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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lousiana Pasta

I've been watching my sodium or should I say, I am "trying" to watch my sodium and keep it to 500 mg or less per meal. It is absolutely INSANE the amount of sodium in some foods. I'm sure I didn't keep it to 500 but it's less because I left out the chicken broth and that made me feel better. I will be buying the no salt cajun spice the next time I'm at the store too. If you want the original, go here

Claire has been asking me to make this recipe for weeks so I changed a couple of things and reduced the sodium a bit, added a couple of things to make it healthier and it was a meal we all still loved. The photos are from the first time I made it, to give you an idea but the directions and ingredients are new.

What you'll need:

4 T Olive Oil
4 Boneless Chicken Breasts halved
1 C Breadcrumbs ~ I use Panko
1 C Milk ~ I used skim
2 T Flour

Cajun Sauce
1 T Butter ~ unsalted for me
1 small Yellow Pepper chopped
1 small Red Pepper chopped
3/4 small Red Onion chopped
1 C Mushrooms sliced
1 1/2 C Aspargus snapped into bite size pieces
2 handfuls Spinach ~ fresh and chopped
3 Cloves Garlic minced
1 t Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 t Cajun Seasoning
1 pint 1/2 and 1/2
2 T Basil
3/4 C Fresh Parmesan shredded or grated
12 oz cooked Bow Tie Pasta

Wash and dry chicken breasts. Pound until very thin with a meat hammer~I did it between two pieces of saran wrap or waxed paper to lessen mess. The thinner the better. I would also cut the chicken into pieces about the size of your palm, easier to work with and it doesn't matter if they are strips or's all good. Whatever works best for you.

Mix breadcrumbs and flour together in a bowl you can dip the chicken into.

Put milk in another dish for dipping.

Sprinkle chicken lightly with pepper and garlic powder.

Dip chicken in milk and into the dry. Put on plate.

Move to sauce...

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, mushrooms, aspargus and 1 t Cajun Spice and cook until crisp tender..about 4 minutes

Add garlic and crushed red pepper to skillet and saute couple more minutes.

Add 1/2 and 1/2, 1 t Cajun Spice and Basil. Simmer (don't boil or you aren't going to like what happens to your sauce) until sauce re-heats and thickens, about 5 minutes. Add cheese to sauce, stir to incorporate.

IF your sauce won't thicken. Ladle out one scoop, add 2 T Cornstarch and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Pour back into pan and stir. This will thicken your sauce right up.

Season sauce to taste with pepper. Reduce heat and simmer on low until sauce reduces and thickens. Add chopped spinach and cook until it wilts.

Back to Chicken...

Heat Olive Oil in fry pan. Fry at medium heat until crisp and golden. Remove and put on plate, tent lightly with foil to keep warm. You don't want to cover tightly or it will get soggy.

Add oil as necessary and continue to cook chicken.

Add cooked pasta to sauce and give a toss.

Plate pasta, top with chicken and serve. Add additional parmesan if desired.

Your ingredients, don't be's SO worth it.
If I was doing this for a dinner party, I would do this step earlier in the day. It's a little messy. Start pounding in the middle of the breast, flatten from the middle to the sides.
This is how thin you want it.
Chop your peppers and onions, I threw in some green just because I had them. You could do this ahead too.
Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms, don't do this ahead, mushrooms are tempermental.
Saute your vegis with some cajun spice and crushed pepper flakes.
Add your cream, chicken broth, cajun seasoning and basil and simmer.
You can't really see the difference but it's thicker now;)
Here is your dry ingredients, mix it up with a couple of cranks from your pepper mill.
Dip your chicken, make sure it's well coated.
Keep going until all the chicken is coated.
Heat some oil, see you don't need much, just a light coating in the pan.
Couple minutes per side.
Dinner is SERVED

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