Monday, January 19, 2009

Mapled Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

This recipe, by its title alone, does not do this dish justice. Nor does the photo. I found a version of this recipe in the February 2009 issue of Real Simple and adapted it to fit my palate (and what I had on hand). It was the ultimate in comfort food. What's more, it was "real simple" to make. The following is what I did for a comfortable portion for two adults.

Mapled Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
2 chicken breasts, trimmed
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
1/2 medium onion
1 medium apple
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper

1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Cut onion and apple into wedges.
2. Toss potatoes, onion and apple with olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper and rosemary. Arrange in small casserole dish (I used a 7x11 Pyrex).
3. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Cut into large chunks, then fit into casserole dish with the vegetables and apple.
4. Drizzle with maple syrup and roast at 400 for 55 to 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir once during cooking.

Substitution Suggestions: There’s no reason why pork wouldn’t also work in this recipe. And, the original recipe called for fresh thyme, not rosemary. And, it didn’t include an apple.

Lessons learned: The apple really does add to the flavor, but it does also increase the liquid content. That was actually a good thing because it made the potatoes incredibly moist and added another level of sweetness to the dish. If you want less liquid, use a larger casserole pan to encourage liquid evaporation.

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