Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cajun Chicken - An Ode to New Iberia

In high school, I was a member of Drill Team.  For two summers, the team would go away to summer dance camp to learn new routines, get to know other teams in the area, and compete for dance awards.  Ugh.  Even now, I am starting to itch and feel a hive popping up.

Summertime heat.
High school girls.
Pom poms galore.
Bows for as far as the eye could see.

Good times, huh?

However, the proverbial silver lining was that I got to listen to what a real, live Cajuns sounded like.  Honestly, I don't believe I blinked while the girls from New Iberia, Louisiana talked.  I even remember their colors were black, yellow and white!  I think the majority of the girls at camp were sneaking up behind them to hear their accents.  Talk about jealous!  My own version of Redneck Speak sounded

The point is, that whenever I hear the word Cajun, I always remember those girls at camp.  And so, New Iberia, this one is for you.

Cajun Chicken

Cajun seasoning - Emeril's Essence (see below)
2 Skinless Chicken Breasts, trimmed of fat
Cooking spray

Cajun seasoning - Emeril's Essence
2 1/2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  I put it all in a sealed container and shake it up really well (this counts for exercise for me). 

Take both chicken breasts and put between two sheets of wax paper, saran wrap or even in a Ziploc bag.  What you want to do is pound them until they are uniformly the same thickness.  I use a rolling pin and put the breasts between two sheets of wax paper.

Heat non-stick skillet to med-high and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Lots of it. 

Remove top sheet of wax paper on chicken, and sprinkle about one tablespoon of Essence on breasts.  Once skillet is hot, put chicken, season side down on skillet.  Then, sprinkle another tablespoon on top of breasts.

Cook on medium high for 4 minutes.  If the skillet gets a little dry, spray more cooking spray. 

After four minutes (or when bottom of chicken looks opaque), flip 'em, and turn the heat off of skillet. 

Cover (I just use aluminum foil) and let 'cook' for another 4-5 minutes.

Serve on your favorite noodles and sing, "Son of a Gun, We'll Have Some Fun, On the Bayou."

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