When you are a mostly broke twenty-something who came of age during the Great Recession, you learn to become a hoarder. When you work for a food marketing and innovation company, however, this can become a problem. My pantry is jam packed with a random array of sauces, spice packets, meal helpers, etc. that only made it home by merit of that fact that they were free for the taking.
I think I hit a new low when I actually brought back one of those little maple syrup jars from room service on a business trip. Yes, that's right--I took a teeny jar of maple syrup home ON THE PLANE because it was free, and hey, I figured I would use it at some point!
Well, my friends, that time has finally come.
I found this little gem in my cabinet and was immediately inspired. Dickinson's maple syrup, since 1897! The crisp autumn leaves on the label! The fancy script writing! This tiny bottle took me away from my broke-ass lifestyle and made me think I could whip up a meal worthy of supper at a manor in the English countryside, eaten with pinkies in the air. I wish.
My Maple-Orange Pecan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes was actually quite delicious, made all the better by the fact that the star ingredient was free. It is the perfect warm, comforting autumn dish. Enjoy!
- 1 chicken breast
- 1/4 cup of orange marmalade. Packed with orangey goodness and it helps thicken the sauce.
- 3 tbsp. orange juice
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup. I prefer the free room service variety.
- Handful of chopped pecans. These add a lovely crunch to the chicken.
- Big handful of frozen diced sweet potatoes. No need to thaw. Sweet potatoes are a pain to peel and cut up, so I love to buy the frozen kind instead.
- Salt 'n Pepa to taste
Of course this recipe can be modified to accommodate more people, but as is, it is the perfect simple and easy Cooking for One sort of dinner.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together your sauce ingredients: the marmalade, orange juice, and maple syrup.
Lay your chicken breast and frozen sweet potatoes down in a glass baking dish.
Sprinkle your chicken with Salt 'n Pepa to taste.
Drizzle your sauce over the chicken and potatoes, and then sprinkle on your handful of pecans.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until your chicken breast is cooked all the way through. Plate the chicken and potatoes and pour any remaining sauce over the top. That's all...pretty easy, eh? Dig in!
Do YOU have any tales of blatant food or free stuff hoarding? Share with the rest of us!