When I made the chicken Gumbo last month I think one of the things I loved the most about it was the home-made Cajun spices. I thought at the time that they would make a wonderful seasoning for chicken in any recipe.
A few days ago I was looking for a pasta recipe and I came across a Cajun chicken pasta and I just had to give it a try. The problem was that the recipe had 900 calories per serving! I wanted to try Cajun chicken without risking a heart attack..I thought I would try to give it a healthy make over because it seemed like an interesting combination of flavors (Chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and pasta).
What I did was to replace cream with milk, add a variety of vegetables (red and yellow pepper, mushrooms) and I increased the herbs to make up for any lost flavor due to cutting down the fat.
I’m glad to report that it was a success, in fact the recipe was written in my recipe book to be made again in the near future.
Cajun chicken pasta
2 chicken breasts cut into cubes
2 tablespoons Cajun spice (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic
1 cub milk
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (that have been pre-soaked in hot water then drained)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 carrot shredded
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 yellow pepper cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1 tablespoon parmesan
1/4 cup mozzarella
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon all spice
My home-made Cajun Spice
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
½ teaspoon ground allspice
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for slightly less time than asked for on the box (You want the pasta to be under cooked to absorb the sauce that you will add later); drain.
Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat.Allow to stand for 30 minutes
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chicken in the oil and butter until the chicken is golden brown.
Take the chicken out of the pan
Add the onions, saute for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic, saute for 2 more minutes.
Add the pepper, mushrooms and carrot. Saute and stir for 5 more minutes.
Add the chicken back and reduce the heat.
Add the milk, basil, marjoram and all spice, cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add the cheese and cream and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Add the cooked linguine, toss and serve.