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Meal Prep

Make a smoked chicken and cinnamon roasted sweet potato dish

I’ve made this smoked chicken and cinnamon roasted sweet potato dish three times in the last month and a half (and I still can’t get enough of it), so it’s time to post this cute little combo. Each ingredient in this recipe isn’t even a real “recipe” by itself, so I’ll post the instructions for cooking everything together in one recipe below. This is a simple dish. Simply seasoned, simply cooked, simply good. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, good food doesn’t have to be complicated.

OPTIONS

This combination is very flexible because it is very simple. If you don’t like green beans, broccoli is a great alternative. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a good choice when chicken breasts are expensive. If your budget allows, you can use this rub on salmon! If you don’t have a well-stocked spice cabinet, you can use store-bought dry barbecue marinade instead of the listed spices to season the chicken. Want to go a little further? Try slathering the chicken in a little BBQ sauce or adding some light cornbread to wrap things up. And if you prefer chicken, it can be grilled or even fried like George Foreman.

Cooking times can vary quite a bit depending on your equipment, size of the food, and alignment of the planets (just kidding about that last part), so I’ve included visual cues to help you know when your food is finished. Keep an eye on your food as it cooks, poke at it a bit to test the texture, listen to the sound it makes, take note of the changing aromas, and with a lot of practice this part will become intuitive. For more tips, check out my 10 Tips for Recipe Success.

Preparing the recipe step by step with pictures

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry 2 sweet potatoes (about 3/4 pound each) and prick the skin several times with a fork. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over the potatoes and use your hands to spread the oil over the entire surface. Also, grease the baking sheet with a little oil to prevent the sweet potatoes from sticking. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt on the cut side of the sweet potato, then place cut side down.

Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 to 50 minutes, or until completely tender, the juices have caramelized, and the holes in the skin are bubbly. If you like, you can line the baking sheet with foil for easy cleaning, but a quick 5 minute soak will dissolve all the caramelized sugar.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting for 45-50 minutes, you can work on the chicken and green beans

Prepare the rub for the chicken by stirring together 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill).

Sprinkle the seasoning over both sides of two chicken breasts (mine were about 2/3 lb. each).

Heat a large skillet over medium, then once hot add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the seasoned chicken and cook on both sides until deep brown and the internal temperature has reached 165ºF. I highly suggest getting an instant read thermometer to take the guesswork out of cooking meat. There’s nothing worse than cutting into your chicken to find the inside still a bit raw. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, you can quickly prepare the green beans. Place one inch of water in a sauce pot, add a steamer basket, then add one pound of green beans (you can snap them in half first, if you prefer). Place a lid on the pot, then place the pot over medium-high heat. Allow the beans to steam for 7-10 minutes, or until they are bright green and still slightly crunchy. It’s best to slightly under cook these if you plan on reheating your meals later.

Once the green beans are steamed, remove the basket from the pot, pour the water out, then return the beans to the pot without the basket. Add 1 Tbsp butter and allow the residual heat from the beans to melt the butter. Stir to coat, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Finally, slice up the chicken breasts. The sweet potatoes should be done roasting at about this time as well, so now it’s time to pack up your meals.

Divide the sweet potato halves, green beans, and chicken between four containers. Eat immediately, or refrigerate and reheat later.

SMOKY CHICKEN AND CINNAMON ROASTED SWEET POTATO MEAL PREP

Smoky Chicken and Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato Meal Prep is an easy, delicious, filling, and healthy daily lunch or dinner. 
Prep Time 20 days
Cook Time 50 days
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Vietnamese
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 3/4 lb. each)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt

Smoky Chicken

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2/3 lb. each)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil

Green Beans

  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • pinch salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Wash the sweet potatoes, pat them dry, and prick their skins a few times with a fork. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cooking oil over the potatoes, then use your hands to smear the oil over their entire surface (skin and cut sides), leaving a liberal amount of oil on the baking sheet under the potatoes to keep them from sticking.
  • Place the sweet potatoes with the cut side up, then sprinkle with cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt. Flip the sweet potatoes over so they are cut side down, then roast for 45-50 minutes, or until they are soft all the way through and the juices are caramelized and bubbling out of the holes in the skin.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the chicken and green beans. Combine the spices for the chicken in a small bowl (smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and freshly ground pepper-about 20 cranks of a pepper mill). 
  • Pat the chicken dry, then sprinkle the spice rub over both sides. Heat a large skillet over medium, then add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken and cook until they are deeply browned on each side and the internal temp has reached 165ºF. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the green beans. Add about one inch water to a sauce pot and place a steaming basket in the pot. Add the green beans to the basket, place a lid on top, and place them over medium-high heat. Allow the water to come up to a boil and steam the green beans for 7-10 minutes, or until they are bright green and only slightly softened.
  • Remove the green beans from the pot, pour out the water, and place the beans back in the pot without the steaming basket. Add 1 Tbsp butter and allow the residual heat from the beans to melt the butter. Stir to coat, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Slice the chicken breasts into strips. Divide the sweet potato halves, green beans, and chicken between four containers or plates. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later.

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