Cheese fries are easily my guiltiest of guilty pleasures. More specifically, cheese fries involving sweet potato fries. Keep your chocolate cakes and ice cream sundaes. I’ll be over here elbow deep in this beautiful, messy plate of cheesy, smokey goodness.
Seeing as I am not looking to invest in a new, *larger* wardrobe, I decided to try making my own, slightly healthier version involving light cheese, turkey bacon, and baked fries. What a happy experiment! These worked beautifully and came together quickly. The result was perfectly indulgent without the heavy “did I just eat a brick?” feeling that often comes with heavy bar foods.
The only real hard thing about this recipe (and it is NOT a hard recipe) is navigating all of the elements of the fries so that they come together more or less at the same time. The two parts that take the longest are the chicken and the fries. Get those going first.
While your chicken is boiling and fries are baking, go ahead and chop your cilantro and onion and get your bacon frying up on the stove. Once the bacon is done, remove it from the pan and quickly saute the onion in the same skillet to cut its sharpness ever so slightly. If you’ve worked quickly, take this time to whip up the sauce too. If you haven’t done fret. You can easily do that once the fries are done immediately before serving. Or make it before you begin the whole ordeal and pop it in the fridge for the flavors to meld. It takes no time to pull together. It’s up to you!
On a side note, while this sauce is super delicious with the recipe, if you don’t want to make it, you won’t hurt my feelings. And don’t let that stop you from making this dish either. Plain old ranch dressing would be delicious!
So next time you want the perfect Friday meal to kick back and enjoy with a cold beer, pull up this recipe and you’ll have a melty plate of goodness in less time than it would take to order take-out.
Here, have one last look, then get cooking!
Barbecue Chicken Sweet Potato Cheese Fries
Four large servings
For the Fries:
3 large sweet potatos
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
For the toppings:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup barbecue sauce of your choice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup diced red onion
4 strips of turkey bacon
1 cup of light cheese (I used mexican blend from Trader Joe’s), but colby jack, monterey jack, or cheddar would be just as delicious!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a pot of water on the stove filled with enough water to cover your chicken breast.
- Place chicken breast in the water and bring to a rapid boil. Continue to boil until the chicken is cooked through. For a quicker cooking time, cut the chicken breast into thirds before adding to the water. This will take about 15 minutes once the water begins to boil.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a bowl.
- Shred the chicken with two forks, and mix in barbecue sauce. Set aside.
- Wash sweet potatoes and cut into strips about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. You can peel the potatoes before cutting them if you would like, but I prefer them with skin in tact. The skins also are home to so much of the nutrition in sweet potatoes, so even if you usually peel, consider changing your ways!
- On a large sheet pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray, toss the cut sweet potatoes with the canola oil and salt
- Put the fries into the preheated oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pull out the fries and flip them over, rotate your pan and place it back in the oven. Continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until fries have brown spots on the outside and are soft and tender on the inside.
- Leave the oven on once you remove fries from the oven, and increase heat to 425.
- While fries and chicken are cooking, cook the bacon strips over medium high heat on a skillet until crispy. Remove from the pan and chop.
- In the same skillet over the same level heat, add the chopped onions and saute quickly for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened. Remove from pan and set aside with bacon and cilantro.
- Once fries are fully cooked, remove from oven. Toss fries around and sprinkle with salt if needed.
- On the same baking sheet or in an oven proof serving dish, pile fries in the center into a mound. Top with prepared barbecue chicken, then about 2/3 of the cheese. Sprinkle chopped bacon over the cheese, and top with remaining cheese.
- Place the fries back into the oven until cheese if fully melted but not yet browned, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with red onion and cilantro and serve with sauce
For the Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons barbecue sauce of choice
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon light mayo
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until use.