Introduction: Blackened Chicken
I love Cajun and Creole food. Jambalaya, gumbo, etouffees, and blackened dishes are all tasty, spicy goodness. Blackened chicken is a great and easy dish to make. Here I will show you how to make this tasty Cajun dish. It's great on a bun as a sandwich, or as a main course. I made this for my wife and I for Valentines day dinner. I used a large double chicken breast (heart shaped) for this. I hope you decide to try this, and that you enjoy it as much as I do.
WARNING: The cooking technique used here causes a lot of smoke. Please use a well ventilated area for this, or even do this outdoors. I made this and my whole family was coughing. I had the vent on super high, and still, there is a lot of smoke. Please be aware if you have a fire alarm near the kitchen that goes off easily, or asthma. It may be a concern.
WARNING: This cooking technique uses a super hot pan. I don't know how many times I have burnt myself by grabbing a hot pot handle. Use pot holders or a DRY towel to move the pan off the burner.
WARNING: Butter has a low flash point, and can catch fire. Don't panic if this happens. Cover the pot with a lid to put out the flame. DO NOT USE WATER ON A GREASE FIRE!!
Step 1: Equipment and Ingredients
Cast iron pan
Sheet tray with rack.
2 Small microwave proof bowls
1 Large flat bottom bowl
I think that a cast iron pan is the best type of pan for this. It imparts a unique flavor to the dish that is impossible to get from other pans.
Large, double lobe chicken breast
(this was a large breast, 1 inch thick, and about 10 to12 oz. each once split and trimmed)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
( you may want to adjust salt to your taste. This is a lot of salt for two breasts. My wife said this was a little salty, but delicious.)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Shown in the photo is also rice, orzo, and chicken stock. I used these to make a side dish so you don't need them for this recipe.
Step 2: Technique
Full disclosure, I learned this technique from one of my favorite Chefs, Paul Prudhomme. I use the spice mix and cooking method described in his book "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen". He uses this on fish, but it can be used on any protein.
He describes in the book that using different types of pepper affect different parts of the mouth, for a rounder taste. He also adds spices, and other ingredients, at different points in the cooking process to get layers of flavor. For instance he will add onions at the beginning, middle and end of a recipe to get different textures and flavor. I have used this process in many recipes, not just Cajun or Creole, and have had great success with it.
There are a few key things to be aware of when doing this. First, the pan needs to be SMOKING HOT! I turn the burner on high, put the pan on, and then start my prep. The pan heats up for a good ten minutes at least. Searing the spices and meat is key to this dish. The hot pan will blacken the spices. This produces a lot of smoke, and gives a great flavor. See my warnings above.
Butter. Butter has a low flash point, the temperature at which it will light on fire. It also has a better flavor. I have done this with both butter and margarine, and have no problems so far. I have an electric stove, so no open flame to spark a fire. See my warning above.
OK, lets get started.
Step 3: Step One
Preheat the oven to 400° F
Turn stove burner to high and start to preheat the pan
Turn on your vent to boost, or high
Mix all your spices in one of the small bowls
In a microwave, melt your butter in the other small bowl, put it in the large shallow bowl. I found that a smaller bowl takes less time to melt butter in a microwave.
Step 4: Step Two
This was a large chicken breast. It probably weighs 10 to 12 oz per breast.
My cast iron pan is small so I had to split the breast.
Trim and split the breast
Place the breast, skin side down in the butter, and then turn it over so the skin side is up
Put a generous portion of seasonings on the skin side
Step 5: Step Three, the FUN Part
Your pan should be white hot now
Make sure your vent is on
Place the breast seasoned side down in the pan.
While the meat is searing, season the other side
After about two minutes, turn the breast over to sear that side
After about two more minutes remove the breast to the tray with the rack
Repeat this process with the other breast
Step 6: Step 4
Here we add another layer of flavor
Add any extra seasoning to the remaining butter and mix well
Pour the butter seasoning mix over the breast
Place the chicken in the oven until done. It took these large breast about 20 minutes
Keep in mind, these are large breast, and smaller or thinner cuts will not take as long. Fish may be ready to serve right out of the pan, depending on the cut.
Step 7: Serve
I poured the drippings from the bottom of the pan over the chicken once it was plated. More flaver! I served these with mixed veggies and an orzo and rice mix.
Smaller breast can be served on buns with a seasoned mayo (chipotle or herb), a slice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and some sliced avocados. I have also had steaks with no garnish, and they are delicious. Your imagination is the limit with food.
I hope you enjoyed this instructable! If you did, please vote! Thanks and Bon appetite!