Grown Up Cooking: Chicken & Sweet Potato Salad

There are all manner of student cookbooks online and in real life (you might even remember I contributed to one myself over the summer!) Everyone expects students to be skint and unable to cook anything than pasta, and those cookbooks were a bit of a lifesaver my first year of uni, although I will always credit Jamie Oliver with my cookery prowess.

What nobody tells you, though, is that after uni is when your troubles really start. Cooking is easy at uni, when you and all your pals have hours and hours to sit around flicking idly through cookbooks and there is always someone in to take the Tesco delivery. Then all of a sudden, you’re living in London, getting home at 8pm and staring at the empty shelves of your fridge and shopping in the same old uninspiring Sainsbury’s Local every day (or, if you live in Greenwich and are feeling flash, Waitrose…holla). Where are all those student cookbooks then, hey?

Matthew and I tend to take it in turns to cook, depending on who will be home first and who has had the least crappy day, and we’re pretty guilty of being kind of lazy with cooking. But recently we’ve been making more of an effort, so I thought I’d share some of our best recipes. Beginning with this triumph, which we both agreed was our favourite meal in a long time. I give you…

Warm Chicken & Sweet Potato Salad 

Ingredients:

  • Chicken – however much you fancy. We used one huge bone-in breast because we’d accidentally defrosted that instead of 2 normal ones.
  • Spice rub – we used Nando’s peri peri rub because as mentioned, #lazy
  • Sweet potato, approx 1 per person
  • Avocado (because obviously)
  • Salad leaves of choice – we used baby gem & spinach
  • OPTIONAL: Leftover broccoli & peas your flatmates didn’t eat
  • For the dressing: Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, dijon mustard and/or wholegrain mustard

Method:

  • Coat the chicken in the spice rub and put it under the grill for approx 25 minutes. It’ll go all black and charred (probably), but that makes the skin nice and crispy and adds texture to your salad, so it’s totally fine.
  • Meanwhile, chop up your sweet potatoes into medium-sized chunks and boil them up (about 10 – 15 mins)
  • While the chicken grills and the potatoes bubble away, prepare your dressing by using pretty much any combo of the above ingredients and mixing them altogether. I’m a big advocate of Jamie Oliver “lugs” rather than measurements, because who wants to waste time measuring out tbsps of vinegar? Not me. Just be a bit sparing with your mustard ’cause that stuff is potent.
  • For the last few minutes, pop your bacon on the grill with the chicken (or fry it if you’d rather)
  • And finally, chop up your avocado and your lettuce and reheat/fry/boil any extra veg.
  • Drain your potatoes, shred or cut the chicken, put it all in a big bowl and toss it all through the dressing (I like to add the dressing in “layers” as I go and then shake it all up at the end).

And there ya have it! The kind of meal that all fits in one bowl/plate and is pretty damn good for you as well. Apologies I don’t have better pictures – we didn’t really realise how delicious this was going to taste until it was already done. Next time, you can expect a real recipe post!

What’s your signature dish??

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