Yesterday was a busy day. What with spring and gardening and writing and work around the home, there never seems to be enough hours to do everything. (No matter. I still love this time of year.) However, yesterday was also a Winthrop Food Pantry day. I had agreed to go in as a substitute for someone else, which I was happy to do, but how, I wondered, could I slide in a bit of gardening as well as a bike ride with my husband, Clif, and still have a nice supper afterward? Shari Burke, of Craftivist in the Kitchen, came to my rescue with one of her wonderful posts about a Crock-Pot meal involving chicken, sage, and sweet potatoes. Just perfect for a hot day with many chores.
Before I left for the food pantry, I prepared the meal. Shari had told me that I could use whole sweet potatoes, but I must admit I “flinched” and cut the potatoes in half. As it turns out, Shari was right. There was no need to cut the potatoes. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I washed 2 sweet potatoes, cut them in half, and poked them with a fork. I put a combination of drumsticks and thighs on top of the potatoes, and I used 8 or 9 pieces of chicken so that I would have leftovers for a salad. I drizzled olive oil on top of the chicken and then added 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, and 1 large clove of minced garlic. I put the cover on, set the temperature on low, and pedalled my way to the food pantry, where, among other things, I discussed important food topics such as what to do with leftover sour cream.
“Use it in muffins,” one woman suggested. “It’s especially good in apple muffins.”
What a good idea! For some reason, I had never thought of using sour cream in muffins, even though one of my favorite coffee cakes uses sour cream.
When I came home, everything in the Crock-Pot was cooking nicely. The chicken pieces had generated a fair amount of liquid, and I turned the sweet potatoes so that they would be well simmered. Then, I had a snack on the patio, planted some tomatoes, and Clif and I went for a bike ride, where I was entranced by the smell of lilacs and the sweet greenness of spring.
When we came home, supper was waiting for us. The chicken was done—spicy, moist, and tender. But the sweet potatoes were definitely the star of the evening. Infused by the juices of the chicken, they were very, very soft and mashed beautifully. Smooth and rich with an undertone of chicken, the sweet potatoes were so good that I almost could have skipped the chicken and have made it a sweet potato night.
This is definitely a make-again meal. Thank you, Shari, for the great idea. And next time, I won’t cut the sweet potatoes in half.
Note: This meal is so simple that I’m not going to bother with a formal recipe. Just put some sweet potatoes in a Crock-Pot, cover with 8 or 9 pieces of chicken, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each of dried thyme and sage, and add 1 large clove of minced garlic. Cook on low for 7 or 8 hours. There. I’ve included the instructions twice.