For the past decade, I’ve been getting by with a $25 smallish slow cooker that I purchased from the grocery store. Recently I relocated, leaving my kitchen gadgets — including said slow cooker — behind, “forcing” me to buy a new one. Now I am thrilled to be sporting a slow cooker fit with a cook setting that automatically switches to warming mode after the cooking time has elapsed. Game changer. That was $49 well spent.
With fall comes peak sweet potato season. This dish highlights the savory side of this root vegetable, brimming with loads of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, plus potassium and vitamin C. I opt for orange-fleshed taters because, to me, the presentation of a white sweet potato just doesn’t have the same panache.
I prefer to use chicken thighs with the bone in (skin removed, of course) in slow-cooked dishes because the result is juicy, tender pieces of meat. The natural gelatin from within the bones lends itself to a simplified bone broth — so good you’ll be sipping it from a spoon.
Toss these simple ingredients into the slow cooker and be on your way. Just a few hours later, return to your kitchen filled with a warm, mouthwatering aroma.
5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Makes 4 servings
Total Time: 4 hr
Prep Time: 25 min
2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled, diced 1/4 inch (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or use sweet paprika or cumin), divided
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin and excess fat removed (about 4 thighs)
Combine the sweet potatoes, onions, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and freshly ground black pepper in the slow cooker. Pour in the broth. Season the chicken thighs with 1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper and smoked paprika . Nestle the chicken into the sweet potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Season each serving with additional salt and a few drops of apple cider vinegar, if you wish.
Per serving: Calories 235; Fat 8 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 72 mg; Sodium 407 mg; Carbohydrate 17 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 22 g
Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef consultant and the author of Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love.