You know when have a fantastic meal at a restaurant and know that you can recreate it at home? Does it make it any harder when you’ve never eaten the meal but your husband/wife/child/parent/friend/etc. ate it and has asked you to recreate it? Probably. But where there’s a will, there’s a way!
So when Kyle asked me to make Lousiana chicken pasta at home after eating it many times at a certain favorite restaurant of ours, I agreed even though I’d never tasted it. I didn’t think it would be an easy task but I set out to find the perfect recipe online. I know there are copycat recipes all over the place, but I actually never found that perfect recipe; I found one that was pretty close and figured that I would improve it.
We set out in the kitchen together making this since he really need to test it along the way to make sure we were going in the right direction. And from his reaction, I think we nailed it! To him, it had just the right amount of spice and flavor combined both in the chicken and in the sauce and was a pretty damn good knock off of the original dish. To me, it was just plain delicious!! In order to maximize the flavor, we breaded and fried each piece of chicken individually rather than full cutlets and cutting them up. It may take a little longer to cook, but well worth the outcome. The sauce was perfectly creamy and there was enough of it so that it coated both the chicken and pasta without soaking in too much. Don’t be scared off by the length of the ingredient list below; just take it step by step. Be aware that this recipe makes a gigundo amount but we made this the night before I was traveling for work and Kyle ate through the leftovers for 3 lunches and 2 dinners while I was gone.
So if you think there’s no way to recreate restaurant meals at home, think again!!
Louisiana Chicken Pasta
inspired by The Cheesecake Factory, adapted from allrecipes.com; Yields 6-8 servings
For the chicken:
- 2 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 large eggs beaten with a splash or two of water
- 3 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning, divided
- peanut oil
- 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced diagonally into 1″ wide pieces
For the vegetables and sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red and 1 green pepper, sliced and cut into 1″ pieces
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tbsp cornstarch combined with 2 tbsp cool water in a small bowl
For the pasta
- 1 lb uncooked bow tie (farfalle) pasta
- Kosher salt
- In three separate dishes, place bread crumbs mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning, flour mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning, and eggs. Heat about 1/4″ peanut oil in a sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat until hot. Take the chicken pieces and coat them in flour mixture, then dip them egg, then coat them well with the bread crumb mixture. Carefully place them in the hot pan and cook until all sides are browned, adding more oil as needed. Cook in batches until all of the chicken is cooked. Place cooked pieces on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with additional Cajun seasoning, if you’d like.
- When all of the chicken has been cooked, drain out the oil and carefully wipe out the pan. Return it to the stove and over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Meanwhile, boil the water for the pasta, adding the salt right before adding the pasta; cook pasta according to package directions.
- Add the peppers, scallions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper to the pan; cook for 8-10 minutes. Stir heavy cream and half and half into the vegetable mixture and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the cornstarch and water mixture once the cream and vegetable mixture starts to bubble. Allow to cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the pasta when it is finished cooking. Add the chicken into the pan and stir slowly to coat the chicken with the cream and vegetables. Allow the chicken to heat through.
- In a large bowl, stir the pasta and chicken mixture together. Serve hot, sprinkling a little extra Cajun seasoning over the top of each serving if desired.