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Cajun Chicken ala Tortellini


Food that Warms the Soul
& your taste buds.

Now, I too like to buy organic vegetables  cut out "fake" foods, never drink soda, and try to stay away from horribly processed foods- in other words I try to be healthy within reason.  
Although I am a sucker for cheese, anything involving cheese, stuffed with cheese or topped with cheese- actually I'll take one of each.
I feel in some cases if it's bad for your obliques or your behind, it's probably great for your soul!
It's okay, indulge. You deserve to enjoy it, beautiful!



What you will need:
Serves 4-5. 

1 Bundle of Asparagus
1 Cup of Frozen Peas 
2 Bags of Cheese Tortellini  
2 Chicken Breasts (Not to be confused with cutlets. 1 Breast makes 2-3 cutlets )
1 Jar of Minced Garlic (Won't need the whole jar, but you will be using it a lot.)
3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic; sliced
Butter (I like to use Smart Balance Butter Substitute)

Ingredients for the Creme Sauce:

1/2 a White Onion Minced
1 Tbsn of Minced Garlic
1 1/2 Cloves of Sliced Fresh Garlic
1/2 Cup of Chicken Stock
1 1/2 cups of Heavy Creme
1/4 Cup of Milk (Whatever you have in your fridge. 1%, 2%, or Whole.)
3 Tbsn of grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (or simply grated Parmesan)
1 tspn of Garlic Powder
1 tspn of Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste


Ingredients for Dry Rub:

1 Tbsn Sweet Paprika
1 tspn Onion Power
1 tspn Garlic Powder
1/2 tspn of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tspn of Chili Powder
3/4 tspn of White Pepper
3/4 tspn of Black Pepper
2 1/2 tspn of Salt
1/2 tspn of dried Thyme
1/2 tspn dried Oregano
1/4 tspn dried Parsley

Prep:

Clean and slice the two chicken breasts into 4 cutlets.  Hold the knife flat with one hand on top of the chicken breast ensuring a slow even movement all the way through.  If you are uncomfortable doing this just buy chicken cutlets already sliced thin.  Although they are double the price, I advise learning to cut your own cutlets and simply buy the chicken breasts for less money.

Prep the asparagus by snapping the ends off.  Asparagus will naturally break at the point where the end is supposed to be removed.

Prepare all ingredients listed above and set the Blackening Dry rub aside.

Fill a pot with water and salt and set aside.


Get Cookin' - Good Lookin' :

So gently place the chicken cutlets in the bowl of dry rub and flip, ensuring that both sides are well coated.  Continue this with all cutlets and place aside for a moment.

Take out two sauté pans, one for the sauce and one for the chicken- unless you have a grill plate or want to grill them outside on a grill.  Bottom line the grill is better, but not necessary.  So if grilling is not in the picture, you can simply pan fry them.

So in one sauté pan add the minced onions, minced garlic, sliced garlic and a tspn of butter on a medium heat.  Let them cook down and start to turn a nice light golden color. Do not let them burn.  Next add the broth, then the milk. Turn up the heat the medium-high just till the sauce starts to get some volume to it, then turn it back down to medium and add the creme.

Grill up your chicken cutlets now and start the pot of water for the tortellini.  Make sure to stir the creme sauce occasionally.

Follow the instructions for the tortellini and try to not let them get over cooked.

In another sauté pan with a lid place the asparagus with a tspn of olive oil, a tbsn of minced garlic and the sliced garlic.  I like to put them on a medium-low heat with the lid on and just toss them around every so often until they are done.  Sometimes I don't use oil at all and just use a touch of chicken or vegetable stock and let them steam with the garlic.

Now stir in the cheese and spices into the creme sauce.  At this point I like to check my sauce, make sure the flavor is to my liking and that this consistency is perfect.  Sometimes I choose to add a touch more creme to thicken or a dash more of broth to thin.

The Chicken should be done, it should need only a few minutes on each side, it depends whether you are pan cooking or grilling it. When it is done slice it into strips and place a side.

When the sauce is in a good place at the peas.

Then fold the tortellini into the sauce.

Serve topped with the Cajun Grilled Chicken and a side of asparagus!

Nom!    


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