Garden

And here we go: 
Oh and this is where I should note that the original recipe uses all "LIGHT" or "FAT FREE" to make the dish "lighter", but I am a Schoon at heart, and we Schoons laugh in the face of fat-free products, so I modified it in that way. 

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine [I used angel hair once too]
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste) [I used 2 and it wasn't too spicy for us, and we don't like overly spicy…so go for 3 tsp if you really want a zip…or 4 if you live in Texas or something]
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced [I just bought a mix and used orange too]
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced [I left this out because, well, gross]
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced [I used 3 romas]
  • 1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth [I used some I had reserved last time I cooked chicken]
  • 1/3 cup skim milk [I used WHOLE, baby!]
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp light cream cheese [regular cream cheese for me, please]
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • cooking spray
ot heavy. 
Directions: 

Cut up all your veggies. This for sure is the most time consuming part of the recipe, as the rest is easy-peasy. If you want to cut them ahead to save time, go for it!




In a small blender [or whatever…I used an immersion blender because it's my favorite tool ever], make a "slurry" by combining milk, flour, and [softened] cream cheese. [The original recipe says slurry, but I don't use fancy words like that when I cook, so I felt the need to put it in quotations. Also I added an Oxford comma to this part of the recipe. You're welcome.] Set your fancy slurry concoction aside.


Season your chicken with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. The more generous, the better, I say. [My friend had a hard time finding Cajun seasoning, but I've used Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning and it's the same.]
I cheated and used some pre-cooked chicken I had on hand. It is better if you season it raw, for sure, but this still was good…and faster…and I didn't have to touch raw meat for the day- SCORE!
Cook your pasta in some salted water according to package directions.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and add half of the chicken [I usually add it all because I'm impatient]. Saute 5-6 minutes or until done. Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.


Drink some coffee while you cook. It makes everything more enjoyable.


Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium: add bell peppers, onions, and minced garlic the skillet. [Throw in a little extra garlic if it if your favorite ingredient ever, like it is mine]. Saute 3-4 minutes [I feel like "3-4 minutes" is very specific. If you like them crunchier, cook for a little bit-- if you like them softer, cook for awhile. That is what MY recipe would say.]
one of the few things I buy in bulk

Add mushrooms [BLEGH! If you must!] and tomatoes [my mom even made this dish without tomatoes once since my dad can't eat them, and it was just as good] and saute 3-4 minutes more or until veggies are tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste.


Reduce heat to medium-low: add chicken broth and pour in "slurry" [that white liquid you made earlier ;)] stirring about 2 minutes.


Return chicken to skillet; adjust salt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cook another minute or two until hot, then add linguine: toss well to coat. Top with chopped scallions.

Eat until you can't stuff any more in your face.

I like to reheat it the next day by dumping it back in the skillet and adding just a touch of milk and stirring until warm. MMM. Just as good as day one.

Let me know if you make this and love it as much as we do!

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5 comments:

Hannah said...

that looks amazing! I will have to give it a try :)

Day Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I had an immersion blender once.

Barb said...

I'm totally making this tomorrow, and I was just at Olive Garden today. I'm bummed that you're not coming, but I totally understand. We'll get it done sometime... :)

Mandi Wolfswinkel said...

I may have to try this one!