Here in Florida, we have a popular restaurant/bar that serves Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta. Every time we go that’s what I order. I just love it so much I needed to recreate it at home.
I will say, a good bit of butter goes into making of this dish, but that’s part of the reason it’s so delicious. I think once and a while it’s alright to indulge in a rich and decadent dish!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, 1 deep-sided frying pan, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, whisk, large mixing bowl. 1 (1-gallon) zip-lock plastic bag, Microplane, chef’s knife
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 boxes) of linguine
1 pint of white button mushrooms, sliced
5 plum tomatoes, diced
1 shallot, finely minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup of dry white wine
6 tablespoons of olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 cup for garnishing each serving)
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish
Place 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, that’s been patted dry, in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped Itallian flat-leaf parsley, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika. Let all the air out of the bag and seal it up. Using your hands, massage the chicken so all the seasoning coats the chicken. Set aside.
In a cast-iron skillet over medium melt 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Add the minced shallot, minced Fresno chili, sliced mushrooms, and dried thyme. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the mushrooms have released all their water and become brown. Next, add the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, continue stirring, cook for another 3 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. This process should take another 7 to 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms are simmering dice 5 plum tomatoes. Transfer the diced tomatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add the sautéed mushrooms and shallot mixture to the same bowl, mix to combine.
Using the same skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons each of butter olive oil. Let the butter melt moving the butter and oil around in the skillet to coat the entire bottom. Next, place the 4 seasoned chicken breast into the skillet. Cook the chicken breasts for 5 to 7 minutes per side until almost tender. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Set aside.
Have a large pot of boiling salted water ready for the pasta. While that’s happening, thinly slice the chicken breasts on the bias. Transfer back to the plate.
In a deep-sided frying pan (rondeau), start the sauce. Over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter (this may seem like a large amount of butter, but there is a lot of pasta and it needs to be coated really well with butter) along with 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoon sweet paprika. Add 1/2 a cup of chicken broth. Let this come to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream, whisk to combine. Add the sliced chicken into the sauce. Over medium-low heat simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Next add the cooked mushroom/shallot mixture and diced tomatoes, mix to combine.
Drop the pasta and cook until just al dente, about 8 minutes.
Once the pasta reaches the al dente stage, using a pair of tongs, transfer the linguine to the deep-sided frying pan with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off and toss together until all the pasta is coated and the chicken is mixed through. The pasta will quickly absorb the sauce.
Serve a good helping in a porcelain pasta bowl. Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and another sprinkling of the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Ther you have it, my Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta.