It's been a while since I did a Something Savory post, I actually missed doing one in July. You may recall my last savory post was for crockpot BBQ chicken and bacon twice baked potatoes. Today I'm doing a copycat recipe of one of my favorite restaurant dishes!
One of my absolute favorite restaurants is The Cheesecake Factory, and it's not just because of the cheesecake. In fact, I've rarely been able to eat the cheesecake at the restaurant, we always get it to go. Their extensive menu is filled with tons of amazing dishes and the portions are huge! We usually fill up on bread and fried macaroni and cheese before the meal even comes. So what is my meal of choice? Cajun Jambalaya Pasta!
Makes me hungry just looking at it!
I had the evening to myself the other night, so I decided I would try to create a copycat version of the recipe. I started by looking around online and found what I assume is the official recipe. It was extremely involved! There were tons of spices and many complicated steps. I quickly realized that the full out recipe might be better suited for a Saturday or Sunday when I have more time. Currently, I get home from work at 5:00 and am usually pretty hungry then! I kept looking around online and found some much more simplified versions, so I decided to try that. The recipe I ended up trying was sort of a hodgepodge of various recipes and ideas I found.
So what was different?
- I used packaged cajun spice instead of making my own - it was surprisingly close
- No shrimp - I'm not a fan and get the dish without the shrimp, you could easily add it in
- No spinach linguini - the dish is a mix of regular and spinach linguini, but I couldn't find any
- No fresh herbs
- Chicken broth instead of clam juice - I never would have suspected clam juice was used until I was frantically asked once if I ordered it without shrimp because I had a seafood allergy. They don't actually list the clam juice on the menu, so I think they were a little worried!
To be such a hodgepodge of recipes, I was really pleased with how it turned out! I did make some slight tweaks here and there for the recipe posted. I scaled it down when I made it, so don't rely too much on my pictures. I also had a slight issue with getting my pan too hot and smoking up our apartment...it was pretty bad! Thankfully, though, it cleared up without the smoke detector going off, and the chicken was salvaged. In all the commotion, though, I made a few mistakes here and there. So just do what I say, not as I do. Ha!
I'll admit the dish isn't perfect, I'm not going to be cooking for The Cheesecake Factory anytime soon. But, I was pleasantly surprised with how similar it was. It's definitely a recipe I will make again and continue to tweak here and there.
Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 lbs skinless boneless chicken (cut into chunks)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp Cajun spice
- 1lb linguini
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red peppers (thin strips)
- 1/4 cup green peppers (thin strips)
- 1/4 cup onion (thin strips)
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta directions:
- Cut chicken into small chunks
- Sprinkle 1/2 tsp Cajun spice over one side of the chicken
- Start boiling linguini per directions, cook to al dente
- Prepare pan with olive oil
- Place chicken in skillet and saute over high heat
- Cook for about 2 mins per side
- Sprinkle another 1/2 tsp of Cajun spice after flipping chicken pieces (or whenever unseasoned side is exposed)
- Remove chicken from pan
- Slice peppers and onions into thin slices
- Coat peppers and onions in 3/4 tsp Cajun spice
- Lower heat and saute peppers and onions
- On a low-medium heat, add chicken stock to pan
- Add chicken back in
- Scrape the bottom of the pan to get any flavoring mixed in with the stock
- Allow to simmer and reduce for a few minutes
- Drain pasta and place in serving dish
- Pour chicken/pepper mixture over top of pasta
Hope you enjoyed this recipe. I'm currently working on a sherbet recipe to share on Friday. Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks! By the way, do you like the white and green bowl I placed the food in (shown in the main picture up top)? It's one of the many items in the Target FEED USA collection. A portion of the sales from each item go to provide meals for children and families in the US. Each item has a number stamped, or printed, on it with the number of meals it provides. You can't really see in the picture, but that bowl has a "2" stamped on it. I really liked it, and it's great to think that my purchase helped some other families! The line includes clothes, jewelry, bags, journals, cell phones, kitchen items, and more! You should check it out online, or at your local store.