It’s officially over.
With the passing of January 6, the whirlwind of the holidays has come to an end.
Three Kings’ Day is a big affair in my family, and there is much shopping and a lot of food to prepare. I was a constant presence in the kitchen: seasoning the pork shoulder that after marinating and roasting becomes the ever-popular pernil; whipping up the tembleque that must chill overnight; baking a batch of colorful polvorones. Last week was one of those weeks when you’re too busy cooking and baking to have time to eat.
Which is why one day last week, my breakfast morphed into a very late brunch of very filling pancakes. By the time dinner rolled around, I was hardly hungry. I good thing, I assure you, because I didn’t have a chance to give much thought to dinner, let alone toss together anything elaborate.
So, after scrounging around in a fridge burgeoning with remnants of Christmas and New Year feasting, I cobbled together this meal.
Sweet Potato-Cranberry Chicken Salad on Peanut Butter Toast
Recipe by C. Marie
Why can’t it? Why can’t mashed sweet potato be used as a replacement for mayo? People do it with mashed avocado all the time.
As I could see no reason why mashed sweet potato couldn’t be used, I carried what didn’t make it into my mother’s sweet potato pie to the counter. Next, I saw—shrouded and crowded between ham and macaroni and cheese—the cranberry sauce I had made. I grabbed that. Then, I spotted a bit of cooked chicken breast, and that, too, ended up on the counter.
Something was missing . . . something crunchy. I could chop up nuts, but why go through the trouble when I had crunchy peanut butter sitting over there on a shelf?
Thus, my dinner was born.
What I gathered together:
¼-1/2 cup chopped, cooked chicken (the amount depends on how hungry you are)
2-4 tablespoons mashed sweet potato (two was the right amount for me, as I only used ¼ cup of chicken)
2-4 tablespoons cranberry sauce (ditto)
a few dashes of poultry seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 slices of whole-wheat bread, toasted, and slathered with crunchy peanut butter (you could make yours a sandwich, but my one slice of bread suited my none-too-hungry self just fine)
How I threw it together:
Combine the chicken, sweet potato, cranberry sauce, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Spread over the peanut butter toast. Take a bite, and wonder why you’ve never made this type of chicken salad before.
One bite is prominent with cranberry sauce, sweet potato, and peanut butter, and it’s like you’re eating a refined PB&J. Another bite highlights the chicken, peanut butter, and the seasonings of sage and thyme, savory aspects mingling perfectly with the salty crunch.
I enjoyed this chicken salad—immensely enjoyed this chicken salad—enjoyed it more than I thought I would, that’s for sure. Hmm . . . you know what? I think I’ll put those lingering spoonfuls of mashed sweet potato and cranberry sauce in the freezer.
Oh, and head to the store for another jar of peanut butter.