Learning how to season chicken doesn’t have to be a struggle. Many times you stress out about what to put on your chicken or other protein to make it flavorful. The first step in seasoning your chicken, protein, or vegetables is starting with the perfect seasoning blend. In my opinion, Cajun Seasoning is the best all-purpose seasoning, it adds so much flavor and depth to the dish.
This Cajun seasoning mix is the perfect combination of fresh herbs and spices that makes an awesome all-purpose seasoning dry rub blend. I bet if you looked, you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry now.
The Versatility of Cajun Seasonings: Beyond Chicken
Cajun seasoning not only works great on any cut of chicken like boneless chicken breasts but also on lots of other types of meat and vegetables as well. It also works well on catfish, turkey, hamburgers, steaks, french fries, roasted, steamed, or baked veggies, and the list goes on.
It makes a great seasoning blend on a whole chicken or whole turkey that will be smoked or deep-fried as well. It is a key ingredient in many Cajun dishes such as Gumbo and Jambalaya. The savory and spicy blend pairs well with so many types of foods to give them that extra flavor boost.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Seasoning Recipe
Anytime I can make homemade seasoning mix, I try to. Even if you buy the dried herbs separately, then mix them, it is better than buying a store-bought mix. Store-bought mixes tend to have anti-caking agents and other not-so-good stuff like monosodium glutamate mixed in their blends.
The best part about homemade spice blends is when you buy dried herbs and mix them yourself, it is not only cheaper, but it is better for you as well. If this is your first time making a seasoning mix, don’t fret, it is easy to do.
What You Will Need to Make This Recipe
This spice is made from dried, then ground red peppers. The peppers used in paprika are often milder and sweeter than that of Ground Cayenne but are essentially the same peppers. The texture is also often finer than ground Caynee as well. Paprika is found in a few different forms: Hot Paprika, Sweet Paprika, Smoked Paprika, and Hungarian Paprika.
Garlic powder comes from the dried cloves of the Garlic plant. Garlic is a powerful spice that adds to the savory notes of this spice blend. Garlic is also known to have many beneficial health benefits.
This is a great spice that can be grown at home in containers. To make garlic powder, the vegetable will have to be sliced, then dried (dehydrated) then ground up to a fine powder. In our recipe though, we are going to be using store-bought Garlic powder.
Oregano is a herb that is very easy to grow. If you have an AeroGarden, you can pretty much keep many of these herbs growing year-round right on your kitchen counter. Oregano is a savory spice that is known in many Italian dishes. It is the key herb that is in Italian seasoning and It is the main ingredient in spaghetti sauce.
Dried thyme is a robust savory spice that has an almost minty flavor. It will give this spice blend a slightly sweet and pepper profile. Thyme is a common spice used in many meat marinades. Thyme also has many health benefits.
Onion powder is made similarly to garlic powder. It is sliced or cut up into smaller pieces, dried (dehydrated), then ground into a powder. It is a common ingredient in many spice blends as is garlic powder.
Kosher or Sea Salt
Salt is the star of just about every dish you make. Without salt, the dish is flat. We recommend using Kosher salt or Sea Salt. Regular table salt, also known as iodized salt, can be too salty and sometimes can affect the taste.
Salt is one of those things that is very subjective with people. Some like more or a little less. We will give you guidelines and you can adjust as you see fit. It is really about personal preference for salt.
Cayenne pepper is where this dish gets its heat from. Cayenne, which is similar to Paprika, uses the cayenne pepper, which is dried, then ground. The amount in this recipe should make a medium-heat spice blend.
If you want medium-high heat, add in a little more. If you want a mild heat, add a little less. This can be adjusted to suit your and your family’s taste.
Like salt, Black pepper is two of the most common seasonings you will find in most dishes. Pepper carries some heat to it so if you don’t like a real spicy blend, you can back off of the cayenne and black pepper to suit your needs.
Using fresh black pepper is best. If you have a grinder and peppercorns, this adds so much more flavor than just using already-ground pepper. This seasoning is almost always bought from the grocery store.
Note: If you want to add a little sweetness to this blend, a nice alternative is to add in a small amount of brown sugar. This pairs well with a pork rub.
You will need a small bowl to mix the ingredients in.
If you plan on not using all of this mix, you will need an airtight container to store it in. A Mason Jar works great for storing spices and seasoning blends. You can keep this seasoning blend stored at room temperature for up to 3 years.
How To Make It
Here are the simple steps and ingredients that you will need to make this chicken seasoning:
Step 1: Measure out all of the ingredients into your small bowl.
Step 2: Mix the ingredients until they are all incorporated. The spice mixture should have a red tint to it once they are thoroughly mixed.
