Weekly Winner: Autumn on a Plate

I love the change of seasons — especially the entrance of fall. As the leaves change, oddly I find myself craving food that matches the colors of the falling foliage — orange squashes, sweet potatoes and peppers, red apples, red peppers and beets, and and the rustic brown of roasted meats, potatoes and of course, bacon! (but that’s another post).

So when I found this recipe for Spicy Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Cranberry Salsa I knew I’d be making it and that it would be delicious, which is was. What I didn’t expect was that it would be so gosh, dang perdy! I mean seriously, if this dish doesn’t just scream “Fall”!! then I don’t know what does.

The recipe came from Fine Cooking and while it certainly is “fine” it is also incredibly easy. But there’s something to be said for just the right combination of colors, textures and tastes to bring absolute joy to the dinner plate. And this recipe does that beautifully.

Spicy Chicken with Black Bean, Cranberry, and Sweet Potato Salsa

4 Tbs. canola oil; more for the broiler pan
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup finely diced red or Vidalia onion
Kosher salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the onion and sweet potatoes are tender and the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine 1 tsp. salt with the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl.

Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing it horizontally almost but not entirely in half so you can open it like a book. Rub the spices all over.

Lightly oil a broiler pan, put the chicken on it, and broil, flipping once, until just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total.

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, lime zest, juice, and 2 Tbs. of the canola oil. Add the potatoes and onions, black beans, cranberries, and cilantro and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the chicken.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Molly Roth
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 23:43:25

    Yum! Can this be in the next delivery?

    How was your reunion? Your Mom’s doing better?

    Sent from my iPhone



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