|Chicken Lazone, made using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, either cut into chunks, tenders or left whole, highly seasoned and pan seared, then served with a creamy butter sauce over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes.|
Chicken LazoneThis Chicken Lazone recipe seems to have blasted across the internet recently, but what you probably didn't know was that it was developed back in the mid to late-90s by Chef Lazone Randolph of Brennans Restaurant in New Orleans.
He wrote it for the cookbook, Sugar Bust for Life with the Brennans, a companion guide for the then very popular Sugar Buster's Diet, a project with which Ellen Brennan was involved as a consultant, editor and publisher. I definitely remember that diet, written by a group of Louisiana doctors, and it seemed everybody I knew from New Orleans was doing it for awhile, which probably prompted the cookbook.
It was, of course, minus the pasta, since wheat flour pasta was unheard of back then, though somebody along the way added it as a serving suggestion for the rest of us. It is also delicious on it's own or served over mashed potatoes or white, brown or yellow rice though. Try my homemade yellow rice from page 117 of my cookbook, Deep South Dish Homestyle Southern Recipes. It is divine with Chicken Lazone.
The original recipe used only salt, 1-1/2 teaspoons each of chili and onion powder and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, but I've expanded on that for my version. It's actually a basic, general purpose blend of seasonings that I use for chicken, pork and shrimp, when I'm not feeling super creative and just want to pan sear something.
Sometimes I take away, sometimes I'll add in some herbs like rosemary or thyme, but the salt, pepper, paprika, Cajun seasoning and onion and garlic powder are pretty standard. Sometimes I'll make a pan sauce, sometimes not, but I always like the idea of setting aside some of the seasoning mixture to flavor the sauce when I do.
Chicken Lazone can also be prepared with whole boneless breasts (pound them to even thickness), or chicken breasts cut into tenders if you prefer, rather than the larger chunks I did. The chicken is tossed in the seasoning mix and then seared in olive oil. As always, and especially with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, take care not to overcook. An instant read thermometer should read 165 degrees and no more.
The original sauce is finished off with a half a stick of butter and 1/2 cup of heavy cream, giving it just a light coating of a beautiful, rich and buttery sauce, which I found a little short when served with pasta or rice. I didn't really want that rich of a sauce by doubling it, so I just made a small roux to serve as a thickener and used 2% milk, which is what I keep on hand. That did the trick!
After the milk is incorporated, add the reserved seasoning into the sauce.
Cook until thick and bubbly, then return the chicken to the skillet just long enough to warm through.
Now... y'all already know that boneless, skinless chicken breasts - as popular as they are - are my least favorite cut of the chicken and frankly they seem to have bred the flavor right out of the chicken these days if you ask me, so I have taken to brining them no matter how I'm cooking them.
Just fill a zipper bag halfway with tap water, add 1/4 cup each of salt and brown sugar, seal and shake to mix well, add the breasts, reseal and set into a bowl. Refrigerate in the brine for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour. If you have the time, it makes a difference, but if you don't just take extra care not to overcook the chicken.
Here's how to make it.
Recipe: Chicken Lazone©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
For the Seasoning:
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
- 8 ounces thin spaghetti noodles
For the Sauce:
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Mix together seasonings in a zipper bag, reserve 2 teaspoons and set aside. Add chicken to bag, shaking to coat well. Place half of the chicken in skillet and cook until browned and cooked half through. Turn and brown other side, remove and set aside, loosely tenting to keep warm. Repeat with second batch adding remaining oil to skillet if needed. Meanwhile prepare pasta in salted water and according to package directions.
For the sauce, add butter to skillet and melt; add flour, cook and stir over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until about the color of peanut butter. Slowly stir in milk, add reserved seasoning and cook and stir over medium to medium high heat until bubbly and thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in additional milk to adjust consistency if desired. Return chicken to pan, tossing to coat and warm through. Serve with a mixed garden salad and a green veggie.
Cook's Notes: For extra flavor and a nice texture, I highly recommend brining poultry for cooking, especially boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Fill a zipper bag halfway with tap water, add 1/4 cup each of salt and brown sugar, seal and shake to mix well, add the breasts, seal and set into a bowl. Refrigerate in the brine for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour. May also cut breasts into tenders or to use whole breast halves, pounding the thicker part of the breast so they are evenly thick.
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©Deep South Dish
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