A big part of Brazilian cuisine revolves around dough-y, savory snacks, often deep fried. As someone who usually avoids eating anything dough-y or deep fried, I really wanted to find a way to indulge in the Brazilian flavors while keeping Paleo. As luck would have it, our neighbors in Chicago had the same idea.
*Side note: Wanna hear the biggest coincidence of all time? About three years ago, a few months after Fabio and I moved into our last apartment in Chicago, we found out that some new neighbors were moving in across the courtyard. Another Brazilian/American couple. Brazilian man, American woman. In Albany Park, Chicago. IS THAT CRAZY OR IS IT JUST ME?!*
Anyway, they shared with me their spin on a Brazilian dish called empadão de frango (translation: big ol’ chicken empanada). The traditional empadão is similar to a pot pie, with a pastry crust, baked in the oven. The filling is made with shredded chicken, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, olives (….mmmm….) This variation in this recipe uses the chicken filling, but stuffed inside baked sweet potatoes. I shred the chicken using my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment. (Best. Pinterest hack. Ever!!)
I made these boats at least twice a month. They are honestly the best work lunch: filling, packed with protein, and portable. Also, there is usually some leftover filling, and that stuff tastes with with/on anything.
The recipe is adapted (and translated) from this site. Gostoso!
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, peeled and diced
- 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- One handful fresh parsley, chopped
- A good handful of green olives, chopped
- 4-5 Sweet potatoes
- First, cook the chicken. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and roast on a foil-lined baking sheet at 375, for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and shred in a Kitchen Aid mixer or using two forks.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil. Add the onion and cook but do not fry. Add the garlic and cook a little bit more.
- Add the shredded chicken and the chicken broth.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid cooks down and the texture is thick and not watery.
- For the sweet potato boats:
- Bake the sweet potatoes directly on the oven rack at 425, for about an hour. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle them.
- Slice the potato down the middle and mash until you've created a trough. Spoon the chicken filling in the boats and serve warm.