Eat for Eight Bucks: Chili Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Eat for Eight Bucks

Dinner recipes that will keep your stomach and wallet happy from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Eat for Eight Bucks: Chili Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

This is about as fast as dinner gets at my house. That isn't saying much, but an hour from start to finish for meat-starch-veg is nothing to sniff at, especially when the cook can put her feet up (or fold laundry—or amuse the baby) for a good chunk of that time.

I usually make this with thighs only but this time bought the whole legs to save money. In the past I have tried this rub-and-roast with skinless pieces, and it seemed to work just as well.

Chili Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Shopping List

2 sweet potatoes: $2.00 2 whole chicken legs: $4.44
Parsley (pro-rated): $0.50 2 onions: $1.00

Pantry items: Olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, honey, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon stick, dried chile pepper, dried thyme, white rice, butter.

Total cost (for 2 large portions): $7.94


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/3 inch dice (I leave the skins on)
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or a squeeze of lime juice)
  • 2 whole chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on), about 1 1/4 pounds total


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 375. Put the diced sweet potato and sliced onion in a 9x13 roasting pan and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

  2. 2.

    In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, cumin, honey, vinegar, a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Rub this mixture all over the chicken legs and put them on top of the bed of sweet potatoes. Roast for about 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (I always use a thermometer and aim for 160 degrees). In the middle of cooking, turn the chicken pieces over and give the sweet potatoes a stir.

  3. 3.

    Parslied Rice

  4. 4.

    -serves 4-

  5. 5.

    Adapted from a farro recipe in Sunday Suppers at Lucques

  6. 6.

    Olive oil

  7. 7.

    About 1/2 cup diced onion

  8. 8.

    1 cinnamon stick

  9. 9.

    1 dried chile pepper

  10. 10.

    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)

  11. 11.


  12. 12.

    1 cup white rice

  13. 13.

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  14. 14.

    1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

  15. 15.


  16. 16.

    Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent but not browned. Add the cinnamon, chile pepper, thyme, and a pinch of salt and stir for another minute.

  17. 17.

    Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a simmer; as soon as the rice simmers, stir once, lower the heat as much as possible, and cover the pot. Cook for 15 minutes without peeking.

  18. 18.

    When the rice is finished, remove it from the heat, slip the butter into the pot, and cover again. After a 10 minute rest, fluff the rice with a fork and then stir in the parsley. Taste for salt and pepper.