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Sizzling Skillet-Seared Cajun Chicken with Shiitake, Braised Tomato and Onion

Posted Sep 05 2012 7:31am
    I have two words for this dish:   simple.   delicious.   nutritious.   (you're right.  That makes three!).   ---------------------   While I'm consciously avoiding terms such as: summer's end - (egad, I'm so not ready for that admission), I do recognize that most of us are settling back into our September routines which often means transition and trauma (ok, maybe I'm the only one who is traumatized. I shouldn't make assumptions).  How about transition and hecticness (franticness?).   The beauty of this dish is that it all happens in one pot.    It offers bold, rich flavours amidst its sizzling juices but also happens to be wonderfully healthy too.  Check this out:   Protein rich chicken, anti-inflammatory shiitake mushrooms, antioxidant rich lycopene from cooked tomato and disease-fighting phytochemical abundant onion.   Not a bad deal for a 15 minute meal.   Here's how to make it happen:     Sizzling Skillet-Seared Cajun Chicken with Shiitake, Braised Tomato & Onion
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
  • 4 plump ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup or so shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
  For the Cajun Seasoning:
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste - it's hot!
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  ---------------- Note: Cajun spice mixtures are widely available in grocery stores however they are often saturated with sodium. For a time saver, you can use part store prepared variety (cutting it with a mixture of home spices) or opt for a sodium reduced store bought variety.
--------------- Serves 4 Warm butter in a large skillet (I like to use cast iron) on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut into the thickest part of the chicken breast (but not completely through the chicken) to create a butterfly effect when opened up that will allow chicken to cook faster and more evenly. Combine Cajun seasoning in a small bowl.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken liberally with the seasoning.  Add chicken to hot pan and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, flipping chicken at least once.  The chicken will take on a gorgeous dark golden colour from the seasoning. Transfer chicken to a large plate and cover loosely with foil. Warm the same pan, adding a little olive oil. Toss in the onion and shiitake and stir-fry, scraping up any leftover brown bits from the chicken, until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Add tomatoes, warming until they start to break down and accumulate surrounding juices.  Cut chicken breasts in half and serve with vegetables overtop.       
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