Cajun Blackened Fish or Chicken

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INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT:

Fish fillets or chicken parts
Cajun spice mix (recipe follows)
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 (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 knifetip), or finish in a 350 degree oven.

Will Borgeson