MEAL PREP: Blackened Chicken Thighs and Bacon Sweet Potato Hash
On days when I don’t have food prepared for work I often go to Whole Foods and make lunches from their hot food and salad bar. They’ve recently been stocking blackened chicken thighs. I like blackening stuff because it healthily adds deep flavor. The issue with Whole Foods hot food bar is that they have such a heavy hand with the canola oil that you can actually taste it.
If you’re going to be heavy handed with your cooking fat, it shouldn’t be a cheap, processed oil like canola, at the very least it should be a quality fat like a good olive oil, grass fed butter, coconut oil (I know there’s some controversy over coconut oil being healthy right now, I’m still in the ‘it’s good for you camp’), or bacon fat. Because cooking with bacon fat makes me happy, and makes my apartment smell delicious, I meal prepped blackened chicken thighs and a bacon sweet potato hash. It came out very nicely and my place smells fantastic!
Blackened Chicken Thighs
8 Chicken Thighs (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs so that I could rub the spice directly onto the meat, rather than into the skin)
Blackening Spice is a Cajun mixture of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil and oregano which is a quick and easy way to add a ton of flavor and kick to pretty much any dish. I use it on chicken, steak, fish, I even sprinkle it on eggs. So far the only thing I haven’t tried blackening is a protein shake. I’m blackening my next protein shake!
- 1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- 2) Spread chicken thighs out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
- 3) Sprinkle generously with spice mix and rub into both sides of the chicken
- 4) Cook chicken for 35 minutes
Bacon and Sweet Potato Hash
- 2 sweet potatoes, diced
- 12 oz Peter Luger’s Thick Cut Bacon (I used Peter Lugers because the thick cut dices better than a thin bacon, and also because I’m fancy)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1) In a large skillet saute diced bacon over medium heat until crisp, approximately 7 minutes. Maybe wear an apron for this step. I learned early on in my cooking self-education not to cook bacon shirtless…… Once crisp, remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set on a plate covered with paper towels and set aside.
- 2) Add diced sweet potatoes directly into rendered bacon fat and stir so they are coated. Cover pan and let potatoes cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Remove potatoes into a large bowl.
- 3) Add diced peppers and onions to the skilled and saute until tender.
- 4) Add peppers, onions, and bacon to the bowl with the potatoes and mix thoroughly.
Nutrition: Makes 6 servings
Calories, 425; Fat, 23 grams; Protein, 41 grams; Carbohydrates, 12 grams
For a lower calorie option, this can be done just as easily with chicken breast