Cajun Chicken Pasta (Chili’s Style)

Hi folks!

Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. Can we rewind back to Friday night, please? Can’t cope with it being a few hours away from returning to work… It’s been a crazy busy week, followed by a hectic weekend. I’ve done everything from giving blood to helping my ‘rents move. On the plus side, the long Easter weekend ahead could not be more welcome!

Between the craziness I’ve also squeezed in some reading. My poor kindle had been feeling a little neglected recently, but I’ve basically read the bulk of a book this weekend, which feels like something of an achievement. If you have any recommendations of a good read, please do share! I’m always looking for something new.

If I’m honest, with everything going on, I didn’t think I’d manage to get a post in this week. But after the gym tonight, I decided not to throw something in the oven, but rather to whip up a quick and easy pasta meal, inspired by a dish I’d enjoyed at Chili’s in Dubai a few years ago. Al dente pasta, doused in a rich, garlicky cheesy sauce, topped with a serving of juicy spiced chicken and fresh tomatoes beside a huge hunk of garlic bread. Oh yeah.

Cajun Chicken With Pasta - Chili's Style

Ingredients:

Pasta (serves 3 – 4)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 250g penne pasta
  • 250ml double cream
  • 80g parmesan cheese, grated
  • Butter
  • Cajun spice mix
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Smoked lemon powder (I picked this up in Dubai, but lemon salt will do just fine)
  • 4/5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 spring onion
  • Olive oil

Garlic bread

  • 4 baguette slices
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Grated cheese, ideally mozzarella, I only had cheddar so that’s what I used…

Method:

  1. Bring a medium saucepan 3/4 full of water to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt before adding your pasta. Cook until al dente, reserve a cup of the starchy water and drain the rest.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  3. Meanwhile, butterfly the two chicken breasts and split into four individual portions. Add 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning and mix well.
  4. Pop the butter and minced garlic for the garlic bread in a small bowl and mix well. Smear this generously on your sliced baguettes, top with grated cheese and place on a tray in the oven for around 8-10mins.
  5. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat, add a generous glug of olive oil, and carefully place your chicken slices in. You’ll need around 3 minutes on each side until cooked through and nice and browned.
  6. Start on your sauce by placing a tablespoon of butter in a pan with the double cream. Once heated through, add the grated parmesan, half a teaspoon of garlic powder and some freshly ground pepper. Add a pinch of salt, be careful not to overdo it as the cheese brings with it a saltiness.
  7. Mix well until cheese melts. If need be, loosen out the sauce with the reserved starchy pasta water, I think I used around 100ml of this.
  8. To serve, toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and place in a plate. Slice up a piece of chicken into strips and place on top. Generously sprinkle on some additional cajun seasoning and smoked lemon powder before top with the chopped tomatoes and spring onions. Add a slice of your garlic bread and tuck in whilst it’s hot!

Enjoy!

– Kay

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