And we grub like this around here 24/7 baby!
As much as I like to eat, I have to know how to cook. I also love entertaining women and the fastest way to get them to spend the night is to fatten them up with a good meal.
So, I thought that I would share some of my dishes with the masses. Tonight's entree will be my world renown, "Cajun Chicken Alfredo". I will be updating this thread with all kinds of cooking so don't come here if you're starving. This won't help any!
Here are some terms that you will need to know to follow this recipe:
Dredge - To lightly coat food that is going to be fried with flour, breadcrumbs, or cornmeal (etc...). The coating helps to brown the food and provides a crunchy surface. Dredged foods need to be cooked immediately. Breaded foods (those dredged in flour, dipped in egg then dredged again in breading) can be prepared and held before cooking.
Blackened - A cooking technique where meat or fish is usually seasoned with a Cajun spice mixture and then cooked in a cast-iron skillet that has been heated almost red-hot. This technique gives the food an extra crispy crust and sears in the juices. It is also guaranteed to set off your smoke detector--unless the battery is dead!
Reduce (by some fraction or amount) - Reducing a liquid means just what it sounds like – making what there is smaller. You do this by simmering or boiling the liquid so that the water evaporates
. This concentrates the liquid so it has more flavor. It’s not an exact science, so if a recipe says “reduce by half”, you simply simmer or boil it until you think there is half as much liquid as there was in the beginning.
Deglaze - Deglaze a pan by moistening and then scraping up the browned bits of food that stick to the bottom of the pan. These deglazed browned bits are loaded with flavor. By deglazing the brown bits, you can transform them into a delicious sauce.
Slicing on the Bias - To cut on the bias
is to cut diagonally across the grain. The muscle fibers in meat run in more or less one direction. If you lay out a piece of steak and the muscle fibers run say north to south, instead of cutting straight across east to west, go north east to south west. This shortens the fibers making the meat easier to chew.
Junkman's Cajun Chicken Italian Pasta
- 4 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- 1 cup blackening spice (recommended: Paul Prudhomme's Poultry)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic.
- 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes.
- 1/4 cup white wine.
- 3 cups heavy cream.
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt.
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- 1 pound cooked fettuccine.
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. I don't trust my oven thermistor so I use a separate one.
2. Dredge the chicken breasts in the blackening spice.
I do mine a little differently. I actually pour the blackening seasoning into a plate and firmly press the meat into the seasoning on both sides. You do it the way that gives your food the desired flavor your want. Dredging for light flavor, pressing for more flavor.
The chicken breast I used were about 10 ounces each! I was going to use some of it for a later meal so don't look at the size of mine and think that they are 5 ounce pieces.
place in a cast iron skillet over very high heat. I left my cast iron skillet over at a girls house so I had to make do. I need to go get it!
You are not cooking the meat with this process, you are cooking the seasoning and sealing in the juices. The process is rather fast. Use a little bit of canola oil to lightly coat the skillet before adding the meat.
4. Blacken both sides of the chicken.
5. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
6. Allow the chicken to cool once removed from the oven. This keeps all the juices from draining from the chicken once you cut it up. After the chicken cools, slice in strips on the bias and set aside.
7. In a saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
8. Add garlic and lightly caramelize.
9. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken slices.
10. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
11. Add the heavy cream, increase the heat to a simmer, and reduce the cream sauce by half.
12. When the cream sauce is to desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and pasta.
13. Nest the pasta on large rimmed plates, pour sauce over pasta, and garnish with scallions and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan (I passed on the scallions).
Rock it with your beverage of choice.