Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spicy Chicken Pasta

One of Jeff's all-time favorite foods has always been the Spicy Chicken Pasta from Steak and Ale. Since they went out of business several years ago, he has never found what he considers to be an "acceptable" substitute anywhere else. I decided I would be nice and try to come up with a home-made alternative for him, but that proved to be harder than I expected. All the copy-cat recipes I found had very generic references to "cajun seasoning" in the cream sauce. Clearly this is pretty important to getting it to taste right, so I gave up on trying to make it like anyone else's version and just make my version!

My cajun seasoning blend consisted of chili powder, paprika, season salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. I used equal parts of everything but the season salt in my mix, but ended up adding a little more of that later, so you could probably do equal parts of everything. I mixed it all together in an empty spice bottle so it's all ready to go!

This is actually a really quick and easy meal. It's almost a one pan deal! I only made enough for two, so if you want leftovers you could easily double it.

I started by sprinkling three small chicken breasts with the cajun seasoning and searing them in my big pan with a little bit of olive oil. When they're cooked, I just pulled them off and let them rest on a small plate. Then I added 1 Tbsp of butter and let it melt. Then I added 1 Tbsp of flour and a little more cajun seasoning and let that all cook down. Then I added half a pint of heavy cream and about 2 Tbsp of parmesan cheese. After this all cooks together, just toss in half a pound of cooked pasta. I

Top the pasta with the cooked chicken (diced), diced tomatoes, and green onions. You could also add a little more parmesan if you like. Yum! I loved this because it had a really good flavor but wasn't overwhelmingly spicy. If you like it hotter you can easily add more spice (especially more red pepper).

As always, if you try it let me know what you think or if you come up with any other variations!

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