Two elements came together to make this dinner happen.
1) My deep love for sweet potatoes. I almost feel like they shouldn’t count as a vegetable because they are so dang good. I love them baked, mashed, roasted, fried, pancaked. Any and every which way (and although I have not yet had sweet potato pie, I have no doubt that I would love it with a capital L). I always have them in my pantry, and they never let me down.
2) Desperation. A few weeks ago, I had one of those nights when you just can’t figure out what to make, and nothing in your fridge or pantry looks edible, and you have people whining at you that they’re hungry and you’re like 2 more complaints away from just ordering a pizza. You know, one of those pleasant and joyful evenings.
I made this dish up that night. When I ‘wing it’ in the kitchen, I don’t generally get great results. Usually edible, but not often blog-worthy. But this meal was so incredibly good that I made it again the very next day for lunch. And I’ve made it probably a half dozen times more since then and have loved it each and every time. It’s so quick and simple to pull together, it uses ingredients I almost always have on hand, it tastes fantastic, there’s only one pan to clean up afterward, and, (bonus!) is really healthy for you to boot. Win win win win win, wins all around and a big group hug and everyone gets a participation certificate.
Sweet Potato, Chicken, & Black Bean Taco Skillet
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 4 cups)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with 1 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder and add to skillet along with minced garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Use a slotted spoon to remove chicken from skillet. (If the skillet is dry after removing the chicken, add a bit more oil at this point. I usually have enough kicking around in there still that I don’t need to add any.)
Add sweet potato to your skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Check on the potatoes occasionally while they are simmering and add more chicken broth if necessary.
Add chicken back to the skillet along with the beans and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until heated through, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese, green onion, and cilantro and serve.