Cajun Blackened Chicken (or Fish)

Toronto chef Elana Embrioni uses this spice mix to blacken any kind of meat or vegetable -- lemons, tomatoes, tofu, fish. The super hot pan and the spices combine to give the food an extra-crispy crust. The old method was to dip the meat in butter, then coat with the spices. This drizzling method uses less butter.
I do this on the barbeque to keep all the smoke outside and it works beautifully.

Ingredients:

Method:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-- or -- 2 fish fillets
clarified butter

Coating mix suggestions:
paprika
cayenne pepper
onion powder
garlic powder
dried thyme
dried basil
dried oregano
salt & fresh ground pepper
optional:
curry, fennel, anise, nutmeg
(add anything else you like)
For 2 chicken breasts or fish fillets, you will need 3 to 4 oz. of spices. Blend the spices together in a shallow dish or plastic bag, then coat the chicken or fish with them.

Heat a cast iron frying pan on high for 15 to 30 minutes, until it starts to turn white.
CAUTION! it will be very, very hot.
Carry the preheated pan to the preheated barbeque and place as close to the barbeque flame as possible.

Place the chicken or fish in the uncovered pan. It will start to smoke. Carefully drizzle clarified butter into the pan, letting a few drops fall on the coated meat. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, drizzling butter on both sides. The meat should be more dark bronze than black.

If you are cooking chicken, move the pan back to the oven and bake at 375°F for 5-10 minutes to be sure the chicken is well done.
Serves 2 from the Globe & Mail, April 8, 2000