This is one of my all time favorite “quick and easy” dinners. I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so I’ll turn to it on those nights when dinner doesn’t go as planned. Coincidentally, those are usually the same nights that a heaping helping of pasta in a luxurious cream sauce is just what the doctor ordered. It’s got a ton of flavor, and a good kick of heat. But, not too much – the boys are both able to enjoy it. Feel free to scale down or amp up on the seasoning per your liking.
I like the addition of chicken stock to the sauce. It’s a great way to inject flavor into a dish, that doesn’t involve a ton of fat or calories (which, would be the case if this weren’t a cream sauce). The wine is a great touch, but if you don’t have a bottle open, I’d just skip it. Then again, you could see it as an excuse to open a bottle. Whatever floats your boat! It’s also absolutely wonderful with shrimp swapped out for chicken.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
½ onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 whole Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken broth
½ cups white wine
1 cup cream
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 pound cooked fettuccine
2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Cajun spice over both sides of the chicken breasts. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet, and cook on one side until well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook other side for about 4 minutes longer, or until juices run clear. Remove to plate and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over medium high heat until peppers and onions are tender. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan to a plate, and set aside.
With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium low and pour in cream, whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Add cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Add the vegetables to the sauce. Slice the chicken breasts into 1/2″ thick strips, making sure to include all the juices that have drained into the sauce. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine. Serve chicken strips on top of pasta. Sprinkle with scallions for garnish, if desired.
Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman