Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cajun Chicken variations

Cajun Chicken on Paprika Onions
The Cajun Chicken Breast recipe is a very versatile dish.  I have paired it with lemon sauce or mushroom, white wine cream sauce plated with potatoes and vegetables for a delightful flavor packed meal.  Last night I tried a new angle, serve the chicken breast on a bed of onions sauteed golden brown in butter and paprika.

This was delicious!  The sweetness of the fried onions tempered the heat of the Cajun spice and gave the dish a whole new flavor profile.  We will definitely have this again. I cut the onion in half then sliced up each half and put in a hot pan with plenty of oil and a pad of butter.  Add salt, pepper and paprika and stir occasionally.  I start onions like this on high heat but quickly turn down to medium low once they are sweated or softened. The low heat lets them turn golden without becoming papery. Plate the fried onions and place the chicken on top.

For saucy variations fry the sliced mushrooms in some butter and set aside. For both lemon and mushroom sauce start out with 1 teaspoon of flour and at least a tablespoon of oil. You want just enough oil to cream all the lumps out of the flour then put the pan on medium heat. You need to cook off the flour taste so let it sizzle for a minute or two. For a gravy or cream sauce you can cook the flour to a golden color if you like.  This will add to the flavor but weaken the thickening ability of the flour so you need to start with more. Experience will teach you how much.

 When the flour is cooked take it off the heat and add a few tablespoons of chicken stock then whisk.  Add enough stock to get the lumps out and put it back on medium low heat.  Add a teaspoon of lemon juice or tablespoon of white wine, depending on which sauce you are making and some seasoning. If it's pasty add some stock and taste a bit.  You want a light lemon taste or a fruity wine taste with just a bit of acid. If you add too much lemon or white wine it will become too acid and you'll have to add sugar to balance it.  Then you have gone from savory to sweet and sour sauce.  If you need more liquid add chicken stock or water.

For lemon sauce put a couple of tablespoons of sauce on the plate and put the sliced chicken on top.  For white wine sauce add the mushrooms and a tablespoon of heavy cream then cook them in a minute or two.  Plate the mushroom sauce over top of the chicken breast.

There you have 3 different meals that all use chicken cooked exactly the same way.

No comments:

Post a Comment