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Cajun Blackened Fish Or Chicken
fish fillets or chicken parts
Cajun spice mix -- (recipe follows)
1 large cast-iron skillet
Cajun Spice Mix:
5 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne powder -- (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder -- (optional)
Mix spices very well, and store in an air-tight container. Or, use a commercial Cajun spice mix such as Paul Prudhomme's.
To prepare fish fillets: (such as redfish, grouper, mahi, snapper, rockfish, etc.)
Rinse fillets and pat mostly dry with paper towel. Leave slightly damp, as this moisture is going to adhere the spice paste to the fish. Coat fillets with spice paste. Coat skillet with small amount of canola or other high-heat oil, or oil spray (can be omitted, with slight risk of sticking depending on condition of skillet). Get the skillet good and hot, oil should be starting to smoke. Arrange fillets in skillet. Turn when half-done. Cooking time will depend on heat, and thickness of fillets - a minute on each side would be enough for typical rockfish ("Pacific red snapper") fillets. You want the spice coating not to be fully black - just darkened. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.
To prepare chicken parts:
Skin parts, and remove excess fat. Rinse and pat mostly dry. Coat with spice paste. Arrange in hot skillet. Cook 5 minutes on each side, or until spice paste darkens up. Lower heat and continue cooking until done (juice should run clear, not pink, if a thick piece is pierced deeply with a knife tip), or finish in a 350 degree oven.