Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  It’s not that I haven’t been cooking (and obviously eating), just haven’t had a lot of time to post.

But here is a meal that is definitely worth trying.  A modification of the Shrimp & Bok Choy dish I love so much, this one uses another thing I love: sweet potatoes!

Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

(makes 3 servings – makes great leftovers for lunch!)

6 oz. chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 small sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 can lite coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup bamboo shoots (optional)
1 tbsp sambal oelek
2 tsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot depending on your preference)
2 tsp. olive oil

1. In a saucepan with steamer basket, steam the cubed sweet potato for 6-7 minutes or until cooked though.

1.   In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in the pan.  Cook 3 minutes on one side before turning over.  Continue until chicken is browned but not fully cooked, about 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from pan and place to the side.

2. Add remaining olive oil to the pan.  Add the onions with the Sambal Oelek & curry powder.  Saute for 3 – 4 minutes or until softened.  Toss in bamboo shoots, if using, and cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Pour in coconut milk and the 1/2 cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove anything that has stuck to the bottom.  Add in the cooked sweet potato.   Cover and let come to a boil until reducing the heat and letting simmer for at least 10 minutes.  Right before serving, add chicken and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4.  Serve over your choice of noodles, rice or steam veggies (broccoli is great!).

Confused Shepard’s Pie

This meal really doesn’t qualify as a shepard’s pie.  It has no ground lamb or beef and the regular potatoes are switched for sweet potato.  On the other hand, it’s not really a chicken pot pie either.

Call it what you will but this layered casserole dish full of veggies and chicken only tastes decadent.   Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to create.  Any fall root vegetable, like parsnips, would also be fabulous here.

Shepard & Chicken Pie All in One

(makes 3 servings)

1 medium sweet potato, peeled & cooked (microwaved is a good choice here)
1/3 cup milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 oz. chicken, cubed
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen & defrosted)
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 1/2 tsp. Olive Oil
Bay Leaf

In a mixing bowl, mash cooked sweet potato.  Stir in milk, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat one tsp of olive oil a skillet over medium low heat.  Add chicken, seasoned with some salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 and a half minutes and turn over.  Cook another 2 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned.  Remove from skillet and place on a plate.  Add a 1/2 tsp of olive oil to the pan and add the onion.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add carrots and garli.  Cook for 6 minutes or until carrots are not as hard.  Stir in peas and then add the chicken back to the pan.  Stir in mustard, bay leaf and about a half cup water.  Let simmer for 7 – 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

In a lightly greased casserole dish, spread an inch thick layer of the sweet potato mixture.  Add chicken and vegetables.  Cover with another layer of the remaining sweet potato.

In a 400 degree preheated oven, add casserole dish.  Cook for 15 -minutes.  If you have a broiler, place in there for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Yogurt Marinated Chicken + Sweet Potato Pancakes

You win some, you lose some, right?

I’m chalking last night’s loss in the kitchen up to aggravation & a cloudy mind.

After a long day at work and many things on my mind, I went to grab the marinating chicken from the fridge.  Since I was rushing, I didn’t notice the brand new carton of eggs situated awfully close to said chicken.  With one quick grab I managed to get both out of the fridge.  Only problem?  All of the eggs wound up on the floor and needless to say, cracked.

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Buttermilk Chicken & Rocket Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

Many might argue that boneless, skinless chicken defines the word boring.  And while sometimes that thought may be true (think under seasoned and over cooked), using this piece of the chicken not only can be healthy, it can also be extremely flavorful & juicy.

Some of the best fried chicken recipes call for soaking the chicken pieces in buttermilk which not only tenderizes and flavors the meat but also helps keep it moist.  The same approach is taken here, but rather than using oil to create a crunchy outer layer, the chicken is breaded with spiced up panko breadcrumbs and baked in the oven for a satisfyingly crisp result.

While almost any side dish is well suited for this, a refreshing and spicy rocket salad pairs well with the tangy taste of the buttermilk.

Don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients listed for the recipe below.  You will actually be using many of the same spices more than once.  The idea is to create flavor in each layer of the chicken’s breading.

