Sizzling Cajun & Tang Chicken4/26/2012
Nothing beats a nice grilled dinner. What is it about the smell of sizzling food that just smells so fantastic? The smokey, sw...
Unless you're a dude. Then you know, maybe not.
I have spent ages trying to find it's equivalent. I've tried the Harvester Cajun chicken burger, I've tried the one at Wetherspoons, I've tried various Mexican restaurants and tip top pub grub but nothing has ever come close.
Then it hit me. It was the tang that I used to love. The sweet, the spice and then this tang that hit your tongue after. This was pre-cooking for myself. This was around about the time that my diet consisted of meals out, takeaways and microwaved meals, so I simply put it aside as something I'd never eat again.
But what of this recipe?! I hear you ask.
Oh, g'wan then. This recipe was born out of my love of using my new sizzle grill plate AND my insistence on recreating a healthier version of the flavours from the burger I used to love so much.
It's pretty simple really, I thought of flavours that were tangy (oranges, lemons, vinegar's) and set making a marinade that would compliment Cajun spices. This is pretty much the result of those experiments. They were many, and most of them tasted horrible.
I've made this recipe with chicken, but I have to say for the veggies out there, that I used Quorn chicken fillets, made the same way as this chicken and it still had all the flavour.
Right, I've talked too much, here's the recipe.
I do use shop bought spice mixes, so if you want to go out and buy a jar/packet/shaker of it, go ahead. The best one to use is Schwartz Cajun spice. But if you fancy making your own, here is the recipe for the Cajun spice mix (store in an airtight jar, you won't need it all in one go):
Ingredients you will need:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried coriander
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried chili flakes (or alternatively, 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper)
Mix it all together, it'll need a good mix before popping into the airtight container ready for use!
Okay, so here is the full recipe for my Sizzling Cajun & Tang Chicken. It's pretty simple, Enjoy! Made this way it serves two people (or one very hungry person):
Ingredients you will need:
2 Large chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ tablespoon tomato puree
1 ½ tablespoons Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
First off, butterfly your chicken breasts (click the link to see how), score your knife across the tops and bottoms and stab a few times with a fork.
In a bowl, add the Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon of oil, the juice from the lemon and a little grated rind, the tomato puree, Worcester sauce and cider vinegar. Add about a tablespoon of boiling water and beat together. Pop the chicken breasts in the bowl, cover and pop in the fridge for an hour to marinade.
The longer you leave, the more flavoursome-full it will be. I don't know if that's a word, but it sounds cool.
Next get your grill plate ready. Any type will do, cast iron is obviously better. I'm using a sizzle plate, but if you don't have anything like that then use a frying pan.
Heat up the plate to a really high temperature and place the chicken carefully onto the surface. It will sizzle like crazy, but it'll smell amazing.
Turn over at regular intervals until the skin starts to brown. Check a thick part of the chicken to see if it has cooked through, my reasoning is, if the thickest part is cooked, the rest will be too. You can never be too carefully with chicken, but you don't want to overcook it.
Next brush marinade from the bowl over the chicken between the intervals that you turn it over. It should start to thicken and blacken slightly. You should do this for the last 3 minutes or so of cooking. This part is my favourite. It smells goooooood.
Once the chicken is cooked, pile to the side and add the vegetables into the grill plate. Cook until they start to blacken (but not before they go too limp). Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, reduce the temperature to low and leave to sizzle for about five minutes.
As you can hopefully see from this picture, it will be steamy and sizzling right up until you serve it. Then it's done and time to serve! Ooh but what with?!
Well, it does well in a wholemeal buns, with a dollop of tomato relish, or on a bed of fresh crisp salad. If you're not in a healthy mood it goes very well with southern fries (a favourite treat of mine) or cheesy mash potato.
Let me know you're suggestions for what to have it with, or what you'll be putting it with. Here's sexy food porn picture, all close ups etc:
Oh and just a warning. It makes you fart like a deflating balloon. So don't serve it on a first date or anything.