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Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Sauce

October 18, 2006

Last Sunday in New York was a gorgeous Fall day that made me crave a good, hearty Fall-like dish. Tis the season for root vegetables, so I decided to make a dish utilizing sweet potatoes. Better yet, I wanted to roast them so that they would develop that great caramelized flavor. Mmm…mixed with some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper…it does not get much better than that!

As my head was brimming with all this yummy goodness, I was intrigued to take the potatoes a step further. I had some fresh pasta in my fridge that I needed to use up so I came up with the idea to puree the roasted sweet potatoes and serve them as a sauce with the pasta. (I get most my recipe ideas by simply deciding how to use up items in my fridge.) Okay now I was getting somewhere. As I later wandered the isles of my market (don’t you all do that for fun?) it striked me that a roasted chicken breast would be a better accompaniment to satisfy my yearning for a hearty, Fall-like dish. So a chicken breast with the roasted sweet potato sauce it was!

So here is the recipe for 4 servings. As a pre-warning, you will need a food processor for this recipe.

Chicken

  • Olive oil
  • 4 Chicken breasts with skin and on the bone
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place an oven safe fry pan over medium high heat and lightly coat the bottom with olive oil. Add chicken breasts to the pan, skin side down, and cook for 5-6 minutes until skin is lightly browned.
  3. Flip chicken breasts over and move pan to oven. Cook chicken breasts through until juices run clear when pierced. (I had a large chicken breast, which took 25 minutes to cook through. My handy-dandy thermometer made knowing when it was done quite easy!)

Roasted Sweet Potato Sauce

  • 1 lb Sweet potato, skinned and cut into centimeter cubes
  • 2 tsp and 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Thyme (plus some for garnishing)
  • 1 ¾ cups Whole milk (measurement will vary) (See Note 1)
  • ¼ tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 40 Roasted pecan halves, quartered (See Note 2)
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a roasting pan add potatoes and mix with 2 tsp olive oil and thyme.
  3. Place potatoes in oven and let roast until lightly browned. This will take approximately 40 minutes. Toss potatoes a couple times while roasting.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, remove about a fifth of them and put them aside. Place remaining potatoes into a food processor.
  5. Add 1 tbsp olive and 1 cup of milk to potatoes and puree. Keep adding additional milk and pureeing until the mixture reaches a thick sauce consistency. The total amount of milk will be about 1 ¾ cups, but this will vary depending on the amount of potatoes and how much they roasted (roasting removes moisture from the food).
  6. Add nutmeg, as well as, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour sauce into a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stirring frequently, heat sauce thoroughly.
  8. Spoon a generous amount of sauce onto the serving plates, covering the bottoms. Now place the chicken breasts onto the plates and top with the cubed potatoes that were set aside. Follow this by sprinkling the roasted pecans onto the chicken, and top off with fresh thyme.

Enjoy!

Notes:

  1. As I was making this sauce I began pureeing the potatoes with heavy cream, which I quickly found was going to make the sauce way too rich given the amount of liquid required to form a sauce. However, the little that I did end up putting in the potatoes (1/4 cup) did add some extra creaminess than what the whole milk alone would have offered. I do not think you necessarily need heavy cream, but if you do want to add some extra richness to the sauce I do suggest that you combine a little heavy cream with the milk.
  2. I find that the easiest way to roast nuts is stove top. Most people roast nuts in the oven, but this method doesn’t allow you to closely watch them to prevent burning (as you may know, they often go from raw to burnt quite quickly). Therefore, I suggest placing the pecans in a fry pan over medium heat. Toss them frequently until they are lightly browned and then remove them from the heat.
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. gemma permalink
    October 19, 2006 2:47 pm

    This sounds delicious. I think I would have a hard time putting the roast sweet potatoes into a blender though – I just LOVE them roasted.

  2. Kristin permalink
    October 19, 2006 5:11 pm

    Gemma-Yes, this was really good!I do not have a blender to know if this would work with one, but my guess is not. The roasting causes the potatoes to dry out too much. Perhaps if you let the potatoes sit in the milk for a few minutes to soften before blending it would work?

  3. Kristin permalink
    October 19, 2006 11:29 pm

    Gemma – Yes, this was really good!I do not have a blender to know if this would work with one, but my guess is not. The roasting causes the potatoes to dry out too much. Perhaps if you let the potatoes sit in the milk for a few minutes to soften before blending it would work?

  4. linda permalink
    October 28, 2006 5:21 am

    Just wanted to let you know this inspired my dinner tonight and I plan to mention it tomorrow in my write up! Fabulous concept!

  5. Jennifer permalink
    October 30, 2006 3:44 am

    I followed a link from kayaksoup after seeing this fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Anonymous permalink
    November 2, 2006 10:50 pm

    i did this with pork instead of chicken – a couple of butterflied loin chops (boneless) stuffed with bread/apple/sage stuffing. i browned the chpos stovetop – and then finished them in the oven. wow – it was good. thanks for a fab recipe!-jacquie vwnewbury park, ca

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