It's that time of year again — New Zealand yams are in season! Last year I discovered these strange red and orange wrinkly veggies at my local grocery store. Not knowing what they were, I bought three and took them home to experiment.
Turns out, they are delicious and I should have bought way more than three. Once I learned how to cook them, they quickly became a Sunday evening winter staple in my house.
Here's a fantastic set and forget recipe using New Zealand yams (can be substituted with baby pearl potatoes) that only requires a bit of chopping and one roasting dish for easy clean up. But I usually make 2 dishes so I can enjoy leftovers.
Roast Chicken and New Zealand Yams
6 chicken thighs
1 yellow onion
1 red onion
1.25 lbs of New Zealand Yams
(or bag of baby potatoes)
4 garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp of herbs de provence
salt & pepper to taste
There are really no exact measurements. I usually add as little or as many veggies and spices as I like. Get creative!
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF
2. Rinse your yams or potatoes and place them in a roasting dish. If they're fairly large, chop them in half so they cook through faster.
3. Peel and chop both yellow and red onions and add them to the roasting dish.
4. Rinse the brussel sprouts discarding any outside leaves that are damaged, chop the sprouts in half and add to the roasting dish.
5. Add 4 garlic cloves to the mix, keeping the skin on.
6. Drizzle the veggies with a generous amount of olive oil (3-4 tablespoons). Squeeze the lemon over the veggies and throw the lemon halves in the roasting dish. Mix the veggies until they are well coated in oil and juice.
7. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Bury the chicken amongst the vegetables with sprigs of fresh thyme.
8. Roast for 30 minutes, checking in to make sure the chicken is not over cooking. Baste the juices that have collected at the bottom. If the chicken has cooked, remove and place on a warm plate while the vegetables continue to roast. Roast for an additional 20-30 minutes until the yams are completely soft.
The finished dish is delicious combination of sweet caramelized onions and yams bathed in savory spices and chicken juices — the perfect comfort food for New Zealand winter with only one dish to clean on a lazy Sunday evening.