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One Pot Cajun Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo


This One Pot Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo is so creamy, decadent, and full of Cajun flavor! Tender chicken coated in cajun spices, blackened broccoli, and al dente pasta coated in a deliciously creamy Alfredo sauce.


Tonight dinner just got a lot more flavorful! This Cajun chicken pasta Alfredo recipe tastes better than your favorite restaurant version!

Being raised in New Orleans, I love Cajun cooking!!


Ingredients

Broccoli – Fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized florets. Save time by buying pre-cut broccoli, or chop it up yourself. 8 ounces equals about 3 cups of broccoli florets.

Shallot – You can substitute for a small white onion if desired.

Garlic – I recommend mincing it yourself from fresh garlic. The flavor is always better than store bought minced garlic!

Parmesan cheese – If possible, go for authentic Parmigiano Reggiano. Always buy a block and freshly grate it yourself. This recipe calls for 2 ounces of finely grated parmesan, which should be very fluffy and light in texture. Cajun seasoning – Cajun seasoning is made of a mix of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried herbs and other spices.

Dried penne rigate pasta – Penne pasta works well for this recipe since there are lots of cavities to soak up all the creamy sauce! Other shapes that will also work well are cavatappi (tubular corkscrews), orecchiette (“little ears”), rotini (corkscrews), gemelli (twists), conchigliette (shells), or farfalle (bowties). Of course fettuccini Alfredo is a classic combination!

Instructions

STEP 1: PREP

Chop and dice your veggies, and finely grate 2 ounces of parmesan cheese with a microplane. Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and toss with cajun seasoning.

PRO TIP: I like to start with half the amount of Cajun seasoning first, then add more later if needed. Different seasoning blends have different levels of saltiness and you don’t want the final dish to be over-salted.


STEP 2: SEAR

Heat a skillet (with a fitting lid) over medium-high heat until fully heated. Add a little olive oil and sear chicken until browned on the outside and cooked through. Add chicken in a single layer to help it brown better.

TIP: Add a splash broth, water, or (my favorite) white wine to the pan to deglaze it if anything starts sticking. Scrape up any browned bits (fond) on the bottom of the pan.


Sear chicken to develop browned crust.


Sear broccoli to blacken on one side.

Remove cooked chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside. Next add broccoli florets into the same pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, allowing broccoli to brown on some sides. Stir occasionally.


PRO TIP: The step of browning the broccoli is not totally necessary, but I always include it. Searing the broccoli adds an extra layer of flavor to this dish which I love.

STEP 3: STEAM

Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan with broccoli and cover. Let broccoli steam for about 2 minutes, until slightly softer, but still firm. Remove broccoli and set aside with chicken.

STEP 4: SAUTÉ

Turn heat to medium-low and melt butter. Sauté shallots in the butter until becoming translucent and just starting to caramelize. Then add in garlic and cook until fragrant while stirring.


Sauté shallots and garlic.


Add broth, cream, and pasta and stir.

STEP 5: BOIL


Carefully pour in chicken stock, heavy cream, dried pasta, and stir. Cover and bring up to a simmer, then cook for about 5-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot and stir occasionally so nothing sticks and the pot doesn’t boil over. A glass lid makes it easier to watch. Slightly offset the lid if pasta continues to boil over.

PRO TIP: To avoid overcooked pasta in a one pot recipe like this, always check the pasta box’s directions! Various pasta has different cooking times, so cook to just under al dente according to package directions. I usually subtract a minute or 2 from the box recommendations. The pasta will continue to cook while the sauce simmers.

STEP 6: SIMMER

Remove the lid and add chicken with any juices back into the pan along with the broccoli and parmesan. Stir and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Do a final taste test and add more Cajun seasoning, salt, or black pepper if needed. Chop parsley while the sauce is simmering.


Add chicken, broccoli, and parmesan and simmer.


Sauce will thicken as it cools.

PRO TIP: Creamy sauces like this one will thicken as they cool, so remove your pan from the heat a little before the sauce reaches your desired consistency.


STEP 7: SERVE

Serve this creamy Cajun pasta warm topped with additional parmesan cheese and parsley.

· If anything starts sticking while searing the chicken or broccoli, add a splash broth, water, or (my favorite) white wine to the pan to deglaze it. Scrape up any browned bits (fond) and dissolve them into the deglazing liquid.

· I love the extra flavor that searing the broccoli adds to this dish.

· Check the box for recommended cooking time for al dente pasta, then subtract a minute or two during the “boil” step. The pasta will finish cooking while the sauce simmers, and this helps prevent overcooked pasta.

· Creamy sauces like this one will thicken as they cool, so remove your pan from the heat a little before the sauce reaches your desired consistency.


RECOMMENDED GRATER FOR CHEESE MAY BE FOUND ON THE WEBSITE

Zyliss Classic Cheese Grater

SKU: HZY-11370





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