Cajun Chicken, Black Bean Parpadelle

I had some leftover black bean pasta in the freezer from a few days earlier and decided to really make the most of it. I took the black beans home, cajun chicken with an okra, mushroom and tomato ragu. Try this dish. It can be done with a basic pasta recipe, or if you're willing, substitute some of the flour for blended black beans. It'll give it a deeper flavour. More in the recipe below.

Ingredients

For the Chicken

600g Chicken Tenderloins or Chicken Thighs

1 Length of Turmeric, Grated (about 2 teaspoons grated)

1 Teaspoon of Dried Thyme

20g Golden Syrup

3 Teaspoons of Paprika

3 Teaspoons of Ground Coriander

1 Teaspoon of Cumin

1 Teaspoon of Ground Fennel Seeds

2 Chillis, chopped

2 Teaspoons of chopped Garlic

1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon of Pepper

For the Pasta

300g Cooked Black Beans - (boiled until tender, and the water is gone)

A bag of Fine White Flour

3 Eggs

1/4 cup EV Olive Oil

Salt

For the Sauce

3 Red Onions, finely Sliced

400g Chopped Tomatoes

1/2 Cup of White Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Majoram

1 Teaspoon of Oregano

300g Button Mushrooms, halved

6 Okra, roughly chopped

400g Spinach

Salt

Pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Mix all the chicken ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined. Set aside to marinate.

Move on to the pasta. Blend the black beans and eggs together until you have have a thick paste. Add the olive oil and it will loosen up slightly. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. 1 tablespoon at a time, add flour to the black bean and egg puree. Mix it in with a fork.

Once the fork ceases to work, get your hands in there, massage flour into the mixture. Keep adding until the dough is stretchy and smooth to the touch.

Next, roll it out with a pasta machine to size six thickness. Cut into strips about an inch wide, and 5-6 inches in length. This makes it easier to eat! Hang them out to dry on a rack, or toss in flour.

Get the sauce going. With a touch of olive oil on a medium heat in a pot, add onions and vinegar from the sauce list. Cook the vinegar and and onions down until the onions begin to brown and stick, then add the tomatoes, majoram, oregano. Cook this down until the sauce starts to thicken (or by about a quarter). Lower the heat to medium low. We want things to be a bit gentle from here.

Transfer the chicken to an oven tray, and bang it in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil.

Bring a pot of salty water to boil.

Add the okra, mushrooms and spinach to the sauce and stir through. Leave on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and taste. It might need a little more salt.

Boil the pasta for 2 minutes or until al dente.

Serve either by mixing everything together with the fresh coriander, or just the pasta and the sauce and the coriander and place the chicken on top, or the chicken with the pasta with blobs of the sauce.

Personally, I served it up plate by plate from a mixing bowl - basically toss individual serving portions together plus a few stalks of coriander together in a round bowl. Salt, pepper, olive oil and serve. Have fun with it!!

Enjoy!

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