52 Week Challenge – Meal #6

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Bacon, Tomatoes, Ranch and Pickled Onions along with Blueberry Bourbon Grilled Chicken (deja vu)

This Meal Challenge had a lot of moving parts along with multiple recipes that we pulled from – all found and orchestrated by my wife. I happily went along for the ride. The potatoes and onion recipes were both pulled from Jessica Merchant’s website – How Sweet Eats. I wrote about the website during Meal Challenge #4, which ended up being a recipe that we probably won’t be having again any time soon. However, I knew that we’d be revisiting Jessica’s site because she really has some great recipes and a wonderful newsletter, too! Now, the Blueberry Bourbon part for the grilled chicken was actually the leftover sauce from Meal Challenge #5, which were used on the wings. Nothing really fancy with what was done with the grilling for today’s chicken, but I will still explain below later. Like the other challenges, simply click on the recipe title for the link (for this challenge – links) of what was borrowed (adapted?). As always, I’ll lay out what we followed as well as the changes that were made along the way.

Meal prep music was provided by Spotify with Lo-Fi Beats. This is a real chill playlist that was enjoyed inside during the prep time. However, when I was outside during grilling time, I did crank out the Audioslave on vinyl.

And, of course, there was beverage, but that will be shown later.

The Line-up (Ingredients)

QUICK PICKLED ONIONS

  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

GRILLED SWEET POTATOES

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup chopped herbs, like parsley, chives and basil
  • pickled onions for topping

FRESH HERB RANCH

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives or 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

CHICKEN

  • Chicken Breast (boneless)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Blueberry Bourbon Sauce or whatever barbeque sauce is in the fridge

Game Plan (Instructions)

QUICK PICKLED ONIONS
1) Place the onions in a jar or cup.

2) In a bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then, whisk in the vinegar.

3) Pour over the sliced onions. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can obviously make this ahead of time and once made, store it in the fridge in a sealed container or jar. They last about one week.

(This was so easy to do!)

GRILLED SWEET POTATOES
1) Preheat the grill to medium heat.

2) Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Place them on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes or so. Note: if you don’t want the skin to get crunchy and blackened, just wrap them in foil. We put them directly on the grill.

3) While the potatoes are on the grill, get your bacon knocked out however which way you do it. Skillet? Microwave? Oven? Just do it.

4) This is also a good time to do the ranch. Take all the ingredients and simply blend them together until pureed and combined. Store in the fridge in a sealed container. This lasts for about a week and can be used in other recipes – hint, hint!

(Use a food processor for mixing the Ranch!)

4) With about 15 minutes to go for the potatoes which were on one side of the grill, I then placed the chicken breasts (already salted and peppered) on the other side of the grill. I slopped on that Blueberry Bourbon Sauce and let them go for about 5 minutes. I then flipped them over and slathered them up again with the sauce before allowing them to grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. Always take an internal temperature of your chicken to make sure you hit around 165 F.

5) When the potatoes are done, slice in half. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle with freshly mixed-up ranch dressing. Top each with the chopped tomatoes, crispy bacon and a few pickled onions if you wish. Top with fresh herbs!

(The chicken was so good it deserved a solo shot)
(I did the beer / she did the wine. Ooooooo – See those pickled onions peeking at us from behind.)
(Courtesy of my wife’s iPhone – the final shot.
It was all so wonderful!)