Spicy Peruvian Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cilantro-Feta Salsa

My daughter has used a free menu app called Mealime for a long time and encouraged me many times to try it. After the meal delivery boxes didn't work that well for what I needed, I circled around it again. Last week I decided it was time as I couldn't figure out what to cook for dinner and was headed to the store already.  After scrolling through the ones I'd tagged as interesting, I settled on Spicy Peruvian Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cilantro-Feta Salsa. It only took 35 minutes to cook and the instructions looked super simple. 

For those who haven't heard of Mealime, this app offers recipes that are fairly quick to make and made from fresh ingredients. For each they list the utensils you will need, a grocery shopping list, a choice of 2 or 4 servings and then the instructions. You can also do a week's meal planning on it with recipes for each night.

I ended up taking 40 minutes to make this because I didn't make the salsa while the chicken was finishing cooking in the oven, but I should have trusted the timing. Still 40 minutes is a very reasonable time to make a fresh meal. I did make a few changes. 

I prefer chicken breast and found an unusual cut offered in the local store that was thinner - not sure if pressed or just cross cut, but stayed flat while cooking more the thickness of a chicken thigh. I also prefer dark orange yams over sweet potatoes. And I put the chicken in the marinade before I started so it had more time to soak up the flavors. Lastly, because my husband can't eat very spicy food, I used half a jalapeno instead of a whole one.  That gave it a tiny zip without real heat that he could enjoy. But it was so mild I might add the whole one next time.

I wasn't sure if I could share this recipe here at first. However, when I checked their website, I found it was available to view for free already.  Give it a try and then I highly suggest trying this app to help bring a new life into your evening meals. So far it's been just what I needed. 
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Spicy Peruvian Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cilantro-Feta Salsa

2 servings - 35 minutes 

1 lb.       Sweet potato (I prefer dark orange yams for flavour so used those instead)
2 tsp.      Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1            Small bunch cilantro
1/2         (4 oz) pkg crumbled feta cheese
2            cloves garlic, divided
1            Jalapeño pepper (can use half if you have a family member who doesn't like spicy)
1            Lime (divided into 2 halves) - using both zest and juice
1 lb.       Chicken thighs, boneless skinless (I subbed some super flat smaller chicken breasts)
¾ tsp     Brown sugar
¾ tsp     Cumin
¼ tsp     Oregano 
¼ tsp     Cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line a baking sheet pan with aluminum foil. Wash and dry the fresh produce.1 lb sweet potato 1 lime 1 jalapeño pepper 1 small bunch cilantro. (NOTE - I prefer to put the chicken in the marinade here before I start to give it more time to soak up the flavour, but left the instructions the way they show on the website).

Peel and slice sweet potatoes into ½-inch thick rounds. Place in a medium bowl, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.1 tsp extra virgin olive oil ⅛ tsp salt ⅛ tsp black pepper. Arrange sweet potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Place on the lower rack of the oven and bake, flipping halfway through, until fork-tender, 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, zest and juice half the lime into the bowl used for the sweet potatoes. Set remaining lime aside. Peel and mince garlic. Add to the bowl along with oil, sugar, and spices. Stir to combine the spice paste.1 clove garlic 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil ¾ tsp brown sugar ¾ tsp cumin ¼ tsp oregano ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp salt

Preheat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. While the skillet heats up, pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and add to the bowl with the spice paste; turn to coat.1 lb chicken thighs, boneless skinless Once the skillet is hot, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add chicken and cook on one side until golden brown and caramelized, 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from heat (the chicken will not be cooked all the way through). Transfer the skillet to the upper rack of the oven and roast until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, juice remaining lime into a small bowl. Quarter jalapeño pepper lengthwise; seed and remove ribs with a spoon. Mince and add to the bowl with the lime juice. (Be careful, with jalapeños, do not touch your eyes and ensure you wash your hands after handling or wear gloves while preparing.) Shave cilantro leaves off the stems; discard stems and mince the leaves. Add to the bowl. Peel and mince additional garlic. Add to the bowl along with feta, oil, sugar, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine the salsa.1 clove garlic ½ (4 oz) pkg crumbled feta cheese 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp brown sugar ½ tsp cumin ⅛ tsp salt

To serve, divide sweet potatoes and chicken between plates. Spoon salsa over chicken and enjoy!