Thursday, January 26, 2012

Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower

I hadn't cooked for a few days (wasn't feeling well) so I decided to make it up to the boys with something really special: Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower.  I have to admit that I am not a big fan of curry -- or I should say I'm not a fan of the sauce that smothers and overwhelms the dish, but there was none of that with this recipe.  The marinade infused everything with lots of yummy curry flavor that was so delicious and I could taste all the other ingredients too!  My favorite part of the dish was the roasted sweet potato that had been tossed in a bit of reserved marinade -- sweet, spicy, and so good!

This recipe was super simple to follow -- the hardest part was for me to remember to prepare the chicken that morning to give the marinade plenty of time to work it's magic.  I was a little absent minded when planning this dish and bought sour cream instead of yogurt, and I defrosted chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs (I just cut the breasts in half so they approximated the size of a chicken thigh).  I followed their hint (listed below) and soaked the cauliflower for 10 to 15 minutes before roasted, and it really helped keep it from drying out.

A little Jasmine rice on this side, and we had ourselves one fantastic feast!

Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower
The Essential Eating Well Cookbook
Serves 4

3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tsp madras-style curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb)
1 sweet potato (about 1 lb) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups cauliflower florets (1 small head)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

1.  Combine yogurt, curry powder, coriander, ginger, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and cayenne in a shallow glass dish; mix to blend.  Reserve 1/4 cup of this mixture; cover and refrigerate.  Add chicken to the remaining yogurt mixture and turn to coat.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2.  Preheat oven to 450F.  Use a large baking sheet with sides and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
3.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Toss sweet potato with the reserved yogurt mixture in a medium bowl and place on the baking sheet.  Toss cauliflower with oil in a medium bowl and add to the baking sheet.  Season vegetables with the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.  Roast chicken and vegetables, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
4.  Carefully turn the chicken over and stir the vegetables.  Roast until the vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 more minutes more.
5.  Arrange chicken and vegetables on a platter or individual plates and garnish with peanuts (or cashews) and cilantro.

Hints:  Soaking the prepared vegetables in ice water for 15 minutes before roasting will hydrate them, making the more moist and tender when cooked.  To substitute bone-in thighs, pull off the skin and roast chicken 10 minutes.

Per Serving:  473 calories; 14g fat; 121mg cholesterol; 34g carbohydrates; 53g protein; 8g fiber; 478mg sodium.
Nutrition Bonus: 30% DV fiber; 440% DV Vitamin A; 110% DV Vitamin C; 20% DV Iron; 2% DV Folate

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