Carbs. Where do I start? Suffice it to say I can't live without them. The love of starch must be part of my DNA - growing up in Poland meant indulging in potatoes, pierogi (small dumplings stuffed with meat or potatoes - no need to add which are my favourite?) or kopytka (literally translating as 'little hooves', they are basically a Polish version of gnocchi). Enter my recent obsession: sweet potatoes - versatile enough to be fried, boiled and mashed, or roasted. Cut into chips they featured in last night's dinner along with bacon wrapped chicken, roasted butternut squash and broccoli.
Please promise me you'll give this dish a try: it's simple, healthy and once you do all the chopping it pretty much cooks itself (giving you time to rest. Or search for more carb recipes, in my case).
To make enough for 2 you'll need:
2 skinless chicken breasts
4-5 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 butternut squash (not essential, but adds a bit of variety)
a handful of basil leaves
4 rashers of streaky bacon (can be substituted with parma ham)
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
cajun spice or smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 190-200 C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (don't be like me and don't use kitchen foil - unless you enjoy prying your chips off it). Cut chicken breasts in half and season with salt, pepper and cajun spice.
Place a few basil leaves on each chicken piece and wrap bacon around it. Step back and admire 4 chicken mummies you just created. Now set them aside and prepare potatoes and butternut squash.
Peel potatoes and butternut squash and cut into chips (use a sharp knife and feel your biceps work - who needs the gym, right?)
Arrange your chips neatly on the baking tray and brush with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a bit of cajun spice or smoked paprika.
Now you're almost ready. You've done all the hard work. Nestle your chicken parcels in the middle of the tray and pop it in the oven for about 40 minutes. The timing depends on your oven and thickness of the chips, so it's a good idea to check everything after about 25 minutes. You want your chicken to be cooked through and the chips nice and soft inside (go on! poke them with a fork!) and crispy outside.When done, pop everything on a plate, drizzle with some olive oil and and serve with a dollop of mayonnaise and some greens: steamed broccoli, spinach or green beans. And you're done!
Moist, juicy chicken coated with crispy bacon, sweet soft potatoes - heaven on a plate. Enjoy!
PS. Some of my chips came out a bit charred. Please don't judge. I totally blame my ancient oven which probably remembers the time when
dinosaurs roamed the earth when Elton John performed sans wig. Anyway, a bit of char is good for you (or so I've been telling myself).