Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but anytime I see bloggers post "Day in the Life" posts, I assume that they wait for a busy day, or else save up all their errands and tasks to seem busier and more productive…. or they fake it to provide enough details that would be interesting to the rest of the internet world. Because I know the majority of my own "day in the life" post would be pretty boring and mundane (or maybe even terrifying if it's a day that all my kids are home ;)). However, every now and then I have a super busy and productive day, and I think to myself that it would be a day worthy of sharing, and I look like a rock star. Then I remind myself that no one really cares about the minutiae of the life of a stay-at-home mom, and I go about my business.
Anywhoo, the day that I made this chicken was such a day. I won't bore you with the details and minute-by-minute breakdown, but suffice to say, I was a busy bee. As an aside, do you ever feel like the busier you are, the more efficiently you work? I swear that the days that I have nothing pressing going on are my laziest and most unproductive days!
At this time of year, we are all busy and frazzled, so it's always nice to have a healthy, quick meal in your back pocket. Joey and I loved this so much, and I can't wait to make it again soon. Maybe I'll even make it on a lazy day.
adapted from Fine Cooking, November 2014
- 4 Tbs canola oil
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- kosher salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to even thickness (about 1 inch thick)
- 1 large garlic clove, mashed to a paste with a fork
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup finely chopped bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon of the salt with the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the chicken.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the now-empty skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
As the chicken is cooking and resting, make the salsa. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, lime juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil. To the sweet potatoes, add the black beans, onions, peppers, cranberries, and cilantro. Pour the dressing over the mixture, then toss gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, slice the chicken and serve with the salsa.