Cajun pasta via flickr

Valette posted a photo:

Cajun pasta

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.
Step-by-step photos on my blog.

Realize that you don’t have any cajun spice seasoning, so instead of buying yet another spice mix for the cabinet, mix your own:

3/4 c kosher salt
1/4 c cayenne pepper
2T white pepper
2T black pepper
2T paprika
2T onion powder
2T garlic powder

Mix everything in a plastic baggie, then lean in and take a big whiff before remembering that the mix is basically 17 different kinds of pepper. Your nostrils and sinus will burn for the next hour to remind you.

Boil half a pound of fettuccine until al dente; soggy pasta is depressing. Slice up about 1/3 of a red onion, half of a red bell pepper, half of a green bell pepper, and two roma tomatoes. Set them aside.

Chop up a chicken breast and sprinkle them with a teaspoon of cajun spice. Toss the chicken to coat well, then stare at your fingers covered in cajun spice. Remember the 17 different kinds of pepper in it, and tell yourself not to touch your eye. Your eye will immediately start itching.

Heat butter and oil in a skillet over high heat and throw the chicken in. Don’t stir it, don’t touch it. This insures the chicken will brown nicely.

After about a minute, flip the chicken over. Continue cooking it for another minute, or until it’s cooked through. Remove the chicken to a clean plate. Look at all that wonderful brown crispy stuff on the bottom of the pan. Loaded with flavor.

Toss in the chopped veggies and some garlic, cooking it over the high heat for a minute or so. Do not sprinkle more cajun spice onto the veggies because you are a wimp when it comes to spicy food. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional half minute, or until the tomatoes are hot. Remove the veggies to the same plate as the chicken while you make the sauce.

Realize that all of your chicken stock is still in the freezer. Pull a bag from the freezer and submerge in a sink full of hot tap water until you have 1 cup of liquid stock. Pour 1/4 c white wine and the stock into the pan. Cook it on high for about 5 minutes, deglazing with a whisk. Reduce the heat and pour in the cream, whisking constantly. Cook until the cream thickens the sauce.

Dip your finger in the sauce and immediately yank it out because it’s still boiling. Lick it off your finger before placing the finger until cold water. Add salt (to the sauce, not your finger) to taste. Add in cayene if you prefer burning your tastebuds, then add the chicken and veggies to the sauce. Run downstairs and wake your fiance from his nap, saying that dinner is almost ready. Run back upstairs and cook everything for a minute or two until hot and bubbly.

Add in the drained fettuccine and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, the shout down the stairs that dinner is ready. Plate some pasta and take a bunch of photos before realizing you haven’t heard anything from downstairs. Stomp back downstairs to find the dog curled up on your fiance’s tummy, both lightly snoring. Poke them both then go back upstairs to eat your dinner without them. Lazy bums.

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