March 8, 2011

Cajun Cuisine~Happy Fat Tuesday!

Photo from Zatarain's 

What a day!
I have a list a mile long of Cajun inspired recipes I want to create this week. Gumbo, king cake, jambalaya, crawfish boil, muffaletta...the list goes on and on. Today being Fat Tuesday I HAD to make a Cajun dish for dinner! But then after a LOOOOONG day at work I got home and I simply didn't have the time or energy to go to the grocery store. So after searching through my pantry I managed to pull together a delicious
Cajun Inspired Meal!

As much as I'd like to say I make everything from scratch it's just not possible all the time! So thank goodness for packaged cornbread and red beans and rice mix! They saved the night!

On the Menu:
Cajun Chicken with Red Beans and Rice and Sauteed Zucchini

Laissez le bon temps roulet!
Let the good times roll!

First I got the rice and beans simmering away with some water and butter.

Next, I made a marinade for my boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3/4 to 1 pound) with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp OLD BAY seasoning, and 1 tbsp chopped parsley.

Put the chicken with the marinade in a freezer bag and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

I had some sliced pork belly from the oriental market
so I cooked it like bacon until crispy and then drained on a papertowel.

Then I chopped about 2 slices into small pieces and mixed it into my cooked red beans and rice.

I wanted okra or greens but all I had was zucchini so I sliced lengthwise then
chopped one zucchini into cubes and sauteed with some olive oil, salt, pepper,
 and garlic powder.
If you want it crispy try roasting it in the oven instead.

After the pork belly is removed from the skillet, drain any fat then deglaze the
pan with some chicken broth and add marinated chicken thighs.
Cover and cook for about 20 minutes (turning once).

Then I prepared my skillet cornbread and added some shredded cheddar cheese.
Cook according to package about 15-20 minutes then slice into squares and serve hot.

The chicken was moist and fork tender!

Great flavor and the perfect amount of Cajun spice!

My red beans and rice came out perfect!
You'd never know they were from a package (wink, wink)!

Dinner's served!

Happy Cooking!
   ~Nicole

2 comments:

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