Culantro Stuffed Chicken, Corn Sauce & Spiced Sweet Potato
Good day everyone! You all ready for today? So last week Sunday when I was supermarket shopping (which can take about two hours because of constant distraction and looking around) I ran across culantro. Yes it’s very similar to that citrus herb cilantro that looks like parsley. I mean it wasn’t the best quality but I got pretty excited about even finding it. Just so you know, it’s the Spanish equivalent of cilantro. Moving forward to later on this week, I took out six chicken breast in the morning to defrost to cook dinner, not knowing exactly what it was that I wanted to do. That’s pretty much how my evenings for dinner go unless I have something that I brain storm about for a week.
After constant back and forth, opening and closing the fridge I figured it out. I was going to stuff the chicken with loads of culantro and a little bit of garlic and spring onions (that’s how far I got with figuring it out). I looked in the fridge then there it was, left over corn soup from Sunday (there will be a recipe for that as well). I said I was going to salvage what I can, puree it then put on the chicken and let it bake. I still needed a starch though, so I looked over at my massive sweet potatoes and said I’ll mix some spices together and season it with that, chop some dates, bake it and that’s my starch.
You ready? Now please remember everyone, your oven bakes different to mine and putting a time on how long the prep can take depends on how fast and efficient you move. You’re at home, not a professional kitchen so just take your time and pay attention to the small details okay.
Culantro stuffed Chicken
- 3 Culantro
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 1 Spring onion
- 6 Skinless Chicken breasts
- 170 ml/g can corn or 6 oz corn soup
- 3 sprigs thyme
Spiced Sweet Potato
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- ½ tsp Ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp honey
- 5 Dates
- 1 large bowl
- 1 med bowl
- 1 small bowl
- 1 large Pyrex or baking pan for the chicken
- 1 Small Pyrex or baking pan for your sweet potato
- 1 Cutting Board
- Measuring spoon
- 1 Saute pan (I use regular pans, if you have a non-stick even better)
- Spatula (something to pick the chicken up)
- Tasting spoons
- 1 Magic Bullet or blender
First thing first season that chicken with some salt & pepper and just leave it there in your large bowl while you get ready to chop your herbs up. Grab your garlic, now simply take the garlic and put on the board, take the palm of your hand, place it on the garlic and with all your weight, press down on it. This should shorten your peeling garlic time. You can then mince it, place it in your small mixing bowl. Next you want to take your culantro, wash them, line them up, chop them and add them to your mixture. Last but not least get your spring onions and do the same thing, wash them, line them up and chop. Take your thyme and remove all the little leaves because you don’t want to be eating the stem, your pretty much eating wood if you keep those. Mix your herbs and garlic and get ready to season.
Next we are going to take our chicken breasts, now you can either butterfly them or run a thin knife through the top of the breasts to the bottom and season inside that way. It wasn’t until I butterflied mine I thought about seasoning it the other way. You can use a skewer or a toothpick to keep your butterflied chicken together.
Take your chicken,stuff it and leave it on the side. Get your pan on the stove, a medium heat, and add some oil (I don’t use anything else besides olive or coconut oil).
Once your pan is nice and hot, not burning or smoking, but to the point where you can see little waves of heat in the oil. If you’re not sure take the bottom of your chicken breast and just put the tip of it in the oil and look for a reaction, a crack or a simmer. Now place your chicken breast side down because that’s your presentation side, leave your chickens in the pan for a while, they shouldn't burn but that doesn't mean to forget them. Your looking to get a golden brown color on them. Start peeling that potato, it doesn’t have to be evenly peeled. Meaning the orange that you will see will have two shades, I haven’t noticed a difference in taste so you should be okay. You're now going to cut your potato a half inch thick, try really hard to make it even so they don’t cook fast than the other, unless you leave a tiny end piece. Put them in your medium bowl.
Don’t forget your chickens! If your chickens have that nice golden color you can take them out and put them in your Pyrex breast side up. Now your pan should have a golden color to it, it will be skin and fat. You want that in your pan because that’s all good flavor so keep the pan on the side. Preheat your oven to 350⁰ F.
Now get back to your potatoes, measure up those spices and seasonings, add them to your small bowl and mix them properly. You can now add them to your sweet potatoes. Slice your dates into thin pieces and add them as well, drizzle some oil on it.
Mix everything and lay them properly in your dish or baking pan. Cover with foil. Next is your corn, simply just put it in your blender (I use a magic bullet for everything) and let it go until it’s smooth. Once that’s done get that pan that I told you to save and get it on the stove again, add your puree and bring it to a simmer, scraping all that lovely brown goodness from the bottom. Once that’s done, pour it over your chicken and cover with foil.
Place both dishes in the oven for 30 minutes. Please don’t just sit down and forget about it. Check it in intervals, I suggest in 15 minutes, set a timer, and act like you care. Your sweet potatoes may take longer, just watch them.
I really liked this dish, it was a good way of getting rid of some left over soup and using it for a sauce. The culantro brought a fresh taste to it, almost lightening the heavy corn. I hope you enjoyed this recipe every one, the usual goes, leave me a comment a suggestion, something you think would make it easier or more convenient. Criticism is always welcomed(welcome).