Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun seasoning is typically a spicy mixture of herbs, paprika and chillies. It makes a sensational rub or marinade for meats and fish, which are traditionally grilled or barbecued until blackened and form a crust on the outside. I used bottled Cajun seasoning which already contains salt, which makes it really convenient. Before grilling, rub some oil over the meat before rubbing in the seasoning, so that it absorbs the flavours better. I made a creamy bacon and mushroom fettucine topped with Cajun-spiced chicken fillets, which is a fantastic combination. However, I think I might use penne instead next time as I prefer the texture and shape of it. I find that fettucine can sometimes be a little too unwieldy to eat especially when it cools down and sticks together.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

2 small chicken breast fillets (about 600g)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 bacon rashers, finely chopped
200g (7 oz) button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1 cup thickened/heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
Salt and black pepper, to taste
350g (12 oz) fettucine, penne or your favourite pasta
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1/3 cup grated parmesan


Slice each chicken breast fillet in two to yield 4 escallopes in total (or leave them whole if you prefer thicker fillets). Rub all over with oil followed by Cajun seasoning. Heat up butter in a non-stick pan and sear the chicken on both sides on high heat, then cover with a lid and lower the flame, and let it steam in the pan on medium heat until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken and let it cool slightly. Slice the chicken on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices, and set aside.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.

Heat up olive oil in a clean pan and fry onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until onions are softened. Add bacon and fry until it starts to brown, then add mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes until they start to soften. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Then add garlic powder, cream and milk, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir in chopped parsley and grated parmesan. Toss the pasta into the mixture and gradually add the reserved cooking liquid until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Dish out onto serving plates and arrange the sliced Cajun chicken over the pasta. Serve hot!


Mel said...

Delicious looking pasta you have made here. Do you make your own Cajun seasonings or store bought? I don't think I can get this Cajun here in Msia!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

I used Masterfoods cajun seasoning. Try looking for it, it's good!

Zoe said...

This pasta dish looks very inviting and the chicken is so perfectly cooked.

Your blog is very well presented with lots of fantastic photo. I would love follow you for more in the future.

Jessica Dimas said...

You can tell that chicken has flavor to it and I like how you cut the chicken and laid it across the pasta, very inviting.

Only Fish Recipes said...

wow...such a flavorful pasta...looks delicious :-)

Simply Tia said...

How amazing does this look?!! I've tried Cajun chicken before and it didn't come out so crisp and clean looking as yours. You've inspired me to give it another go. Will tackle that next week. Thanks for sharing.

Mel said...

Hi Fern, I found the Cajun seasoning in our supermarket shelves! And it is Masterfoods. Thanks, I've never used Cajun before so didn't know it was all along in the shelves. Got to try it to see how it tastes.

LoLy said...

WOW, I LOOOOOOOOOVE it, soo yummy and amazing, Thank you for sharing, I am glad to follow you :)

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Mel: That's great to hear. Let me know what you come up with.
@Loly: HI! Thanks for visiting and following! :)

Memória said...

So, I want to thank you for posting this fantastic recipe. I made a lower-fat version of it with homemade, wheat/semolina pasta and homemade cajun seasoning. It was AMAZING and extra spicy (because I added used 1 tsp of red, chile peppers in the seasoning). I'll be making this dish more often.

Low-fat changes I made and website sources: 1. Used 2% milk ONLY (no cream) 2. used homemade, wheat/semolina pasta. 3. Used only olive oil, no butter. 4. I didn't use white wine.

CAJUN SEASONING: (I used 1 tsp of salt, not 2)

WHEAT/SEMOLINA PASTA: (I subbed wheat flour for white and added only enough flour to make a non-sticky, pliable dough)

I also didn't use a clean pot for the onions. I just added them to the oil and chicken juices to make everything more flavorful.

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Memoria: Wow I love it that you made your own pasta and cajun seasoning. It's nice to have a low fat version for a lighter meal option. I reckon you can also use evaporated milk instead of cream for a healthier alternative. I think I will try making low fat pasta dishes next time too :)