This Cajun chicken and sausage is the perfect combination of rich, homemade stock, tender chicken and juicy sausage and loads of Cajun spices. A splash of cream at the end adds a nice decadence to this meal.
You will have leftover stock that you can simply freeze into an ice tray for quick use or into a Tupperware dish for soup later.
Note: If you want to reduce the cooking time, simply buy 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs and cube them. Add them to the skillet with the sausage and cook until well-browned and use store-bought stock.
Cajun Chicken and Sausage Pasta
- Large pot
- Wide pot
- 1 small whole chicken giblets discarded
- 5 scallions cut in half
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning divided
- 1 pound loose hot Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 6 ounces baby bella mushrooms scrubbed, trimmed, and sliced
- 1 14.5- ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 16 ounces penne or rigatoni
- Sliced scallion greens
Prepare the Stock:
- Combine the ingredients for the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, skimming the surface periodically to remove foam and scum.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large bowl.
- Bring the stock to a boil for 20-30 minutes to reduce slightly. Carefully strain the stock into a heatproof bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids. Set the stock aside to cool.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick off the skin and discard. Pick the meat from the bones and set aside in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning and toss to combine.
Prepare the Sauce Base:
- In a wide sauté pan or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sausage and cook, stirring regularly, to break the sausage up with your spoon. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until well-browned all over. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. Once melted and frothy, add the diced onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the Sauce:
- Pour in 1 cup of the homemade stock and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken, sausage, and the tomatoes and the remaining Cajun spice blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add more stock as necessary to thin out the sauce if it thickens too much.
Prepare the Pasta:
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package instructions and reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.
Finish the Cajun Chicken and Sausage Pasta:
- Add the heavy cream and pasta cooking water to the sauce and turn the heat to medium. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the pasta is glossy and coated with the sauce. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the pasta between shallow bowls and garnish with sliced scallion greens. Enjoy!