P2 went to Long Island to do his taxes and I stayed home because I have agreed to watch my friend Chris' dog in March, but was doing a trial night to see how 'Teeny' got along with my dogs. While the dogs sat around pretty much ignoring each other I made myself a dinner that not only tasted amazing, but it looked damn good to!
Not to mention it was also pretty inexpensive too! What tastes better than saving cash?!
Chicken meatloaf, Crushed sweet potatoes, and herb gravy! They are predicting it to be so cold tonight in NYC. Doesn't this sound perfect for a cold night in?
Here is what to get and what to do;
1 pound or ground chicken
1 Medium can of stewed tomatoes
3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
2 handfulls of chopped parsley
1/2 a small onion diced
1 tablespoon of diced scallions
1 cup of chicken stock or broth
About 1 stick of butter
4 or 5 medium sized sweet potatoes. (Use your judgment here. Think about one good sized sweet potato per person. If you have more or less people eating, you will possibly need to change the other recipe amounts as well)
2 tablespoons of all purpose flower
Salt, pepper, and garlic salt
Now one of the best things about this dish is that you can make the meatloaf ahead of time and keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. I had mine ready around 4pm, but didn't cook it until around 8.
The other great thing about this is how easy it is.
Take the chicken, egg, one handful of the chopped parsley, the can of stewed tomatoes (drained of most the liquid and crushed up with your hands), bread crumbs, diced onion, and the salt, pepper, and garlic salt and mix them all together.
Go easy with the salt, pepper, and garlic salt. You can always add more later if you need it. Once it is all mixed together I usually make a little ball and saute it in a pan to check how the meatloaf will taste. This is when you can add more seasonings if you need it.
Once you are happy with your mixture, prepare the loaf the way you would like it to bake. You can form it into a loaf on a sheet pan, put it in a loaf pan, or even form it into individual loafs for easy serving. This time I placed the loaf in a small Pyrex. This way it was in a nice shape and pretty thin.
I cooked it in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Depending on your size and shape loaf you may need up to an hour. You will know when it is done because it goes from being a very soft mixture to a very firm loaf.
While that is in the oven peel, and dice your sweet potatoes. The smaller you dice them the quicker they will cook, so dice according to the time you have. Once they are diced, place them in a pot and fill it with cool water. They will take about 30 mins to boil depending on size. Boil away until they are fork tender.
When they are done add about 5 tablespoons of butter, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Then smash it all up. Once everything is all combined check to see how it tastes and adjust accordingly. To these you can add whatever you like. Cream, cinnamon, chives.... whatever.
Once the meatloaf is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool. You can cover it if you would like.
Take out a small pot to make the gravy. This gravy is going to actually be what is called a Veloutè. Veloutè is like a béchamel but made with stock instead of milk. So melt a little more than a tablespoon of butter and add a heaping tablespoon of flower. Mix it together and let it cook for about 30 seconds. You don't want it to get dark, but you want to cook it enough to get the raw flower taste out. Then add the chicken stock to it and whisk together to make sure there are no lumps. Then add salt, pepper, garlic salt, scallion, and the remaining handful of parsley and let it simmer until it is smooth and thick.
Plate it however you would like. Sometimes I like to stack it up, but most the time the meat and potatoes are separate. Pour on the herb gravy and dig in!
As usual I would love to hear how this goes on your end and how you like it!
Now if you are only 1 or 2 people eating dinner, chances are you will have left overs.
P2 and I were home and hungry last night, and decided to make a whole new meal with the left overs. He suggested pasta, so I went for it, and I wanted to share it with you too!
Here is what I did.
Take the leftover chicken meatloaf and cut it up into small cubes.
Heat a large pan to medium high and add a little oil (I used coconut), and add the loaf pieces. Then throw in your left over gravy, and about another cup of chicken stock. Add it in slow and see how it goes. You may need more of less depending on how much loaf you have left over.
Lower the heat and let that simmer covered. The cubes will start to fall apart and a sauce will start to form.
In another pot boil about half a pound of pasta in salted water. We used a thick spaghetti.
When the pasta is al dente, transfer it to the sauce allowing some of the pasta water it get into the sauce. The starch in the water will help the sauce stick to the pasta.
Mix it together and serve. I think I added a little salt while it was simmering, but held off on too much so I could toss some grated Romano on it too when it was done!
I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think of these recipes or any of my others!