Juicy, crispy skinned chicken thighs nestled in smoky, Cajun spiced rice studded with red beans, red bell peppers and tomatoes. This Skillet Cajun Chicken is a complete meal made in ONE skillet with only 8 ingredients. Easy, breezy and packed with flavor, this Cajun Chicken is weeknight dinner winning!
Hey there, friends! Happy Thursday… the ugly red-headed stepchild to Friday’s golden haired golden boy.
Did you like that?! I wish I could take credit, but I totally stole it from someone on Face Book. 😇 Just when I thought the book of face was good for nothing I go and find a little jewel of TRUTH. Needless to say, FB and I are back to being besties.
Any-who, now that we got THAT out of the way, there is something I just MUST say.
Warning, I’m going to complain.
Feel free to put your hand in the air, and wave around like you just don’t care, in preparation to slap me silly. I can take it. I have thick skin.
OR, you can scroll down, skip this section all together and murmur some choice words at me.
Whatever floats your boat.
Complaint will commence in 3. 2. 1…
I HAAAAAATE these photos. I like more organized, purposeful POPS of colors versus a jumbled, chaotic hot mess of radiant color. It’s probably the OCD in me.
So if you could just bear with me and ACT like these photos are pretty I would be much obliged.
Deal? I’m going to pretend like you said, ‘ABSOLUTELY’!
You guys really are the best. 😉
Oh! OHHH!! Speaking of pictures, if you follow this here little blog, you know my computer kicked the bucket exactly one week ago.
Since I’m sure you are just DYING to know how the situation panned out, I’ll give you a little update.
Boy was able to save most of the raw photos off my old computer, but all my edited and personal photos are gone with the wind. Along with anything business-y I had on Photo Shop, like my press kit, an eBook I was working on, and logo design.
Basically I lost A TON of work. However, I’m a glass half full kind of chick, so I’m just celebrating the fact ALL was not lost. Yay?
Then again, I would gladly trade THESE photos for some of the important stuff that got erased. But, I know life doesn’t work like that.
You win some, you lose some. Amirite?
A bunch of you asked if I back up to an external hard drive and OF COURSE I did. Well, I THOUGHT I did. You see, the photos were set to back up to the EHD, but instead they somehow got switched to exporting to the INTERNAL hard drive without me noticing. YIKES, right?
Let my predicament serve as a cautionary tale and MAKE SURE you are ACTUALLY backing up to an EHD. Don’t take your computers word for it. The google machine tells LIES! 😉
Anyways, I’ll quit reading your eye balls off and get back on track to today’s dish.
I know you have things to do and weekends to plan. And I’m totally on board with that. High five.
Skillet Cajun Chicken with Red Beans and Rice
AKA an easy, breezy one skillet WONDER of Cajun-y chicken, rice and beans DELICIOUSNESS.
This skillet meal will make you feel like your vacationing RIGHT by the Bayou… alligator airboat ride not included.
Here’s what’s going on in this skillet:
Juicy, tender, crispy skinned chicken thighs snuggled up in some slightly spicy, smoky, fluffy, perfectly cooked rice loaded with a blend of Cajun seasonings and studded with plump red beans, fire roasted tomatoes and sweet red bell peppers.
Creole flavor town USA, people.
Grab a hurricane, make this dish and get ‘er done.
Is Cajun chicken spicy?
In my opinion, Cajun chicken is mildly spicy.
The primary heat source for cajun spiced chicken comes from the cayenne pepper. However, there is less cayenne in Cajun seasoning compared to the other spice ingredients, so cajun seasoning is normally quite mellow.
Nonetheless, this easy cajun chicken can be made more or less spicy by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper in the cajun seasoning blend.
What is cajun spice made of?
Cajun seasoning is a blend of salt with a variety of spices, most commonly including cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic.
The homemade cajun seasoning recipe below is made up of salt, cayenne, paprika and garlic as well as onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano and fresh ground black pepper.
How to Make Cajun Chicken:
First you will start by seasoning the chicken GENEROUSLY on ALL sides with some Cajun spice mix.
Then you heat a splash of oil in a skillet, add the chicken and cook until golden brown and delicious on both sides. Transfer the chicken to the plate and set aside.
Add the onion and bell pepper to the (same) skillet and season them liberally with salt and pepper.
Because MORE FLAVOR.
Cook them until they are softened and lovely. Pour in the stock, sprinkle in some more Cajun seasoning, and dump in the beans and tomatoes.
Give everything a nice stir to combine and then add the chicken back to the skillet, nestling it in the rice. Cover the skillet with a lid and pop it into an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.
Go pour yourself a cocktail and come back 25 minutes later. Remove the lid and continue to bake for roughly 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is cooked though.
Remove the skillet from the oven, garnish everything with some fresh parsley and thinly sliced jalapenos.
Grab the largest fork humanly possible and dive right in.
What goes with cajun chicken?
Red beans and rice as well as roasted red bell peppers are absolutely delicious with cajun chicken! Since this is a skillet dish, the chicken as well as the red beans, rice, fire roasted tomatoes and diced bell pepper are all cooked together resulting in a fuss-free, complete meal!
If you are serving people with a larger appetite, roasted potatoes, collard greens or green beans also make delicious vegetable options!
Or, if you are looking for an appetizer to serve with this easy cajun chicken, hush puppies would pair fabulously!
Notes, tips & Tricks for Skillet Cajun Chicken with Red Beans & Rice recipe:
- The cajun chicken recipe below calls for bone-in chicken thighs. You can either use skinless or skin-on. I recommend using skin-on (what I used), because the crispy skin is downright delicious.
- You can purchase Cajun spice mix at the store, or you can make your own. I highly suggest you make your own. You probably already have all the seasonings in your pantry, and making your own is much cheaper than buying a prepared one. I included the recipe to DIY in the notes section of the recipe below.
- You can use any kind of skillet you would like for this recipe, but make sure it is straight sided, has a tight fitting lid, and it is oven safe. I used a 12’’ cast iron skillet.
Transport your taste buds to the Big Easy and make this Skillet Cajun Chicken with Red Beans and Rice. Your mouth will high five you, I swear.
Until next week friends, cheers – to ragin’ Cajun chicken.
The best Skillet Cajun Chicken recipe with red beans & rice👇
Skillet Cajun Chicken with Red Beans & Rice
- 4 Chicken Thighs , Bone-in (either skin-on or skinless, depending on preference)
- 2 TBS Cajun Spice Mix , divided*
- 2 TBS Olive Oil , divided*
- 1 small Yellow Onion – peeled and diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper – diced
- 1 Cup Long Grain Rice
- 1 ½ Cup Chicken Stock (or broth)
- 1 (15 ounce) Can Red Beans – drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes WITH their juices
- Optional Garnishes: Chopped Fresh Parsley, Sliced Jalapenos
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Season chicken on all sides with 1 ½ tablespoon of the Cajun spice mixture.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, straight-sided skillet (with a tight fitting lid) over medium-high heat. Add chicken (skin side down) and cook until browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- (If using skinless chicken thighs or pan is dry, add remaining tablespoon of oil*). Add the onion and bell pepper. Season with generously with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the rice, stirring to coat. Add the stock, beans, diced tomatoes and remaining ½ tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine and increase heat to medium high.
- Add the chicken, skin side up, back to the skillet, nestling it on top of/partially in the rice. Bring contents to a simmer. Immediately cover the skillet with the lid and transfer to the preheated oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes and remove lid. Continue to bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and jalapenos if desired. Enjoy!
1 TBS Paprika
2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 ½ -2 tsp Cayenne (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
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