Easy one skillet recipe sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
UNDER 20 MINUTE SKILLET DINNERS
Having meals that I can throw together in under 20 minutes is crucial for us with busy schedules. These Cajun chicken bites can go from fridge to table in less than 20 minutes.
I like recipes that can be made quickly and cleaned up even quicker. This is why I do most of my cooking using a cast iron skillet.
So many meals can be made entirely in a skillet and a well-seasoned skillet should leave virtually no mess when cooking in it.
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HOW TO MAKE CAJUN CHICKEN BITES
Any cut of meat from the chicken will work. I try to use fresh, locally sourced chicken tenders when I can.
Chicken tenders are perfect for this recipe straight out of the package, although I will cut each tender into 1-2″ sections.
Start with a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. On medium-high heat, add oil and wait for it to start to smoke.
As soon as the oil is heated up, add in the chopped chicken bites and generously add your choice of cajun seasonings.
I prefer to make my own seasoning (see recipe below). We all love the kick the cajun seasoning provides for these chicken bites.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CAJUN CHICKEN BITES
These cajun chicken bites are delicious and satisfying on their own, But pair quite nicely with a number of sides.
We have made these with homemade french fries, cast iron crispy potatoes, or served over a bed of rice.
I will say, possibly even better than eating these spicy chicken bites fresh is what we do with the leftover chicken.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CHICKEN?
Save the leftover chicken to use for a southwest cajun chicken salad. Yes! Add the chicken directly from the fridge to a bed of crispy lettuce.
Add sliced red onions, homemade thin-cut french fries, shredded cheese and drizzle with chipotle dressing.
CAJUN CHICKEN SEASONING
- Red Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
Combine two parts of salt with equal parts of the rest of the ingredients. Mix in a small glass bowl with a lid for storage of the extras.
Does chicken have to bake before searing?
It is not necessary to bake the chicken before searing. These bite-sized cajun chicken tenders are small enough that they can be fully cooked on the stovetop without burning the outside or drying out.
Generally, chicken breasts and thighs are best cooked in an oven first to ensure they are fully cooked through. I do make a stovetop chicken breast recipe, but I use thinly sliced chicken to ensure they cook through evenly.
HOW LONG TO COOK CHICKEN TENDERS ON THE STOVE
Once the cast iron skillet is heated up, the diced chicken tenders will only take about 3-4 minutes per side to cook fully.
The skillet must be preheated before adding the meat. If it’s not, the meat will stick and not heat up quickly enough, causing it to dry out; definitely not what we are going for.
Always check chicken with an instant thermometer. The internal temperature of chicken must read 165°F.
I hope you enjoyed this simple skillet chicken recipe. Be sure to leave a review below, and if you’re looking for more great simple chicken recipes, you may enjoy these 20-minute chicken thighs next.
Skillet Cajun Chicken Bites
- 2 pounds of fresh chicken tenders
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or cooking oil of choice
- Cajun Seasoning of choice
Or make your own:
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder
- Heat oil (I use coconut oil) in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
- Combine seasoning in a glass bowl, mixing well.
- Cut chicken tenders into 1" pieces.
- As soon as the oil starts to smoke, add Chicken.
- Generously coat with cajun seasoning.
- Cook for about 4 minutes, then flip, cooking an additional 4 minutes.
- Once Chicken is cooked through, remove from heat and let sit for 2 min before serving.