4-Ingredient Sweet Potatoes with Chicken and Lemongrass — What You Want for Dinner
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You know you’re hooked on a new cookbook when you cook from it two days in a row. And consider a third and four day…maybe all week!
So it is with my love of potatoes, and this new recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Chicken and Lemon Grass. With just four ingredients (five if you count the oil, but who is?), this defines simplicity.
It’s from the new cookbook “Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked – And Fried, Too!” by veteran cookbook author Raghavan Iyer (2016, Workman Publishing, $16.95). The book has 75 recipes that span the globe, covering culinary needs for finger foods, soups and salads to entrees and even desserts.
Let’s listen to what Iyer says about the provenance of this dish:
“Next to California, Minnesota is home to the second-largest Hmong community in the U.S.—comprised of those who fled Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam in 1975. More than 66,000 Hmong now call Minnesota home, and a large number of them are farmers who grow the vegetables and herbs of their former homeland. Their dishes are very simple, often with just an ingredient or two boiled together. Hmong emphasize green vegetables during the summer months, while root vegetables such as sweet potatoes are winter fare. This thin-bodied stew primarily showcases lemongrass and sweet potatoes, yet it could not be any more flavorful.”
A short ingredient list, with a high flavor payoff. That’s what we look for in the ShockD kitchen.
Shall we put this in the skillet right now? Dinner will be here before you know it.
Two recipes down, 73 delicious recipes to go, in this wonderful book.
Sweet Potatoes with Chicken and Lemon Grass
Sweet Potatoes with Chicken and Lemongrass: A simple, thin-bodied stew that showcases lemongrass and sweet potatoes has only 4 basic ingredients, making it ideal for weeknight dinners. It is inspired by the Hmong community of Minnesota.
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (preferable Japanese because they add color to the dish)
- 2 stalks lemongrass (see *tip below)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
- For serving: Steamed white rice
- Fill a medium-size bowl with cold water. Peel the sweet potatoes and give them a good rinse under cold running water. Cut them into 1-inch cubes and submerge them in the bowl of water to prevent them from turning gray.
- Slice off the root ends of the lemongrass stalks, and the top three fourths of the blade-like greens. All you will use is about 3 inches of the light-colored tightly knotted stalk. Slice these in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thin strips. Stack a few of these strips at a time and cut them crosswise into teeny tiny pieces.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil appears to shimmer, add the chicken cubes and stir-fry to sear them, 1-2 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander. Add them to the chicken along with 1 cup of water, the lemongrass, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the stew, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken pieces are cooked through, about 10 minutes. When you cut into a piece of chicken, it should no longer be pink in the middle and the juices will run clear.
- Serve hot with a bowl of steamed white rice—it’s great to have a mellow base to catch all the lemony broth.
- Serves 4.
Lemongrass tip: Stalks of lemongrass are a common presence in the produce section of many supermarkets, as well as farmers’ markets. And your neighborhood Asian grocery will stock them. Unused lemongrass stores beautifully in a freezer bag for us to 6 months. To chop lemongrass, slice off the root end of the stalk and the top three-fourths of the blade-like green grass. All you will use is about 3 inches of the light-colored tightly knotted stalk. Slice this in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thin strips. Stack a few of these strips at a time and cut them crosswise into teeny tiny pieces. One stalk gives you 1 generous tablespoon of finely chopped lemongrass.
Recipe source: Raghavan Iyer, from "Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked – And Fried, Too!" (2016; Workman Publishing)
Photo credit: Photos from the book by Matthew Benson.
Copyright Dorothy Reinhold | ShockinglyDelicious.com. All rights reserved.
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And be sure to see another recipe from this book, Russian Potato Salad, the most wowser spud salad you ever will taste! With crunchy radish, cucumber and celery in the body of the salad, and anchovy, garlic Worcestershire and lemon in the dressing, this is a one-two punch in the taste buds!