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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan

CREAMY SOUTHERN SPICED CHICKEN








This creamy spiced chicken meal is a truly delightful dish. Succulently tender southern spiced chicken breasts simmered in a creamy, garlic-y tomato sauce are what winter dinner dreams are made of.

This is a marvellously versatile recipe because it can be served with many different sides such as mash and vegetables, steamed rice or even your favourite pasta for a quick and easy way to vary your weeknight whip ups that can be ready and on the table in 20 minutes flat. I’ve used my Creole seasoning to bring the authentic flavours of the Deep South of Louisiana to the table, with a subtle pop of chilli to warm up the palette while we still have cooler evenings. The cream will tone down the heat a little, so for those of you who do like it with a little extra hum on the palette simply garnish with a sprinkle of Creole seasoning on top.


Did you know? At present there are approximately 20 billion chickens scratching around the world, but the first domesticated chicken was not actually for eating but for fighting. Humans raised these special fowl for cockfights, starting in South East Asia and China as early as 10,000 BC and yet their prized meat wasn’t enjoyed by all until much later. By 2500 BC, the chicken had traveled to all civilised areas of Asia, the Middle East and Africa by migrating populations and early seafaring trade. The spread of The Roman Empire brought the chicken to Europe as an affordable food option. Many Roman documents written by Pliny, Cato, and the oldest surviving cookbook ‘Apicius de re Coquinaria' describe the chicken’s importance as a nourishing and delicious food source.


Chef Dylan tip: There are a few things other than my Creole seasoning that make this dish so super delicious:Tomato paste! If you’re not in the habit of keeping this superstar ingredient in your pantry, it’s time to pick up a new habit. Tomato paste is essentially tomato concentrate – tomatoes that are cooked down for hours until nearly all of the moisture has been cooked out, and all that’s left is a densely flavourful distillation of tomato flavour. It’s a source of umami, and really intensifies the tomato flavour of this dish.


Cheese! If you’re feeling opulent, go for the real-deal, grate-yourself a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Just like the tomato paste, Parmigiano-Reggiano is a source of natural umami heaven.


Bristol England, 2009

"That’ll be six pound please sir” says the cabbie with his thick singsong Bristolian accent. “I’ve ‘eard nuthin’ but good things about that there place yer off to” he chirps while his bushy moustache dances across his lip like a huge hairy caterpillar. “Yes, it’s just received its first Michelin star and I’m thrilled to see what the chef has in store for us" I say excitedly. We walk under the white stone arches with ‘Casamia’ blazed across the top with regal silver cast letters. I open the huge glass doors and enter the restaurant. We are promptly greeted by the Maitre d’ who seems very serious and has a look as if we may be lost.


“Your name on the reservation, sir”? “Gittoes” I reply “Ahh yes okaaay, two people for the 7 o’clock seating" he murmurs as if talking to himself. “Diane will see you to your table” he announces. Appearing suddenly like some apparition, a tall, blond Viking gracefully appears right on cue. “Follow me please” she offers. Snaking through the dimly lit room, I see it’s full of diners; turning to my love I whisper in her ear “we are the youngest people here”. As we are seated, Diane in her educated clipped English elegantly begins her monologue “Welcome to Casamia, where art meets science. Soon your 19-course meal will commence, our menu changes daily and no, sadly we do not cater for dietary requirements. I see you have opted for the matching wines, excellent choice. Can I get you still or sparkling water to begin?”. “Still, please” we both say in unison.


I look down at the menu and ‘quail lollipop’ pops out at me, and then spy another item from the tasting menu ‘crispy chicken, cream and tomato’ before in a flash, it is suddenly whipped away. “Uh-uh no cheating says my date with a twinkle in her eye, it’s much better as a surprise don’t you think?”. “Yes, you’re right” I reply as I pull out a deck of well-loved playing cards. “Loser pays for dinner” I suggest with a mischievous smile. “Might as well pull out your money right now then” she retorts with playful confidence “We’ll see about that!” I quip as I fling her the first card.


This easy dinner is well worth trying if you like a bit of spice. Who knows, it could even become a regular favourite on your menu.


PREP TIME: 5mins

COOKING TIME: 10 mins

SERVINGS: 2-4


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 kg chicken breast (4 medium), boneless, skinless

  • 3 tbs CREOLE

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1x 400g can crushed tomatoes

  • 300 ml thickened cream

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


METHOD

  1. In a small bowl place 2 tbs creole and 1 tbs oil and combine.

  2. Coat the chicken breast with marinade and set aside.

  3. In a large fry pan or skillet set over medium-high heat add the olive oil.

  4. Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the other side, about 5 minutes longer. Remove chicken from the pan check it is just cooked and set aside.

  5. In the same skillet add garlic and cook until just fragrant ~1 minute.

  6. Add 1 tbs creole and stir then add tomato paste and cook stirring for 1 min.

  7. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer, allow to cook for 3 minutes.

  8. Stir in the heavy cream and ¼ cup parmesan cheese.

  9. Place chicken back into the skillet.

  10. Allow to gently simmer on low to cook for 5 more minutes to thicken the sauce.

TO SERVE


Serve topped with fresh basil and remaining sprinkle of cheese.



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