Cajun chicken pasta

The Pioneer Woman really wins. I always knew she was awesome but this recipe helped re-solidify her awesome-ness. Note: Exhibit A-

 
 
In my effort to drop this last 10 lbs of unwanted grossness my portion sizes have dropped. I’m sad I started this diet lifestyle change in the midst of an awesome week of recipes. True statement: I stole a couple bites out of the bowl before storing it in the fridge. And had half a coconut chocolate truffle.

 So this was much more simple to make  than I thought. On the left is 3/4 red onion, 193 cloves of garlic(give or take), and three hatch chile’s. In the middle is 4 lbs chicken breast, 2 T Slap Ya Mama Cajun spice. We love us some spice and shockingly K ate a few pieces but it was a little much for her. I’d recommend a different spice for a less overwhelming burn 🙂 The right bowl is 8 Roma tomatoes sitting in all their Roma tomato glory.

 After cooking the chicken in butter and oil I added the peppers,onions, and garlic. Make sure to scrape all the flavor off the bottom of your cast iron for optimal flavor. That, my friends, is where the the goodness lies. I threw the tomatoes in at the last second before transferring to a large stock pot that would accommodate so much chicken, veggies, and pasta.

This will easily feed our family, including my very hungry husband, for a few days of leftovers. I doubled the recipe listed below to help with not having to cook so frequently given my hectic schedule as of late. I also made a little extra sauce so the noodles and chicken would absorb the liquid for more flavor when we use the dreaded microwave to reheat. Don’t tell people I don’t warm up my food on the stove and, in turn, expose my kid to harsh microwaves (ha!) It’s my cooking best friend and I most certainly adore that ugly white mass that sits above my range. Replacing it with a fancy pants one is high on my priority list of house redo’s. I’ve already started as shown here.

 Changes for next time: less heat so K can grub, 6 oz of parmesean because cheese makes the world go round and I’m pretty sure the words “Why is there cheese in this dish?” were uttered by no one ever.

Ingredients

  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
  • 1 pound Fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1/2 whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Cayenne Pepper To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 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 and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.
Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!
Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.
Top with chopped fresh parsley and chow down!
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