Sunday, May 5, 2013

What's for Dinner: Cajun Chicken Pasta

I'm working on slowly posting some [old] favorite recipes that I'm mentioned in the past on this blog, and I'm surprised I haven't posted this already on here as it is one of the favorites. Everyone I've made this for loves it, and it's one of the recipes I'm most often asked for.

You need:
  • 12 ounces of pasta [I prefer penne for this one]
  • 1-2 tablespoons of [unsalted] butter
  • 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • Half-and-half [amount will depend on how creamy you want it. I use a 32 fluid ounce size container, but you can start with about 1 and a half cups if you'd like]
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into tiny bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 firm-ripe [roma] tomatoes, cored and diced
  • [1 cup] of mozzarella cheese, shredded or grated
How I make it:
  1. First thing -- put the water to boil for the pasta as that will take the longest. Put a generous amount of salt in the water right at the start as this is the only chance to salt the pasta. For pasta preference, penne works best on my opinion because it absorbs the sauce the best.
  2. Then in a deep pan, melt about 1-2 tablespoon of butter and then add about the same amount of flour. Mix well so it becomes like a rue (light brown, thick liquid consistency)... There should be no lumps and the flour taste should be gone. Make sure you do this on very low temperature so it doesn't burn.
  3. Then to this add half and half (I use a 32 fluid ounce size container). Add Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. On low heat, let it thicken. Then add Parmesan cheese.
  4. In a separate pan, add chicken pieces that are cut to small pieces (like if you were making popcorn chicken). Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, and a little bit of oil. Let it cook on medium heat. When it's almost done, lower the heat and add tomatoes that are  diced into small pieces (like on top of nachos). Also add jalapeƱo peppers if you want extra spice (cut into very small pieces, with the seeds thrown out -- otherwise its too spicy).
  5. When the chicken and pasta is cooked through, add the pasta and chicken into the sauce pot and mix it well. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and more Parmesan cheese if you want and mix it well.
  6. To garnish -- if I am serving at a party -- what I do is after mixing, I add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese on top [or grated parmesan like in the picture] and then sprinkle Cajun seasoning on top.
It's best when eaten right away!

P.S. This post is a part of my "What's for Dinner" series, where I share what I've been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

11 comments:

Rhonda said...

This sounds really good. Do you make it super spicy, or mild?

Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com

Summaiyah Hyder said...

Thanks Rhonda, you will love it! I tend to base the spice level based on who I am feeding it to. I find that people in my age group like it much spicier, while my parents and kids [of course] like it milder. It is a personal preference. Even the milder one is full of taste though because of the seasonings. I liberally season the chicken and the white sauce.

Emily Thompson said...

love the cajun!! sounds like a recipe my family would love! Emily @ Nap-Time Creations

Nicole@nicole-southerncharm.com/ said...

This looks amazing! I will be trying this out soon! I am new from southern charm. I would love for you to follow me back! Nicole

Jackie Kocurek said...

I had cajun pasta once and loved it. Will need to try this recipe! Thanks for linking up at the Tried and True Party! http://rediscovermom.blogspot.com/2013/05/tried-and-true-recipes-11.html

Sarah Wells said...

Delicious! I love cajun chicken pasta, I get some version of it at a lot of different restaurants. I've never made my own, though. I'm pinning this to try sometime. I found your post when I linked up to the Wow Me Wednesday party this week.

Summaiyah Hyder said...

Thanks Emily, hope you try it out soon.
Nicole - thank you! It tastes amazing (especially right after it is made).
Jackie - Definitely try it out soon, you won't be disappointed.
Sarah - It's not hard to make at all, definitely try making it at home.

Lynn Huntley said...

Sounds wonderful~ My three favorites; chicken, pasta and cajun:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines~ now following~

Summaiyah Hyder said...

Thanks Lynn, I definitely recommend it -- it's a crowd pleasure for sure.

Heather SettingforFour said...

Thanks for sharing your yummy pasta recipe at Project Inspire{d} linky party last week!! Hope to see you at this week's party up now : http://www.settingforfour.com/2013/05/project-inspired-linky-party-no.html Pinned your post to our group linky party board! Heather

The Thriftiness Miss said...

This sounds really good! I bet my guy would absolutely love it. Adding it our meal list next week :) Thanks so much for sharing with us at Weekend Wonders. Hope you're having a great week!

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