Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag
There’s something really magical about dusting cooked food in a spice mix just before eating. Not only do you get the beautiful spiced flavours, it also coats the chicken to give a slightly crunchy crust. So good and so little effort!
Plus getting everyone to add their own spice mix makes for more fun at the dinner table (and makes it easy to leave chicken plain for any fussy eaters in the house).
enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
450g (1lb) chicken thigh or breast fillets
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 large cabbage
3 green onions (scallions) (optional)
3-4 teaspoons cajun spice
1. Chop chicken in to bite size strips. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat.
2. Rub chicken with a little oil and salt. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned on the outside and just cooked through.
3. While the chicken is cooking, slice cabbage as finely as possible and toss in a bowl with the mayo and green onion (if using). Season with salt and pepper.
4. Divide cooked chicken between 2 plates and serve each person with a paper bag. Serve cajun spice in the middle of the table so each person can toss it in with their chicken.
5. Serve cabbage salad in the middle of the table.
6. Get each person to pop their chicken in their paper bag and add their share of the spice mix. Shake bag and eat spiced chicken with the salad.
no cabbage – serve spiced chicken with baby spinach or other salad greens on the side.
vegetarian – replace chicken with sliced halloumi or poached eggs. For the eggs, just serve on a plate and sprinkle with the spice (instead of tossing in the bag).
egg-free – use a vegan mayo for the salad dressing. Or replace with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
vegan – follow the egg-free suggestions and replace chicken with 1-2 drained cans of chickpeas. Warm in a little oil in a pan then serve with a paper bag and the spice as per the chicken.
no cajun spice – try another spice blend like moroccan, ras el hanout, pirri pirri or just use a little salt, black pepper and mild chilli powder (you won’t need as much as the cajun blend).
different meat – feel free to use chicken breast fillets, pork fillet or some plain pork sausages.
hot! – add a little chilli powder to your spice mix.
carb lovers / more substantial – serve with warm tortillas or pita bread.
more substantial (low carb) – serve with smashed avocado.
more veg – add grated carrot and/or beets to the slaw.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
chicken thigh or breast fillets – freeze them.
mayonnaise – unopened in pantry or in fridge once opened.
cabbage – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks, even months. Can be frozen but will have a wilted texture once defrosted.
green onions – skip them or keep in the fridge in a plastic bag for weeks.
cajun spice – keep it in the pantry.