Jerk chicken with sweet potatoes. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise and quartered into wedges

  • 8 scallions, ends trimmed

  • 3 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar

  • 2 tsp ground allspice

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 8 chicken pieces

  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds, optional

My sweet husband has this weird thing with sweet potatoes. He will happily enjoy his mom’s sweet potato pie over the holidays, but claims he doesn’t really like sweet potatoes. I’m on a mission to prove him wrong, so I’ll occasionally make sweet potatoes with dinner. Does this even make sense to you? Because I’m failing to understand his thought process, I will continue to prepare sweet potatoes not in pie form. Most of the time, when I know I’m going to make some version of sweet potatoes, I don’t tell him. Yes, I know, once you take a look at it, it’s pretty obvious that it’s a sweet potato. But my philosophy is, if I don’t tell him, he won’t have a lot of time to think about it or weasel his way out of eating them.

I say all of this to say, the sweet potatoes that accompany today’s dish are hard to pass up. They’re roasted to perfection, and the flavor is phenomenal. Another note: “Phenomenal” is typically not a word I use to describe food, but I feel that it’s necessary today. The potatoes are minimally seasoned, but what seasonings I do use are perfect for bringing out their sweetness. I have sweet potatoes at home right now just for the purpose of roasting them for a snack or side dish. Even with the simple seasoning, the other spices from the chicken make these sweet potatoes even more savory and enjoyable. Thinking about their goodness is making my mouth water.

Let’s get into the recipe.

Jerk chicken baked with lemons and sweet potatoes. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and brush the baking sheet with a teaspoon of oil.

In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes and scallions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine; spread the mixture onto a baking sheet (leave room for the chicken).

In the same bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of salt and the rest of the seasonings; add in a tablespoon of oil. Stir to combine.

Jerk chicken with sweet potatoes. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Add in the chicken and toss well to coat.

Arrange the chicken (skin side up) on the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes. Roast for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 and roast for another 20 minutes.

Transfer to a platter and serve with your favorite veggies or rice.

Jerk chicken with sweet potatoes. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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