This is one of those recipes that fills you soul with love and cheese. It’s warm and creamy and cheesy and just so very delicious.
In fact, on my “days off” when I cook for fun with no regard to where the light in my living room is, I make this. I made it yesterday for my in-laws while in town for Christmas, and I’m making it for my own parents tomorrow.
The chicken is seasoned with Cajun Seasoning. You can probably find something by Emeril Lagasse at the grocery store, but my version is easy to make and uses all basic spices (nothing outrageous). You probably have all the spices on hand already.
Depending on how much spice you use, the chicken may look “blackened.” It’s likely not burnt… just blackened. It tastes great.
While most restaurants have a version of Cajun Chicken Alfredo on their menu, they tend to garnish it with tomatoes. Tomatoes are pretty, but I know a lot of people who don’t like tomatoes.
Broccoli, however, is somehow a more universally beloved vegetable. So let’s add broccoli.
And of course, the cheese. Alfredo sauce is made primarily of butter, cream, and cheese. I add garlic and white wine for flavor and a full 8 ounces of shredded Wisconsin parmesan cheese for creaminess and flavor.
It’s all very spectacular. So very good. You’re going to love it! It’s great for weeknights, weekends, holidays, and any time you want to feel happy inside.
1 pound penne or other small pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (see notes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
How to Make It:
Heat oven to 200°F. In large pot, bring 4 quarts salted water to boil.
Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving cooking water. Set pasta aside.
Return cooking water to boil. Add broccoli; boil until just tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Plunge immediately into bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of chicken generously with Cajun seasoning.
In large skillet, heat oil until shimmering. Arrange chicken in single layer and sauté, flipping once, until temperature on internal thermometer reaches 155°F, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet, cover with foil and transfer to oven to keep warm.
Wipe skillet with paper towel and return to stove. Over medium-high heat, melt butter and heat until foaming. Stir in garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Whisk in wine; bring to simmer. Simmer until sauce has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Whisk in cream; simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Add reserved pasta to skillet and toss gently to coat. Arrange broccoli over pasta; top with chicken and garnish with additional parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
To make your own Cajun Seasoning: Combine 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme and 1/2 tablespoon onion powder.
To get a head start: The pasta can be cooked in advance, refrigerated and refreshed in hot water just before serving. The broccoli can be blanched and shocked in ice water in advance; simply store in refrigerator in cold water. The Cajun seasoning can be made anytime.