Everyone has a “happy place”. My happy place is on the bow of a boat, in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight. Oddly enough, drifting at sea is where I feel the most anchored. I could lay back on the bow of a boat all day long until the sun sets, feeling the sea breeze kiss my cheeks, and then watching as the stars come out from hiding to light up the night sky. Have you seen stars when there isn’t any artificial lighting for miles? If you haven’t, you should. Simply said, I love boats. I welcome all kinds of vessels into my life. Including those that transport food into my mouth. Especially these Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potatoes that I stumbled upon exploring Tieghan Gerard’s Half Baked Harvest. The recipe isn’t as quick and easy as the others I’ve posted but it’s definitely not difficult. The recipe says prep time is 15 minutes but, I’m not Gordon Ramsay so it took me 5-10 minutes longer to get my game together. Here is my slightly modified version.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 pound (about 3-4 thin) boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 cups olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 whole chipotle pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 (half a 10oz bag) cups spinach
- 5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- greek yogurt, for serving
Set your oven to 350 degrees. The bulk of time this recipe takes is just getting those potatoes cooked all the way through. Wash your sweet potatoes and then stab the heck out of them all over. ALL OVER. Then coat the skin with a light layer of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. This helps flavor and crisp the skin while they bake. Baking will take 50-60 minutes depending on your oven. When you pull them out, make sure you can stab them with a fork to make sure they’re tender.
Right after popping those puppies in the oven, rinse and dry your chicken, coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder, and throw them into a baking dish. Place them in the oven for 25 minutes (preferably the last 25 minutes on your potato timer). Once done, let the chicken cool and either shred it with a fork or in a mixer (which takes a whole of 20 seconds). When the sweet potatoes are finished, cut them in half and allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes.
In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set is aside. If your littles don’t like any level of spice (this recipe is about medium) divide the mix and in one part, leave out the chipotle peppers.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach (this can also be done in the microwave). Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.
Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium layer of flesh inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (I reserved the rest for mashed sweet potatoes but you can use it for anything) and place in a baking dish. Brush the skins with a little of the chipotle sauce and bake for 5-10 minutes until nice and crisp. While the skins bake mix the spinach, chicken, and chipotle sauce together. Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the skins are crisp. Serve with chopped cilantro and greek yogurt if you’re in the mood. The greek yogurt neutralizes the spice.
Whether you eat these with a fork or scoop them up with two hands and sail them to your taste buds like the vessels they were intended to be, is your call. The taste will be the same but the experience might be different. Either way, let us know if you decide to try them out. Tag us in your photos!