Everyday Eats – Chicken and Sweet Potato Layer Bake

This goes under the “everyday eats” category because it represents the daily quest to do something interesting and delicious, when I’m hungry, with what I have.

Days ago, I’d roasted the sweet potatoes and cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Once the chicken was cooked, I let it cool, removed the meat from the skin and bones and shredded it for various uses through the week. I put the bones back in the slow cooker, covered them with water and a couple tablespoons of vinegar, and got 3 quarts of lovely broth after it simmered away for an evening. I froze the broth and didn’t have specific recipes for the chicken or sweet potatoes at the time. It’s the opposite of a menu plan. I know I won’t let the good ingredients go to waste and it makes it easy to eat these healthy options, especially when I’ve taken most of the work out of the meal ahead of time.

This isn’t a recipe in a strict way. Try it with ground beef or turkey. Use black beans instead of meat for a vegetarian version. Sub sliced olives for the goat cheese to make it paleo. Use a homemade salsa instead of my cheater enchilada sauce if you have some. The options are endless. This makes 2 – 8″x8″ pans or 1 – 9″x13″. I like making the two pans at once because I don’t have many people to feed and the other can be frozen for another meal.

I’m growing to love cooking this way. When I have quality, whole foods already prepped and waiting for me, it’s only a matter of flavors to make it a meal. The focus is on the ingredients, not on a recipe, which is a great way to cook when you don’t want to spend the day cooking.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Layer Bake

Ingredients:
3 roasted sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4″ rounds
1 Tbs coconut or olive oil
12 oz (about 20) baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs cumin
4 cups chicken, shredded
1 can (28 oz) green chile enchilada sauce
1 bunch cilantro, minced
5 oz chevre, crumbled

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil, mushrooms, onion, salt, and spices. Saute until all the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is fragrant and browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken and cilantro. Add the mushroom mixture and combine. Lightly oil 2 – 8″x8″ pans. Pour 1/4 cup green chile sauce in each. Make a layer of sweet potato slices in each pan and then top with the chicken mixture. Pour 1 cup green chile sauce over each. Add a final layer of sweet potato slices, top with another cup (each) of green chile sauce, and crumble the chevre on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until heated through. Top with more chopped cilantro to serve.

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