Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pasta on the Bayou

Grab a glass of sweet tea, muster up your best Cajun accent and get ready to prop yourself on the porch with a spicy dish of browned chicken, full-flavor sausage and charred veggies all basking in a rich creamy kicked-up sauce. After spending two lively years living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I can testify to two sure fire truths in Bayou country, it’s all about the people and the food! This dish is created in layers and I must warn you from experience that if you have family members around during the process, the beginning layers are so irresistible that they may not make it into the final dish.

Pasta on the Bayou
by Krisi
Adapted from Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta

1 pound of fettuccine
2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Dinner Mix
1 pound of Andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 whole green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 whole large red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 whole Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Dinner Mix over chicken pieces and toss to coat. Allow the seasoned chicken to sit while browning the Andouille sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove browned sausage from pan and drain on paper towels. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer. Without stirring, allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.

Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.

Add remaining olive oil and butter. When nice and heated, toss in peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Mix, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the chicken broth and wine. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to de-glaze and get all the good bits into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly as you add the cream. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

Finally, add sausage, chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Top with chopped fresh parsley and grab a fork!

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