Buttermilk Chicken & Rocket Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

(serves 2)

Printable Version

2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)
For the Buttermilk Marinade
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4. tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
For the Flour Coating
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. milk
For the Panko Coating
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (or make your own coarse, unflavored breadcrumbs)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
For the Salad
3 cups rocket (or arugula)
Segments from 3 clementines
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Step One:  Let the chicken marinade

In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the buttermilk marinade.  Place chicken breasts into the mixture, making sure they are completely covered.  Place in the refrigerator and soak for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.  (Note:  You can also put marinade the chicken in a large Ziploc bag)

Step Two: Bread the chicken

In a shallow dish combine all of the flour ingredients (flour, paprika and cayenne)  until thoroughly combined.  In another bowl whisk together the three eggs and milk.  In another shallow dish,  combine the panko coating ingredients (breadcrumbs and the next four ingredients).  Remove a chicken breast from the buttermilk and coat in flour mixture.  Knock off any excess flour and dip into the egg mixture, coating evenly.  Place chicken breast in the panko breadcrumbs, again coating evenly.  Place chicken breast on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.  Repeat with second chicken breast.

Step Three: Heat things up

Place baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven on the middle rack.  Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees (cooking time may be more or less depending on thickness of the chicken breast).  Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the salad.

Step Four:  Mix up the salad & vinaigrette

In a small bowl combine the Dijon mustard through the pepper.  Begin to whisk in the olive oil until thickened.  Wash and dry the rocket.  Drizzle about 3 tbsp. of the dressing on the greens and toss to coat.  Divide between two plates and arrange clementine segments on top.  Place a chicken breast on each plate to serve.  Drizzle with additional vinaigrette, if desired.

Catching Up

Relaxing in Naragansett, RI after a few weeks of craziness

Life has been non-stop these last few weeks and unfortunately most of it had little to do with food.

With a big work deadline looming most of my meals were takeout, consumed at my desk or during a meeting and at random hours of the day.

After my work assignment was over and done with last Friday,  I headed up to Rhode Island again for another fabulous weekend of relaxation which I so badly needed.

A few foodie moments snuck into my schedule lately, however, and here is a quick roundup:

♦ Delicious, cozy meal at Little Owl in the West Village, NYC (full review post to come soon)

♦ A fabulous engagement party for two close friends.  I had great time with all of my friends on a gorgeous day.  And of course the food was delicious! There was a slider “bar” with many different slider varieties including salmon, veggie, chicken and one named for the groom-to-be: Steve’s Sirloin Sliders with Chipotle Mayo.  The assortment of french fries was also incredible!  Both the sweet potato fries & regular fries were good but the Peruvian blue potato fries with truffle oil were out of this world!  Also on the menu were tiny shots of traditional tomato gazpacho and a fennel & onion salad.  Of course for dessert I indulged in a carrot cake cupcake!


♦ A special someone’s birthday dinner prepared by my gracious RI hosts and enjoyed with great company.  The meal included BBQ ribs & chicken, homemade baked beans (baked for 24 hours!), orzo pasta salad with red onion, grilled asparagus & cherry tomatoes and then a garden fresh strawberry rhubarb pie.

♦ A quiet and delightful birthday lunch picnic before a fun round of tennis (well tennis lesson for me, really).  Lunch was simple deli sandwiches, salt & vinegar Kettle potato chips & of course a Miller High Life to wash it all down.  Such a fabulous day.

View of the tennis courts from our picnic spot

♦ Random recipe ideas which always come to me when I don’t have time to test them! I wrote them all down however, so be on the lookout for them.

And last but not least…

♦ News of Foodbuzz’s first Blogging Festival  in San Francisco!!!! For a few years now I have been wanting to go to S.F. and with this latest development I really think the time has come to make the trip.  Everyone who has been there tells me how much I would love the city and enjoy all of the wonderful food it has to offer.  Can’t wait!

I’ve been trying to catch up on some of the happenings in the blog world but would love to hear what you’ve been up to in case I missed it!  Also, let me know your thoughts on Foodbuzz’s Blogging Festival.  Are you happy it is in San Francisco?  Will you be attending and what are you looking forward to the most?