Step 3: Now the seasoning is ready to be used. Use what you will need then place the remaining seasoning in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 years. I like to use mason jars for this purpose.
How to Season Chicken or Other Foods with this Marinade
Use this seasoning liberally. One method I like to use when seasoning my chicken pieces is to coat the chicken with a little olive oil or butter first. This allows the seasoning to stick to the poultry or food you are marinating.
Next, Sprinkle your chicken or other food with this seasoning. Rub it in to make sure it gets evenly coated. Make sure to use one hand for the seasoning and the other to rub the seasoning in. This keeps the seasoning from getting cross-contaminated.
Recipe Notes and Variations
This seasoning could be made into a liquid marinade as well. One reason you might want to do this is to inject the marinade into the meat and under the skin. This is usually done on a whole turkey or whole chicken but could also be done on whole bone-in chicken breast too.
To do this, simply start by melting down the butter. Next, add your cajun seasoning to the melted butter. You could also mix it with a little olive oil as well. Suck up the liquid seasoning marinade in your syringe. Make sure you have a syringe that is made for this purpose, then inject your meat.
In conclusion, seasoning chicken and enhancing the flavor of your dishes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the versatile and vibrant Cajun seasoning blend, you have a key to unlocking a world of culinary possibilities.
From chicken to vegetables, from grilling to roasting, this homemade spice mix offers a healthier and more flavorful alternative to store-bought options. Embrace the art of crafting your own seasoning blends, and let your taste buds dance with the savory and spicy notes that Cajun seasoning brings. So, embark on this flavorful journey, experiment with your creations, and savor the delightful results in every bite.
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons dried Oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried Thyme
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Measure out all of the ingredients into your small bowl.
- Mix the ingredients together until they are all incorporated. The spice mixture should have a red tint to it once they are thoroughly mixed together.
- Now the seasoning is ready to be used. Use what you will need then place the remaining seasoning in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 years. I like to use mason jars for this purpose.
If you want a little sweetness, you could add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. This would make a great pork rub.
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
How Much Chicken Seasoning Should I Use?
The amount you use is simply up to you. I prefer to use it very liberally and really coat the meat or food that I am putting it on.
What’s The Difference Between Cajun and Blackened Seasoning?
They are both very similar. They use essentially the same spices, with Cajun being on the hotter or spicier side. This is adjusted by adding more or less Cayenne pepper.
There is also a difference in the technique used to marinade the protein. Where you might sprinkle cajun seasoning since it is hotter, Blackened seasoning is usually coated on the protein. This is what gives the protein its dark color which makes it appear to be burnt, but it is not.
How Long Can I Store This Seasoning For?
You can store this seasoning for up to 3 years in an airtight container. The seasoning isn’t going to hurt you if you use it and you have had it longer than that. It simply loses its flavor the older it gets.
Should I Dry the Chicken or Food Before Putting the Seasoning On It?
Yes, make to get the chicken dry first. Dry the surface of the chicken with paper towels, then put olive oil, butter, or any neutral oil on the chicken.
How Can I Use this Cajun Seasoning Blend On French Fries?
Once you have cooked your french fries, place them in a bowl. Sprinkle in the seasoning blend and toss the fries in the bowl a few times. The oil from the frying process will allow the seasoning blend to stick to the fries.
How Long Should I Marinate My Chicken?
Once you coat your chicken, place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour up to 6 hours for best results. This allows the blend to time to absorb into the meat or food. If you are pressed for time, you can use it right away but this will not give you the best results.
What Is Cajun Seasoning Made From?
This seasoning is made from Paprika, Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper.
What Can I Use Cajun Seasoning on?
There are many different ways you can use this seasoning blend. Cajun seasoning is a very versatile but simple seasoning that goes great with most proteins such as Chicken, Steak, Hamburgers, Shrimp, Pork, and Fish. It also goes great on vegetables as well.
Some of my favorite vegetables are french fries, potatoes that are roasted in the oven, or fresh steamed veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower. Try it on corn on the cob that has been coated in butter then Cajun seasoning. Cajun seasoning is also the key ingredient in many Cajun foods such as gumbos and Jambalayas. The possibilities are endless.
Is Cajun Seasoning The Same As Taco Seasoning?
No. Taco Seasoning is quite a bit different from Cajun Seasoning. Taco Seasoning has a few other ingredients like ground cumin and Chili Powder.
Can I Use This Cajun Seasoning as a Pork Rub?
Yes, you can use it as a Pork Rub. You can also add a little brown sugar to the mix. Sweet and spicy is an awesome seasoning rub for Pork.
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