I’m reasonably adverse to hot spicy foods. But that didn’t deter me from trying a recipe called Cajun Chicken Alfredo.
I didn’t have access to any pre-made Cajun spices, so I grabbed a sachet of Peri Peri Chicken by McCormick.
I made a few changes to the recipe (aside from changing Cajun to Peri Peri).
- 750gm boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 packet McCormick’s Peri Peri Chicken
- 2 Tbs. butter, divided
- 1 Tbs. olive oil (or more if needed)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
- 1 ½ cups cream
- 1 ½ cups good quality, freshly grated Italian cheeses
- 3 oz. herbed goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
- 500gm cooked fettuccini
- If you’ve got skin on chicken breasts, remove the skin.
- Cut each breast through the middle so you end up with two pieces for each breast.
- As the chicken is likely to be uneven in thickness, place the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper. Use a mallet (or rolling pin) and pound each chicken breast so that it’s flat and even in thickness.
- Sprinkle a heavy amount of Peri Peri spice on both sides of each chicken breast, pressing to adhere.
- Heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter, and the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, until butter begins to sizzle.
- Place some of the chicken into the pan avoiding over crowding the pan.
- Brown the chicken on each side.
- Place browned chicken into an oven proof dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
- Remove chicken from the oven and thinly slice against the grain; set aside.
- If the pan looks dry, add a bit more olive oil.
- Pour in the dry white wine (or chicken broth) into the pan to deglaze. Whisk all of the tasty brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan and sauté to soften, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and pour the cream into the pan, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the salt, pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly. The sauce will reduce slightly.
- Remove the pan from heat and add the grated cheeses, and goat cheese to the cream sauce. Keep stirring until all the cheese has melted, and sauce is smooth. Taste sauce and add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and stir to coat.
- Pour the fettuccini onto the sauce mixture.
- Toss the pasta and chicken into the sauce using tongs, until well combined.
- Turn tossed pasta into a large serving bowl.
- Before serving, add extra grated parmesan and cracked pepper as desired.
- I used 50ml cream and the balance of the 1 1/2 cup cream was milk
- My cheeses were a mix of Havarti (it was just past the BB date), Parmigiano Reggiano, Parmesan.
- I also had a small piece of creamy blue cheese (Peninsula Blue from Barry’s Bay)
- The pasta I used only takes 4 minutes to cook. The recipe had the pasta being cooked first, rinsed and left until the sauce was ready. Using the pasta I had I was able to do everything together.
Here’s where I admit to having known nothing about Peri Peri spices, but I knew it would have a bit of a kick.
Mr Fussy got stuck into his dinner first (guess who was still trying to take photos?) and with a big grin on his face said it was hot. I thought he was joking. Why would I think he was joking? Probably that mischievous grin.
Not convinced I took my first mouthful, which was fine for all of about 3.5820 seconds. Then the fire hit.
I actually had 1 kilo of chicken and used the entire packet of Peri Peri mix on the chicken. It was much too much chicken for the meal so we only used half of it. The other half we had for dinner tonight. I think having had the chicken sit in the fridge for 2 days only intensified the flavours. My mouth was sure burning tonight.
Oh, I have more measuring jugs than you see above. Along with too many spatulas and wooden spoons. Well really, there’s never too many, right? They are all different shapes, sizes and some different colours. I think I’m trying too hard to convince you.