Bacon and Rosemary Chicken

This is just a damn good dinner. I mean, come on, can you ever go wrong with bacon? Bacon makes everything better (Seriously people, you can still eat bacon, virus be damned). Also, sweet potatoes are in my top 5 favorite foods ever. I could eat them pretty much everyday and I think they get a bad rap as being “that stuff with marshmallows that you eat at Thanksgiving”. They are way more versatile than that one dish (see exhibit B another great chicken dish with sweet potatoes and where I got part of the inspiration for this recipe).

I’ve been making this chicken dish for a while and it’s always a treat. In fact, I don’t make it all that often because I think of it as my “special” chicken dish. I think it tastes better when you only save it for special occasions.

While I wouldn’t call the recipe hard, I definitely struggled with it the first few times I made it, but that may have just been my cooking inexperience. If you’re not prepared then it can be really easy to burn or overcook the chicken because it goes by really fast. What has helped me is to get all the ingredients measured and set up on the counter, so I can just add them one step at a time and can concentrate on the chicken and sauce without having to run all over the kitchen and worry about burning things.

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken and Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The potatoes are super easy compared to the chicken, though. This whole meal can be whipped up in 30 minutes, I just boil the potatoes while I’m making the chicken and mash the potatoes while the chicken finishes cooking in the pan. I pretty much just made this sweet potato recipe up on the fly a few weeks ago. I was thinking about how much I love mashed potatoes and then how much I love sweet potatoes and I just had this flash of “why the hell haven’t I ever made mashed sweet potatoes before?” It’s based on a candied yams recipe I make a lot from my Betty Crocker cookbook and also, as mentioned above this recipe. The end result is delicious, creamy sweet potatoes. The maple part is something new I just thought of this week. I added maple syrup to the water that the potatoes boil in so they get infused with this wonderful, but subtle, maple flavor. It’s so good! I’m going to be making it a lot from now on, it’s my new favorite side dish.

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken

adapted from Sloane Taylor

Dinner | Servings: 2-4
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed (I just use my garlic press)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Process

  1. Fry bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, set aside. Spoon out excess bacon fat, but leave about 2 tbsp. in the pan.
  2. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge chicken though it, shake to remove excess.
  3. Add butter to the reserved fat in the pan and heat over high temperature, swirling to melt the butter. When the foam subsides, reduce heat to medium-high and add the chicken. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, until browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover lightly with foil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes. Cook for half a minute or so. Try not to let the garlic brown. Add broth and lemon juice and simmer until slightly thick, about 4 minutes.
  5. Return chicken and bacon to the pan, simmer, turning chicken at least once until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and glossy about 3-5 minutes.

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

from Back to the Cutting Board

Side Dish | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 40 min

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp. maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar*
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. maple extract**

*These potatoes are pretty sweet because that’s how I like them, but if you don’t have big sweet tooth you may want to start with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. At the end, taste the potatoes and stir in a more sugar if necessary.

**This is optional, but the maple extract really pumps up the maple flavor. Vanilla or orange extract also work well.

Process

  1. Peel and cut up sweet potatoes in large chunks. Place in pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Add 2 tbsp. maple syrup and stir. Heat to boiling and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter, brown sugar, remaining 2 tbsp. maple syrup, cream and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until it thickens a little. Set aside.
  3. Once the potatoes are tender, drain all the liquid and return them to the pot. Mash with a potato masher.
  4. Slowly pour in the sugar mixture, a little at a time and stir/mash after each addition. You may not need to use all of the sugar mixture, add enough until it gets to a consistency that you like. Stir in maple extract.

Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Warm up over medium-low heat or in the microwave.