domesticity,  Stealthy Spy Cooking

Meal Planning Day Five!

Roman Chicken

I’m back. I’m sorry to leave you in the middle of the meal planning but life got in the way—that pesky life. So where was I? Meal Planning Day Four was leftovers. Technically, I was in Pasadena having fancy pizza with Bethany and friends but Toby was at home having leftovers for me.

Meal Planning Day Five was Roman-Style Chicken (ala Giada) with oven-baked potatoes and onions. I love Everyday Italian with Giada. I watched her show once and thought, I could do that. So I did. It’s never happened again. But then, I don’t get much time to watch television anymore.

Below is my trailer-park version of her fabulous recipes.

oven-baked potato fries, not yet oven baked

I make the potatoes first because they take longer to cook. This time I decided to make sweet potatoes with my potatoes. Are they yams or sweet potatoes? I always get them mixed up. They call them one thing in the store, another on the internet. I think we should just call them “swams.” You know which ones I mean. They are reddish purple on the outside and orange on the inside. They cook up to be nice and sweet and not dry or mealy like the white ones.


  • 2-3 big swams and/or potatoes (whatever is equivalent to 2 lbs. red potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package of cippolini onions blanched and peeled
  • Directions:

    1. Blanch your little cippolini onions in boiling water for one minute. Let them cool under cold running water, then peel and cut the ends off.
    2. perhaps my favorite kitchen tool

      I like cooking cippolini onions because it gives me an excuse to use this neato strainer when I blanch them. I got it cheap from the Chinese market. Sometimes I can’t find little cippolini onions. I’ve tried regular boiled onions and they were a pain. It’s really not that big of a deal if you leave them out.

    3. Peel and chop up the swams and potatoes into bite size pieces. Sometimes I cut them up to look like french fries, sometimes I don’t. You just want them thin enough to cook evenly. I probably loaded up my pan too much in the photo above.
    4. Toss swams and potatoes and onions in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper so that all pieces are coated with oil.
    5. Spread evenly on a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet. I spray the tinfoil with cooking spray because even though these puppies are dripping with olive oil, they still stick sometimes! What is up with that?!!
    6. Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
    7. Empty into a serving dish and you’re done!

    Onward with the Roman-Style Chicken!



  • 1 package of chicken (I use boneless skinless thighs)
  • 1/2 package (or 1/2 lb) bacon (this is supposed to be prosciutto)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine (doh! I only had red)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic (paste for the lazy)
  • a dash of oregano
  • a few snips of fresh thyme leaves (if you happen to have it)
  • (I skipped the capers because Toby doesn’t like them)
  • Directions:

    1. Season chicken with pepper and salt.
    2. Brown chicken lightly on both sides in olive oil in a pan. Remove and set aside.
    3. In the same pan add peppers and bacon. Cook until bacon is crispy (ish) and peppers are browned.
    4. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
    5. Add tomatoes (with juice), wine and herbs.
    6. Her recipe says to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan but I’ve never had that… I may be missing something in this part of the recipe but it still tastes good.

    7. Return chicken to pan. Add stock and bring mixture to a boil.
    8. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done. About 20-30 minutes.

    Meal Planning Day Five

    Serve with potatoes and a green salad and enjoy!

    Upcoming: Day six is leftovers again and day seven is lasagna but I’m taking a rain check on the lasagna because I made a quick trip out to the sticks instead. Next week perhaps!


    • Rebecca

      Sounds yummy! I really love getting my hands on other people’s everyday recipes.

      To keep your potatoes (or anything else) from sticking, use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. I even smoosh squares of parchment paper into muffin tins because none of Bethany’s amazing lemon cupcakes stick to it! And ya don’t want to go wasting all that goodness!!

    • Jenni

      There is a difference between yams and sweet potatos, I just did the research for it a few weeks back.

      Sweet potatoes are typically what we call yams and yams are actually rare to have here. Yams are from Africa and Sweet Potatoes got misnamed as yams back in the days of slaves. They were similar to yams of their homeland, so they called them yams.

      It was interesting research. That looks like a delicious recipe that I will be trying out very soon :)

    • bethany actually

      Sweet potatoes are orange on the inside. Yams, which actually look more like a potato, are usually white on the inside and are not really related to potatoes at all. :-)

    • Melissa @ Galloping Cows

      Yeah, they are more related to morning-glory plants than potato plants. No wonder people say English is a hard language to learn! :o)
      I much prefer the mealy white ones to the ooky orange ones…butter and cinnamon sugar (or honey and cinnamon) are HEAVEN!!!! Yummy yummy yummsters.

    • BeachMama

      You can get even more confused about Yams when going to the Oriental market as there is a Yam Fruit that they make yummy desserts from. I love it, it’s purple. Here Yams and Sweet Potatoes are interchangeable, but it’s only because we get only one kind (at most supermarkets, not talking the farmers market here).

      I love your recipes, thank you so much for sharing them with us. I am storing them for when I am not ready for vacation and need something cool to make.

    • redhead.kate

      To further add to the yam/sweet potato info…here is why the confusion came into play. Quoting from (yeah, one of your regular readers actually works for a sweet potato company!)

      So where did all of the confusion come from? Several decades ago when orange flesh sweet potatoes were introduced into the southern United States, producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional white flesh types. The African word “nyami” referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants was adopted in it’s English form, “yam”.

      Yams in the United States are actually sweet potatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the US Department of Agriculture requires that the label “yam” always be accompanied by “sweet potato.”

      “Yams”, as the industry and general public perceives them, are actually sweet potatoes with a vivid orange color and a soft moist consistency when cooked, and tend to have a sweeter flavor. Other varieties of sweet potatoes are lighter skinned and have a firmer, drier texture when cooked. Sweet potatoes are smooth with skins that can vary in color, depending on the variety, from pale yellow to deep purple to vivid orange. Flesh colors can range from light yellow to pink, red or orange.