Thursday, August 9, 2012

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Where do I begin? I was not sure about this recipe because most "creamy" pastas that claim to be healthy have no flavor. This dish reminded me of my chicken spaghetti but there was a subtle difference in the flavor because of the cajun seasoning! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. It makes enough for 5 large servings. Surprisingly, this was just as good the day after and did not dry out like most pasta dishes when you reheat it.

This recipe is actually very easy to make so don't be intimidated by the ingredient list. It does take time to prepare but I recommend slicing and dicing your vegetables ahead of time and storing them in the refrigerator until ready to use! This will cut your prep time in half!
Semi-adapted from Skinny Taste
8 ounces linguini (half a box)
Rotisserie chicken, cooked (recommended) or 1 pound of chicken breast strips, cooked
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced (you can use a green one if you can't find yellow but the yellow is sweeter)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup fat free low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp flour+
3 Tbsp light cream cheese
Fresh cracked pepper
2 scallions, chopped
Salt to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
Prep all of your vegetables.
In a small blender or food processor, make a slurry by combining the milk, flour and cream cheese.
The slurry is the foundation of your sauce and makes the pasta creamy!
According to Kitchn, slurry is almost the opposite of a roux. A roux is cooked, uses fat and is added at the beginning of cooking, In comparison, a slurry is uncooked, needs no fat, and is added at the end of cooking. 
Season your chicken generously with cajun seasoning.
Over medium-high heat, heat a large heavy nonstick skillet; spray with cooking spray. Warm your rotisserie chicken for 8 minutes if not already warm. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook your pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Add olive oil to the same pan and reduce to medium heat. Add bell peppers, onions and garlic to skillet and saute for 6 minutes.
Add mushrooms and tomatoes and saute for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pour in slurry, stirring continuously about 2 minutes. If you find that the mixture is very soupy, add another tablespoon of flower and stir another 2 minutes. Again, if still soupy, add another tablespoon of flower.
Return chicken to the pan and cook another few minutes until hot. Finally, add the linguine; toss well to coat. Adjust salt and cajun seasoning to taste. 
Top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

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