Bayou Chicken Pasta
04 Oct 2022

Bayou Chicken Pasta

04 Oct 2022

Over the weekend I had a group of 10 come over for pot roast, and I was worried we wouldn’t have enough starch as a “filler” dish, so at the very last minute I decided to throw in another pasta dish to the menu.  I decided on this simple but incredibly delicious pasta, modified from the recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I’ve made this for many office potlucks and Hari Raya do’s with a very high chance of  “yum!” ratings by guests.  Do check it out!

Update: I now use chicken thighs instead of breast meat, for juicier and more flavorful results. To ease your grocery shopping, instead of having to measure out the cream, simply get two 200 ml cartons for use in this dish. If you don’t want the trouble of making your own Essence spice mix (it is very much worth it though) you can also use store-bought Creole or Cajun spice mix.


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  • 500 grams linguine
  • 1/4 cup salt for cooking pasta
  • 2 tablespoons (about 30 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 700 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Essence, or your favourite Creole/Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cili padi, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 400 ml (generous 1 1/2 cups) whipping cream
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 4 stalks green onions (daun bawang), chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons celery leaves (daun sup), chopped
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In a large stock pot, add 4 liters of water and bring to a boil. Add the 1/4 cup salt. The ratio is 1 tablespoon salt to 1 liter of water.

Place the linguine in the pot and stir until the water returns to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender, but with a bit of resistance (al dente), about 12 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan.

Once the butter has melted, season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the Essence and add the chicken to the pan.

Sear the chicken in batches until well browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and cili padi to the pan and saute until the onions are softened and lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the cream, remaining 1 tablespoon of Essence, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce until the cream is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, linguine and the reserved cooking water to the pan and cook, tossing to incorporate for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove pan from the heat and add the green onions, Parmesan and celery leaves and toss to blend.

Serve immediately.

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