Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicken Fajita Pasta

We are on our own for the next few weeks as Mr. Delectable is playing army.  No disasters yet, but it has just been 24 hours.  Give me some time.  I made this dish a few days before he left.  Awhile back I had made an enchilada pasta that was delicious.  He like this one better.  The pasta choice was part of it, but he really enjoyed this dish.  And so did I and all the kids for that matter. 
This pasta was one I got in my head and had to make.  Like immediately.  It gave me my Mexican food fix, but with my Italian heritage working it's way in.  Gotta represent, ya know?  I looked on the web, as I had a specific idea in my head.  The pioneer woman and her never ending great recipes had one that I could readily adapt to my ideas.  If you want to see the step by step, how I cooked my chicken and pepper/onion mixture, click on the link.  I didn't add the tomatoes until the end, because I wanted the fresh raw tomato taste.  Warm, but raw.
Let me advise here...  do not skip the lime zest with the chicken.  It brightens the flavor and just melds so well... like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and peanut butter, whipped cream and strawberries.... you get the message, right?   Like uber yum.  My son exclaimed (and I do say, it was an exclaimation!) "MMMM, MMM!  This chicken is so good and juicy!".  Yeah.  Good stuff.
inspired by: thepioneerwoman


  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
  • zest of one lime (save lime for end)
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
  • 1 pound whole grain linguini
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole yellow Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 Large sweet Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 vine ripened Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  •  4 TBSP Chopped Fresh Cilantro, or to taste
  • avocado
  • cheddar cheese
  • light sour cream (Greek yogurt did not work for substitute here)


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice, and lime zest over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Chill for 20 minutes while you chop veggies.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet (iron skillet works great!) over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 2-3 minutes, depending on size of chicken cubes. Flip to the other side and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
Repeat with remaining chicken (adding oil and butter if needed). Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.
Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions.. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
Add 1 TBSP butter to the pan and 1 TBSP flour. With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and whisking in flour butter mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low,  and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, and/or salt to taste. 
Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, to include the diced tomatoes, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.
Top with chopped fresh cilantro, fresh squeeze of lime juice, sour cream, cheese, avocado and chow down!

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