CREAMY CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese. In Italian, pasta means “paste,” and refers to a dough made of durum wheat flour combined with a liquid, usually water or milk. Almost every country has a form of pasta. Pasta describes a wide variety of noodles made from this type of dough. Some doughs have egg added, although doughs made with only four and eggs are generally referred to as noodles.

CHICKEN

Chickens are mostly classified according to their best use: Broiler-fryers are up to 3 1/2 pounds, 2 1/2 months old. Roasters (have greater fat content so better roasted) are 2 1/2 – 5 pounds, up to 8 months old. Stewing chickens, aka hens, boiling fowl, and fowl, are 3-6 pounds, 10-18 months old. A capon is a rooster castrated before 8 weeks, up to 10 months old, 4-10 pounds with large tender breasts from a fattening , perfect for roasting. Rock Cornish game hens are hybrid of Cornish and White Rock chickens which are up to 2 1/2 pounds, between 4 and 6 weeks old (because of their small size they are often served one per person). Squab chicken, aka poussin in French, are not squab, but are small less than 1 1/2 pound chickens, between 4 and 6 weeks old. Cocks and roosters are older, tougher birds, best of soups and broths. Free-range chickens are guaranteed 2 square foot of space each indoors and freedom to roam outside (as opposed to mass-produced chickens which only have 1 square foot on indoor space), and are often fed a special free of antibiotics, growth enhanders or hormones, which is said to give them a better flavor.

TOMATO

Tomatoes are a fruit and part of the nightshade family (like potatoes and eggplants), but they are served and prepared as a vegetable, which is why most people consider them a vegetable and not a fruit. Tomatoes come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes: large red beefsteaks are slightly irregular; globes are red, medium-size and round; plum tomatoes are egg-shaped and red or yellow (grape tomatoes are baby plums); cherry tomatoes are small and round, etc. There are many heirloom varieties that are not marketed widely but come in red, yellow, green and even purple, as well as striped. Native to South America, and brought to Europe by Spanish explorers, the tomato took some time to be accepted because tomatoes were thought to be poisonous, like other members of the nightshade family. It was not until the tomatoes started to gain popularity in the US. A leafy herb from the mint family with a licorice-clove flavor. Basil is usually green, though there are purple varieties, such as Opal Basil. Lemon basil, anise basil, clove basil and cinnamon basil all have flavors similar to their names. Basil is a key ingredient in Mediterranean cooking.

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