Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Cajun Chicken Pasta (Ree Drummond)



This is the ultimate comfort food. Really. I was home taking another day off from work to recover from my slipped disc. Surely you don't expect me to be moping around the house wallowing in misery, do you? So I did what I love best - cook! I mean, I had to eat, right?


I was very attracted to this colorful pasta dish and the fact that it uses Cajun spices made it even more alluring to me. This time, I behaved myself and followed the recipe except for the wine part. I don't have any white wine in the house. And I used spaghetti instead of fettuccine and coriander instead of parsley.


When I opened this bottle of Cajun seasoning, I licked the protective foil for a taste. It was very spicy and salty. Yum! Another reason why I chose to cook this dish is because I had some red, green and yellow capsicum leftover from cooking Sunday Night Stew.


I was at first contemplating omitting butter and cream from the recipe as I am generally averse to these two ingredients except in cakes and bakes. I don't like creamy pastas as I find the smell of butter, cream and cheese too strong. However, I decided to take a leap of faith this time and used butter when sauteing the chicken and vegetables. 

Creamy sauce.

The smell of the Cajun spice coated chicken being browned in olive oil and butter was wonderful. And later, when I added cream to the sauce, I found the smell to be very appetizing. This made me think that my prior bad impression was probably due to less that fresh butter or/and cream being used in the food I ate at the restaurant.


After tossing the pasta in the sauce, I had a taste. Wow! I loved it! I did not have any parsley, so I sprinkled chopped coriander into the pasta. And it tasted even better. I went on an overdose of coriander as it is my favorite herb. My dad thinks that coriander smells like stink bugs. Does it?

A forkful of heaven!

I was very happy, in carbo induced delirium, as I tucked in into my big bowl of pasta. This is soooo......gooooood!!! Definitely a dish that I would repeat in the near future and one that would make its appearance at my next family gathering :)

I love this with loads of coriander.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Recipe source : Ree Drummond
(My notes and adaptations in red)

Ingredients :
- 3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes (I used 8 strips chicken fillet)
- 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, more to taste (I used a lot more)
- 1 pound Fettucine (I used 250g spaghetti)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole green bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I used half)
- 1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I used half and another half of yellow pepper)
- 1/2 whole large red onion, sliced (I used one whole big onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 big cloves)
- 4 whole Roma tomatoes, diced (I used 1 Roma tomato)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (I used chicken stock cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water)
- 1/2 cup white wine (I omitted)
- 1 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup)
- Cayenne pepper to taste (I used chilli powder)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Salt to taste (I did not need salt)
- Chopped fresh parsley to taste (I used coriander)

Method :
1. Cook pasta to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!
2. Sprinkle 1.5 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat.
4. Add half the chicken in  a single layer; do not stir. Allow the 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.
5. Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt of needed. Cook over 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.
6. With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly.
7. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture.
8. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy.
9. Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.
10. Top with fresh parsley and chow down!



I'm linking this post to Cook Like a Star, an event co-hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy KidsBaby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. The featured chef for the month is Ree Drummond.

46 comments:

  1. I still haven't decide which recipes to choose from Ree Donmonnd. Would love to try this pasta recipe as it looks really delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, I suggest you try this one because it is simply fabulous!

      Delete
  2. Hi Phong Hong,
    I have seen Emily's Cajun pasta and now yours! Looks so delicious! I would love to try this too, since I have some Hot and Spicy Cajun Spice mix. And I would triple on the coriander too! My favourite! I think Coriander has one of the most beautiful fragrance of all herbs! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joyce, I agree with you. Coriander is THE Best!

      Delete
  3. I saw the big big pasta title so I quickly drop by, haha! Love the cajun chicken dish that you had cooked. I think eating them with boiled rice also tastes just as good? Have a good weekend ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, you are right! Can also eat it with rice, just as good!

      Delete
  4. Hi Phong Hong,
    Guess what I am having for my ta pau lunch at the office today?!!

    Yours looks so AWESOME! Very colorful. Coriander do stink sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emliy, I had the leftovers for breakfast hee..hee...

      Delete
  5. This is so delicious! I saw it on Emily's blog yesterday and now on yours...makes me feel like making it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mich, I highly recommend this pasta to you. Guarantee you and family will love it!

      Delete
  6. Hi Phong Hong,

    What an co-incidence! I remember seeing Emily and Lian cooked the same recipe too. Yours look as good and delicious as theirs! Yum!

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zoe, this is a truly yum dish! Do try it!

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Victoria, it is really delicious and I hope that you try it too!

      Delete
  8. cajun spiced chicken with pasta....this is for dinner tonight,thanks for sharing this delicious dish :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kumars kitchen, you will have second helpings I can assure you!

      Delete
  9. My Dear,
    I will definitely try this out.. I don't have that Cajun.. Substitute with Italian paste also can la..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ogyep, try to get the Cajun spice. The Italian paste would not taste as good for this one.

      Delete
  10. Hi Phong Hong, This is double WOW!. Look soooo delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doris, that's how I felt when I took my first bite!

      Delete
  11. Looks good, spicy and creamy pasta. Throw in a chili padi or two, syok habis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, next time I will add chilli padi!

      Delete
  12. I love reading your descriptions of the food, always so colorful and full of impressions! Pity I do not have this cajun here and I won't be able to try the dish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ola, Cajun spice mix can be made using a few spices mixed together. Check Ree's recipe as she has some suggestions.

      Delete
  13. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.com11 September 2013 at 22:45

    Phong Hong, so colourful and tempting. How to say no??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ivy, cannot say no! Cook this pasta soon, you will not regret it :)

      Delete
  14. Now, that looks soooo good! Drool! Drool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur, don't drool, cook some quick!

      Delete
  15. my mouth waters as i'm looking at all these photos! i never tried any creamy pasta except for carbonara, i must say that this looks totally delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lena, now I have some faith in creamy pastas!

      Delete
  16. Hi Phong Hong, Coriander is also one of my favourite herb. If you add wine the next time, you'll find it brings this pasta to another level:))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lian, I'll be sure to add some the next time if I have any :)

      Delete
  17. It looks delicious and perfect for a gathering too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the sort of food very convenient for big gatherings :)

      Delete
  18. Superb....looks too good n i wish u parcel to me some :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GK, it might get eaten up along the way, so you better cook this yourself hah! hah!

      Delete
  19. WOW! This is so mouthwatering & a keeper recipe too. I must try liao!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kit, I highly recommend this pasta. Very ho chiak!!

      Delete
  20. Phong Hong,good morning, may I have a plate of chicken pasta for my breakfast now? hehe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Esther, yes you can! I also had it for breakfast the next day :)

      Delete
  21. Replies
    1. Swasthi, it is a very delicious pasta dish. Highly recommended!

      Delete
  22. Phong Hong, your pasta looks so scrumptiously good!! After seeing your version and Emily's version, I'm truly tempted to make this as a simple lunch for me very very soon ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Grace! I am looking forwards to your version :)

      Delete
  23. Hi Phong Hong, that's look delicious. Very appetizing and delightful. Love to have mind with extra chicken. :))

    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amelia! Yes, you can have your extra chicken. I enjoyed this dish a lot and so will you :)

      Delete