Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Chicken Pasta"

My dad never cooked until we moved to Arkansas, which was 18 years ago. If you didn't know that tidbit, you would never guess. He has a following at Razorback tailgates. It's true. The people that set up around his spot were not pleased when Brian and I showed up without my dad for the first game. He even fed some cops at the last game! The first thing he ever made was a dessert called Chocolate Bags. He painted paper bags with melted chocolate and then made a raspberry sauce to go on top. My mom cleaned up chocolate for weeks, but my dad was so proud of what he accomplished.

One of the first meals I remember my dad making was this Chicken Pasta. He and I made it together one time when my mom was out of town and we made it with LSU shaped pasta. (Now I wouldn't be caught dead eating anything LSU shaped! No offense, but my allegiance is with the Razorbacks. Woo Pig!) This was dad's dish. One time my mom tried to make it and I told her it wasn't the right color. :) Oops. Now she won't make it because it won't be the right color!

Whatever color your pasta comes out, I promise it will be fabulous.

My Dad's Chicken Pasta
Source: Paul Prudhomme, as adapted by my father

For the chicken:
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
Non-stick cooking spray
Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning

For the pasta:
1 lb. bowtie pasta
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning
2 cups half & half or heavy cream (or evaporated milk)

Heat heavy skillet over medium heat. Spray chicken with non-stick cooking spray and season with Tony Chachere's to your taste. Put the seasoned side down in the skillet. Spray the other side and season. Once cooked, set aside on a plate and cover with aluminum foil.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Wipe out the skillet you used for the chicken and met the butter over medium heat. Add the Tony Chachere's and saute about 1 minute to bring out the flavors, stirring occasionally; add the green onions and saute 1 to 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Gradually add the cream and stir until it reaches a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens somewhat, continuing to stir, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked pasta. Tear the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pasta and sauce. Pasta should swim in the sauce.

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