One thing I always keep in my freezer is chicken. I usually buy it when it is on offer (M&S often have great deals). It is so damned useful. This winter stew uses sweet potatoes, a vegetable Husband has only just come around to liking and one which I adore. The spices and preserved lemon give this dish it’s specialness. I also like it because it is 445 cals per portion and as it includes spinach, it really is a one pot dish, although some warm naan bread does go really well with it. Plus you can make it in advance and freeze for up to three months. Marvellous. Now naan is quite yummy but also quite calorific, so you might like to warm some multi-seeded folded flatbreads instead which are only 107 calories each (6 for £1 at Tesco).
Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
Ingredients serves 4
3 sweet potatoes cut into chunks
190g bag spinach
1 tbsp sunflower oil
8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
500ml chicken stock
For the spice paste:
2 onions chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
1 tsp paprika
thumb-sized piece ginger grated
400g can tomatoes
2 preserved lemons deseeded and chopped
pumpkin seeds, toasted
2-3 preserved lemons deseeded and chopped
How to prepare
Put the sweet potato in a large, deep saucepan over a high heat. Cover with boiling water and boil for 10 mins. Meanwhile, put all the paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until very finely chopped. Set aside until needed.
Put the spinach in a large colander in the sink and pour the sweet potatoes and their cooking water over it to drain the potatoes and wilt the spinach at the same time. Leave to steam-dry.
Return the saucepan to the heat (no need to wash it first), then add the oil, followed by the spice paste. Fry the paste for about 5 mins until thickened, then add the chicken. Fry for 8-10 mins until the chicken starts to colour. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.
Check the chicken is cooked by cutting into one of the thighs and making sure it’s white throughout with no signs of pink. Season with black pepper, then add the sweet potato. Leave to simmer for a further 5 mins. Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach and add to the stew. At this point you can leave the stew to cool and freeze for up to 3 months, if you like.
Scatter over the pumpkin seeds and preserved lemons and serve.