Chicken and Sweet Potato Hash is my new favorite weekend brunch or “breakfast for dinner” meal. Caramelized sweet potatoes, roasted poblanos, smoky bacon, sweet veggies and tender chicken are sauteed and seasoned with rosemary and chipotle chili powder. Make it twice as nice and top with easy oven poached eggs!
Making a hash is a great way to clean out the veggie drawer and use up leftovers. I had some roasted chicken and a sweet potato staring at me, daring me to come up with a tasty recipe to use them in, and this hash inspiration struck. Once I settled on making a hash, I also chopped up some onions, red bell peppers, roasted poblano peppers and bacon for good measure. This combination ended up being deliciously savory, spicy, smoky and sweet!
Another great thing about making a hash is that it’s totally customizable, if that’s a word. Use what you like, or what you have on hand. Just remember that the densest veggies need to start cooking first. So sweet potatoes will go in the pan before the peppers and onions, etc.
And what hash doesn’t taste great with a couple of eggs on top? #putaneggonit, right? Make a batch of easy oven poached eggs while the hash is cooking. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
It might look like there are a lot of ingredients in this chicken and sweet potato hash, but you probably already have some of them in your fridge and pantry (is it wrong that I always have bacon in my fridge?).
One of the most flavorful ingredients is the poblano pepper. This pepper is about the size of a bell pepper and is slightly, but not overly, spicy, less than a jalapeno. You can definitely skip it if you are really sensitive to spice, but I would really suggest giving it a try. Once it’s roasted, it’s heat is tamed and it adds such good flavor to the hash. So I really don’t want you to skip it. But you can if you want to (don’t!).
For the seasoning, you’ll need paprika, chipotle chili powder, rosemary, salt and pepper. It’s a simple mix, but it really enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. The chipotle chili powder is smokier and spicier than your standard chili powder.
There are a few steps to the hash, but none of them are difficult. The first thing you’ll want to do is start pan roasting the poblano pepper.
Add the pepper to a dry saucepan (no oil needed) over medium heat. This is the one time in your life you actually want to burn your food. Let the pepper sit until it starts to blacken and bubble, keep turning the pepper until the majority of it is blackened. It will take 15 – 20 minutes or so.
Once the pepper is blackened/roasted, place it in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap (or you can put it inside a plastic bag and seal it well). The pepper will steam in the bowl and this will make it much easier to peel. The peel can be bitter and hard to chew, neither of which are appealing. You don’t need to get all of the peel off, just scrape as much as you can easily with a paring knife. If some of the blackened part stays on the pepper, all the better because that is flavor!
While the pepper is roasting and steaming, you can par-cook the sweet potato. The reason I like to do this is that if you start with raw sweet potatoes, they will probably be overcooked on the outside before the insides are done. If you cook the sweet potato in the microwave for a few minutes, then set it aside to rest for 10 – 15 minutes in tin foil, it will be the perfect consistency for the hash, slightly softened, but not cooked through.
After it’s rested, peel the sweet potato with a paring knife, then slice and cube it. Now it’s ready to finish cooking and browning in the pan.
While the poblano and sweet potato are steaming, you can chop the other hash ingredients. You’re going for a fairly consistent large diced size, this will help everything cook at the same time, and it looks nice.
Once the poblano is peeled, it’s easy to dice. Remove the top and cut it open. Now you can remove the seeds and cut large strips, which you can then dice. You can prep the sweet bell pepper the same way, minus the roasting (or roast it if you like, I won’t stop you!).
Now we’ll start cooking the hash in the most delicious way possible, with bacon. Saute the diced, thick cut bacon until it’s medium crispy. Your cooked bacon will be added back into the hash at the end of cooking (so don’t eat it all now). A little of the bacon grease will also be used to sauté the veggies. As my grandma taught me, bacon grease = delicious smoky flavor.
Once you’ve removed the cooked bacon, drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat (I mean, let’s be reasonable), and add a little olive oil. Add the diced sweet potatoes to the pan and let them hang out, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes to start browning and caramelizing. Give them a stir and let them brown some more. At this point you can add in the red onion and red bell pepper. We’ll also sprinkle half of the magic seasoning blend over these veggies. By the way, your kitchen is really going to smell good at this point! People are going to start wandering in to see what’s cooking.
After the onion and bell pepper have started to brown and soften, you’ll add the rest of the hash ingredients to the pan – the cubed chicken, roasted poblano, bacon and the rest of the seasoning mix.
Sauté the hash for 5-10 more minutes until it’s all warmed through and caramelized.
As good as the hash is at this point (you won’t believe it!), it’s even better with a couple of poached eggs on top. Click this link to see how to poach eggs in the oven, it’s incredibly easy! Add this chicken and sweet potato hash to your brunch and “breakfast for dinner” recipes, you’re going to love it.
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, semi cooked, peeled and medium diced
- ¼ lb thick cut bacon, large diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ of a red onion, large diced
- 1 sweet bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), large diced
- 3 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 4-8 eggs, optional, and depending on whether people want one or two poached eggs. See "how to poach eggs in the oven" for instructions.
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place the whole poblano pepper In a small saucepan over medium heat (no oil). Let sit for 5 minutes or so until it starts to blacken. Turn and let blacken on the other sides, about 15-20 minutes.
- Place the blackened/roasted pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 - 15 minutes, then peel the tough skin off, just as much as you can easily with a paring knife. It's fine if some of the blackened bits stay on the pepper. Cut the top off the pepper, slice it open and remove the seeds. Slice and large dice the pepper.
- While the pepper is steaming, poke a few holes in the sweet potato with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook for two or three minutes. Take out of the microwave and wrap in tin foil. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Once it's cool enough to handle, peel and dice into about 1 inch chunks.
- Fry the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until medium crispy. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. Pour off all but two tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
- Add the cubed sweet potatoes to the pan. Spread out so they are in a pretty even layer. This will let them brown more evenly. Sprinkle half of the seasoning over the sweet potatoes. Let them sit, undisturbed for a few minutes, then carefully stir to let the other sides brown. Keep doing this for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the red onion and bell pepper to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes or so.
- Add the roasted poblanos, diced chicken, bacon and the rest of the seasoning to the pan and sauté for another 5 minutes until everything is heated through.
- Dish into serving bowls and top with poached or fried eggs if desired!