One-Pan Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato and Garlic

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I love cooking chicken with sweet potato, but I’ll be the first to admit that the combination can start to feel boring and a little too meal-prep-y.

I’m a huge fan of chicken thighs, especially the bone-in, skin-on version. They stay tender during cooking, and it’s so easy to crisp the skin in a skillet before finishing them in the oven. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I bought another cut of chicken at the supermarket. Chicken thighs are inexpensive, versatile, and just taste so much better than chicken breasts, I think.

For me, skillet chicken thighs are a weeknight staple. I’ll vary which vegetables — or sometimes even cooked grains! — I add to the mix, but usually it’s some kind of root vegetable. Since they’re heartier than other vegetables, they soak up the chicken fat and juice without getting all soggy.

I love cooking chicken with sweet potato, because the chicken fat crisps the sweet potato, which in turn soaks up some of that chicken flavor. If you don’t have sweet potatoes, you could easily sub regular potatoes, carrots, or parsnips here for similar results. The whole garlic cloves are a fun addition; they get soft and a little bit caramelized on the outside, but don’t overpower the entire dish.

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Here, I’m using just enough sweet potato to feed two people, but not so much that the pan is crowded. That way, everything browns evenly and the vegetables can roast and get a little bit crispy. If you’ve ever tried to make something like this and end up with soggy veggies sitting in a pool of chicken juice, it’s because you overcrowded your pan :/ Putting too much in the skillet means you generate lots of steam, which makes you food soft and soggy, instead of perfectly crispy.

This is the perfect dinner for two people. That said, it’s one of my cooking-for-one staples as well. The leftovers reheat perfectly in a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes or so (or in the microwave if you’re packing a lunch!), and they’ll keep for a few days in the fridge. Add more fresh parsley after you’ve reheated the food, so that the dish feels fresh all over again.

Knowing how to cook satisfying meals (like chicken and sweet potato!) makes it easier to eat intuitively.

First, here’s an explainer on what intuitive eating is, and how it can improve your life.

As an anti-diet dietitian, I specialize in helping people END food guilt and body shame through intuitive eating. If you’re interested in nutrition counseling, you can learn more here.

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