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CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 TBLS Kitchen Crafted Bayou Catch
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 TBLS light olive oil
  • 1 lb DeCecco Penne Rigate
  • 2 TBLS olive oil
  • 3 TBLS butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 C heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 C Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
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So, I have a confession. Quite often, I have issues making boneless chicken breasts. There, I said it. Typically my chicken breasts are way overcooked and pretty dry. So, I had to come up with a solution to solve this problem of mine. I found it. Well, I actually found two solutions that work so well! One, is to marinate, marinate, marinate. Yes, it may take a bit more time to prepare, but I can assure you, your chicken will come out so juicy and tender every single time. The marinade requires some type of acid. Lemon or lime juice works. Marinate for at least an hour. Longer, if time allows. This Cajun Chicken Pasta was super tender and so juicy!

Another great option to ensure super juicy boneless chicken breasts is to use a precision cooker. This technique is known as sous vide. Honestly, it takes about the same amount of time as marinating. Sous vide is so much fun. I highly recommend this one from ANOVA. The initial investment is so worth it. Click here to check out some of my sous vide recipes. Believe it, or not, dessert is also an option!

KITCHEN CRAFTED

Let’s talk the reason for this recipe. A few months ago, I teamed up with an amazing brand, Kitchen Crafted. They offer a line of spice blends and spreads that are all created using high-quality, all natural ingredients. They sent me a big box full of their goodies. Now, I get to play around with them creating fabulous recipes. I recently used their Creole Kicker spread as a sauce for my Softshell Crab recipe! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It’s a super-light, mustardy blend of goodness. I’m going to try it next in Deviled Eggs!

Their Bayou Catch spice blend is just not for seafood, anymore. Not after I used it in this tasty Cajun Chicken Pasta. Check your local grocery stores for availability. Harris Teeter carries a few of their products locally, here in Charlotte! This recipe will feed two hungry people. Add a few more chicken breasts if you are feeding more! I also used this seasoning blend to make my Homemade Cajun Potato Chips.

me holding a jar of bayou catch spice blend with my cajun chicken pasta in the background

HOW TO MAKE CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

In a sealable bag, add in the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and lemons. Season the chicken with the Bayou Catch seasoning blend. Add chicken to the bag, and seal. With your hands, on the outside of the bag, move the chicken around to fully coat with the marinade. Place in fridge for at least an hour. Overnight will only make it better!

Once the chicken is fully marinated, prepare your pasta according to directions. Be sure to salt your water! I like to cook mine just under al dente. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.

a box of DeCecco penne Rigate

In a cast iron pan, (click here to purchase the one I used in this recipe), heat to medium a few tablespoons of olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in heated pan. Sprinkle the top with just a bit more of the Bayou Catch cajun seasoning. Cover, and allow to cook for about eight minutes per side. You can test with a thermometer to ensure the temperature has reached 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast. I like to turn up the heat at the end to create a nice sear on both sides. Be careful not to burn. Because, you will be using the browned bits from the pan to make the sauce.

Remove chicken from pan and reserve. In the same cast iron pan, with the heat back to medium, add in the butter and garlic. Cook for about two minutes. Turn up the heat just a touch. Add in the heavy whipping cream…slowly…and I mean…very slowly…whisk in the Parmesan cheese. If you pour it in all at one time…the cheese will clump.

TO FINISH AND SERVE THE CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

Whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add in the lemon zest, fresh parsley and cooked pasta. Slice the chicken and place on top of pasta. Garnish with more fresh parsley, diced tomato and a bit more lemon zest. ENJOY this fabulous Cajun Chicken Pasta!!!

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