Cajun cooking has a reputation for bringing hearty meals to the table that are inexpensive and still tasty. However, there is more to Cajun culture and food than just red beans and rice and Jambalaya. The Cajun culture has roots that go back to the 18th century in Eastern Canada.
Wonderfully simple and featuring the Cajun flavors of peppers, tomatoes and cajun seasonings, this recipe for Cajun Chicken Pasta Dinner is a one skillet meal that you will quickly add to your rotation of meals that feature boneless, skinless chicken. With zesty flavors that aren’t too spicy, this pasta dish will soon become a family favorite.
1lbboneless skinless chicken tenders(about 4 to 6 large chicken tenders)
2 to 4tbspolive oil
1red bell pepper
1green bell pepper
16ounces chicken broth
1tbspcornstarchmixed with ¼ cup water
¾cup parmesan cheese
In a small, shallow bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper, along with the onion powder. Stir these ingredients with a fork to combine them.
Pat dry the chicken as best that you can with paper towels.
Roll the chicken pieces in the seasoning, coating them all over with the seasonings.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Put the chicken pieces in the hot oil.
Cook them about 5 minutes on each side, turning them over once. They should be cooked completely.
Take the chicken pieces out of the skillet and put them on a plate.
If there is no longer oil in the pan, add another tablespoon to the pan. Core and slice the bell peppers into long slices and put them into the pan, cooking them until they are lightly browned all over, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir them frequently.
Add the garlic to the pan, stirring and cooking it for about 60 seconds or until it is a light golden brown color.
Pour the chicken broth into the pan. Then add the tomatoes and ½ cup of the heavy cream.
Bring the sauce to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it for the time that is recommended on the package, stirring every now and then throughout the cooking time.
Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce, cooking it until the sauce starts to get thick, for about a minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the heavy cream along with the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the top of the pan with the parsley and place the chicken on top of the pasta.
Dip the mixture into bowls and serve piping hot with a crusty bread roll.
Store leftovers in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to three days. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave.
In the mid 1700s, French colonists in Eastern Canada were forcibly moved from their homes. The British, who were in charge of the area at the time, disliked how the French colonists had intermingled with the Natives. This was also during the time of the French and Indian War, when the British were at war with the French people.The region of Eastern Canada where these people lived included New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and portions of Northern Maine. At the time, this area was called Acadia. Over 14,000 Acadians were forcibly removed from their homes to various parts of the British empire. Many of these people fled to Spanish-controlled Louisiana, where they took on a new label. These people were called Cajuns.Because the climate and growing conditions of their new home were so drastically different from Canada, the Acadian-Cajuns had to change the way that they cooked and ate. They included West African, French, and Spanish recipes and cooking techniques in their new style of cooking, as well as French preparation methods. Most of the time, their recipes used ingredients that were available locally and with simple preparation methods.The majority of Cajun meals start with what is called the “Holy Trinity” of foods. These ingredients are celery, onion, and green bell peppers, sauteed together until tender. Then, other ingredients are often added to the pot. Dishes are frequently seasoned with parsley, red pepper, and black pepper along with garlic.Meat included in Cajun meals is usually what can be caught or made at home. Sausage is not unusual in Cajun cooking, along with things like crawfish and shrimp, which Cajun cooks can catch fresh out on the bayous of Louisiana. Chicken makes a frequent appearance as well, since it is usually inexpensive and easy to find.Most of the time, Cajun meals are not elaborate, featuring ingredients that are fresh and easy to prepare. Our recipe for Cajun Chicken Pasta Dinner is not a genuine Cajun recipe, but uses many of the same seasonings and a simple preparation style. It is super easy and takes advantage of the natural goodness of tomatoes, peppers and spices.
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