I intended to post this recipe during the last week of January for Trey’s birthday, but I ended up getting sick the weekend before and didn’t get the chance to make it. So today’s post is for him, for both his birthday and Valentine’s Day!
This Cajun Chicken Alfredo is the perfect romantic dinner for two to make tonight. Or for a few if you’re having some friends over. Or for one if you don’t feel like sharing. (Totally get it!)
Doesn’t this kind of look like a heart? That was a happy accident, but see? I told you this is perfect for Valentine’s Day!
I made this pasta dish for Trey on the first birthday of his that we spent together. (Make sure to check out the old Instagram picture at the bottom of this post!) He was still in New Jersey at the time, so I packed up a bunch of groceries and kitchen tools, drove to his townhouse for the weekend from Pennsylvania, and made him special meals the whole weekend.
Nowadays, I ask Trey to pick a full week’s worth of birthday meals during his birthday week. I was so excited that he actually picked two of my recipes this year: Chimichurri Burgers and BLAT Grilled Cheese!! He also picked regular old-school tacos made with ground turkey, our favorite Chicken Gyros, and these Jalapeno Popper Black Bean Burgers. (I couldn’t believe he chose one meal that didn’t have any meat! I must be rubbing off on him.) We also made a peanut butter pie!
For this super special meal, you’ll pound out the chicken and season it with your favorite cajun spices. I like to use Emeril’s cajun seasoning. Whip up a batch of this and then you’ll have it on hand for times like these. Bam!
After the chicken is cooked through, add some cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic to the same skillet. Deglaze the pan with a couple glugs of dry white wine, then throw in some cream and cheese. Toss the sauce with some cooked whole wheat fettuccine or linguine, and then top with the cooked chicken and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Heavenly!
(Puppy nose is optional.)
Cajun Chicken Alfredo
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: serves 6||Total:|
Spicy, creamy, bright, and decadent; this is a perfect meal for a special occasion.
- 4 small or two large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
- 1/2 orange pepper, sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 oz. Neufchâtel cheese
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 lb. whole wheat linguine or fettuccine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- A small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Place the chicken in a large zip-lock bag and seal it shut so that you don't get raw chicken everywhere. (Gross.) Pound each chicken breast out until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
- Set the chicken on a clean plate and season both sides with the Cajun seasoning.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of butter and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on one side. (It will lift up easily when it's ready to be flipped!)
- Flip the chicken to sear the other side for a minute or two, and then turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid so that the chicken finishes cooking through.
- Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- When the chicken is done cooking, set the chicken aside on a cutting board to rest while you start cooking the pasta and the sauce.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter, peppers, and cherry tomatoes to the skillet that you cooked the chicken in. Sautée for a couple of minutes until the vegetables start to get tender. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two more.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine, whisking up all of the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the skillet. Simmer until the wine reduces slightly.
- Add the cream and let the sauce bubble until thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a hint of nutmeg.
- Add the two cheeses to the pasta and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Using tongs, toss all of the cooked pasta with all of the sauce and vegetables.
- Slice the chicken thinly against the grain (or chop it to make it easier to eat) and serve on top of the pasta. Garnish with the fresh parsley and extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Recipe adapted from Comfortably Domestic
Since the pasta can soak up a lot of the sauce while it sits, I like to add an extra splash of cream when heating up leftovers.
This is the first time we spent Trey’s birthday together in 2014, eating this Cajun Chicken Alfredo.
Happy Valentine’s Day (and Happy Birthday) to this guy! Emmy and I love you to pieces!