Yesterday, we went on a coronavirus-approved family outing for Christmas. This particular outing required a car, a ticket, two parents, snacks, water and two very excited small ones. Some ingenious person or persons had put their thinking caps on and figured out a way to make some money this year. She or he took an area of Malta usually used for drinking and clubbing; an area which has been closed for most of the year due to coronavirus restrictions and has probably made very little money to date and made something of it. This area is now The Illuminated Trail. Lights upon lights have been set up along a route for cars to drive through. The kids loved it! We went at about 10km per hour so the kids could get out of their seats and look out the windows. Each area had a theme; the Lion King surrounded by the African savannah, the Gingerbread House with lollipops trees outside. Santa and his sleigh with the reindeer and many others besides. There was even a coral and ocean themed area with turtles, jellyfish, seahorses, and, just to make my little man’s day, there was a big shark as well!
Now to the recipe. As so often happens in my home, this is a dish for two tummies – welcome to a household of different digestive intolerances. My husband developed gluten-intolerance after a nasty encounter with a stomach infection and, for no reason whatsoever, I, myself, am intolerant to many of the sugars. Unluckily, we end up having to modify many recipes in two different directions; luckily, however, it means I can head here and post dual-purpose recipes just like this one.
For this recipe, I hijacked the Cajun style with their delicious blend of herbs and spices. For those paleo people, this is a highly tasty way to have chicken for dinner all by itself, there is actually no need to add the Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Mayo Dressing.
But, keto needs a good percentage of fat over protein so – cheese and mayo to the rescue! Atkins’ Dieters are very lucky you get to have either – choices, choices!
I did, originally, make the Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Mayo Dressing to go with the Cajun Marinated Chicken. It soon became apparent, however, that it had far more versatility than just boosting the fat content of a chicken breast. This cheesiest of dressings soon found itself on the dinner table to enhance beef, pork, lamb and more than a few veggies, both cooked and uncooked.
Such versatility in a dressing required its own mini-post where it didn’t need to share the limelight with some chicken; so, here it is, just the Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Dressing recipe. I can’t say we recommend this for fish or seafood, but it might just be us, so use it as you wish.
Cajun Marinated Chicken with or without Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Mayo Dressing
- 2 medium chicken breast (approx 120g each)
- 1/2 tbsp ghee
For the marinade
- 60 ml olive oil (1/4 cup )
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add more or less if you like)
For the Cheese and Garlic Mayo Dressing
- 25 g cheese (approx 1 tbsp and 2 tsps)
- 60 ml Easy Homemade Mayonnaise (1/4 cup)
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Add the chicken breasts, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, chives, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, dill, nutmeg together into a bag and mix well.
- Leave in the fridge to marinate for 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge about half an hour prior to cooking.
- Melt the ghee in a medium saucepan on a medium high heat (I use number 7).
- When the ghee is as hot as it is going to get, add the chicken. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Cook the chicken 1 min on one side, flip it over, and cook 1 min the other side.
- Then continue to cook for a further 4 mins on each side.
- When the chicken is cooked (the juices run clear or a meat thermometer reads 75 deg C or 165 deg F) remove from the pan.
- Leave to rest for 5 mins.
For the Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Mayo Dressing
- Grate the cheese.
- Add the cheese, garlic, mayonnaise, water and Dijon mustard into a bowl and stir well.
- Serve the cheddar cheese and garlic dressing separately to the chicken.
- It's a paleo main meal without the dressing and a keto main meal with it.