Cheesy Sweet Potato and Chicken Casserole

I don’t normally make casseroles, it’s actually kind of a bad word in our house, but it’s chilly out now and this sounded amazing to me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 C. chicken broth – divided
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 C. half and half
  • 1 C. shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 C. baby spinach, torn
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp. adobo sauce (from can of chipotle peppers) or to taste
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of chopped parsley (garnish, optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add potatoes, boil 15 minutes. Remove and drain.

Cut chicken thighs in half to make them smaller, season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Set aside.

In a sauce pan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add garlic, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce, mix to combine.

Add 1/4 C. chicken broth and deglaze the pan, 3-4 minutes.

Add chicken, sear on each side 2 minutes, or until brown on the outside. Add Spinach and remove from heat, allowing spinach to wilt slightly. Transfer chicken mixture to a plate and reuse the pan without cleaning it.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in sauce pan and add flour, stirring constantly until golden brown.

Mix 1/2 and 1/2 with remaining chicken stock and slowly pour into flour mixture, stirring constantly until combined and there are no clumps.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice potatoes into 1/2″ rounds.

Line an oven proof dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Layer potatoes in the bottom, covering the entire area. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Next layer your chicken pieces over potatoes and then with the onion mixture. Bake for 45 minutes.

Switch oven to broil, sprinkle cheese all over the top of the casserole and broil until cheese is good and melted. Garnish with chopped bacon and parsley.

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