CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Cajun Chicken Pasta

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats around. It can be either fried, baked or roasted. It can stand on its own or be combined with a number of other foods. A Google search of chicken recipes yields 11 million hits. You get what I mean.

chickenpastaWe eat chicken more than a lot of households, buying chickens by the case from a local Hutterite community. Besides plain old chickens that weigh about 5 pounds, we also enjoy the smoked variety.

I like to cook a smoked chicken in a Dutch oven for 2 to 3 hours. Then, once the meat has cooled a bit, I debone it. The meat is great alone, on sandwiches or combined with vegetables, rice or in soups.

One of my favorite dishes to make with the smoked meat is is Cajun chicken pasta. Originally, the recipe called for two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips. I like to substitute the smoked chicken, about 2 to 3 cups of it, shredded. In fact, I haven’t made the recipe the original way since making the substitution.

This recipe is something to cluck about.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
2 to 3 cups smoked chicken, shredded, or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 thinly sliced green onion1 to 2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in butter or margarine, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat, add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese.

Leave a Reply