Being a full time food blogger, one of the most challenging things is to get myself out of the kitchen and stop cooking every now and then. I try to take breaks, eat out a night or two a week. And every now and then, my husband cooks or grills. It is during this time I give up “control” in the kitchen, and I learn how to let someone else “reign” in my kitchen for that evening. 😉 A necessary practice for those of us who like control a little too much (erm yes…me).
One of my favorite meals that my husband makes is his Cajun Chicken dish. I don’t know what took me so long, but it’s about time we feature this fantastic creation of his on the blog.
John has perfected this dish over the years, and I made him measure every single ingredient so I can share this with you.
This dish can be grilled (charcoal strongly preferred) or pan-fried, and has a unique cajun flavor with a nice savory and spicy blend. It has a full, bold flavor, and the smokiness from the grill brings out the great flavors even more. It definitely has a kick, and you can make it less spicy by decreasing the amount of an ingredient.
We typically serve this with pasta and marinara sauce. The tomato-y pasta pairs perfectly with the bold-flavored spicy chicken. Sometimes we toss some spinach in the pasta to get some veggies in there, or serve a veggie side with it. It is delish, will give your tastebuds a little party of their own.
The secret ingredient in this dish is Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. It can be found in most regular grocery stores in the United States. If you cannot find it, check it out here. This seasoning has a kick to it, and a little goes a long way. It has a relatively high salt content. Because of that, we will not be adding any additional salt to this recipe.
Side note: We also love the Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning on our scrambled eggs. It also goes well with lots of other protein, and is also a nice spice to top on pasta and soups.
Along with Creole seasoning, the marinate/sauce for the chicken also consists of Worcestershire sauce (also has salt in it), tabasco sauce, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper and butter. That’s right. BUTTER. It is used as the “oil” for this recipe. I heat everything in a pot to get the flavors to combine.
There are two ways to cook this. Grilled or pan-fried. Both equally delicious but do taste a little different especially if you are using a charcoal grill. The smoke definitely brings another element of flavor to the chicken and opens up flavors of the other spices.
If you are grilling the chicken, you do not need to marinate the chicken beforehand but just place chicken onto a hot grill, then brush the marinate generously onto the chicken. Once one side is done, flip, and brush marinate on the other side. If you have additional marinate, just gently pour/brush the rest of it onto onto the chicken. No wasting of good sauce here!
As a reference point, our charcoal grill shows 300 degrees F and we cooked it about 7 minutes on each side. Regardless of how you cook it make sure chicken has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F before removing from grill.
Charcoal grill is definitely my favorite way to make this because in my personal opinion, nothing beats a good smoky flavor on chicken. It is, however, a lot more work and not something that is the most ideal when you are in a hurry or don’t have a lot of time.
If you are pan-frying the chicken, I highly recommend marinating the chicken for at least 45 minutes, or up to a couple of hours, then pan-fry it with some vegetable oil.
When you bring the chicken to the skillet/cast iron pan, avoid adding sauce onto the skillet. The goal is to pan fry the chicken fairly dry, with the marinate already soaked into the chicken, and just a tiny bit on the chicken.
As you can see, it’s a fairly simple chicken dish with a good solid marinate/sauce on it. If you like it with less kick, reduce the amount of Creole seasoning you put in there, because that thing definitely is SPICY.
We love this in our household, and make this very often! Tender, juicy pieces of chicken marinated in a good sauce – lots of flavor, lots of kick if you want it. While it is simple, it is also fairly unique and will leave you thoroughly satisfied.
Everyone needs a couple of simple, good, solid chicken recipes in your back pocket!
Other simple chicken recipes that we love includes (but not limited to):
- Lemon Balsamic Grilled (or Pan-Fried) Chicken
- Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice
- Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1.5-2 lbs chicken tenderloins
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Tony Chacheres' Creole Seasoning Reduce amount for less spicy!
- Heat butter, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, and Creole seasoning (Note 1) in a pot under low heat for a few minutes to mix the flavors together. If it gets to a boil that is fine, but there is no need to.
- If pan-frying, marinate the chicken in sauce for 45 minutes or up to a few hours.
- Heat skillet with some vegetable oil. Once skillet is heated up, bring chicken to skillet, but shake off the sauce as much as possible and do not add the sauce to the skillet. Cook chicken on both sides until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
- If grilling, heat up grill to medium high heat (See Note 2), and add chicken tenderloins to it. Brush sauce to the chicken, cook for 5-8 minutes, flip chicken over, and brush addition sauce to it. If there is leftover sauce, brush the rest of it to the chicken. Cook for another 5-8 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
- Serve (with red sauce pasta recommend) and enjoy!