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Aztec Chicken with Sweet Potato-Corn Mash

The dish draws inspiration from the culinary practices of the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican civilizations, who had a diet rich in maize (corn), sweet potatoes, beans, squash, and various spices. The Aztecs were known for their sophisticated agricultural techniques and their ability to create complex flavors using available ingredients.

Chicken: While not native to the Americas before the arrival of Europeans, chicken has become a staple in modern Mexican cuisine, easily blending with traditional spices and cooking methods.

Sweet Potatoes and Corn: Both are native to the Americas and were central to the diets of ancient Mesoamerican cultures. Corn, in particular, was a sacred crop for the Aztecs, who used it in various forms, from tortillas to tamales.

Spices and Herbs: The use of chili peppers, cumin, garlic, and lime reflects the flavor profiles that have been prominent in Mexican and Central American cooking for centuries.

Aztec Chicken with Sweet Potato-Corn Mash

Chicken: Typically, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are used, marinated in a blend of spices.

Marinade: A mixture of ingredients such as chili powder, cumin, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil.

Sweet Potato-Corn Mash: Made from sweet potatoes, corn, and often flavored with butter, milk, and a touch of honey or brown sugar.

Toppings: Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and sometimes a sprinkle of queso fresco or cotija cheese.

For the Aztec Chicken:
• Chicken Breasts: 4 boneless, skinless
• Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons
• Garlic Powder: 1 teaspoon
• Ground Cumin: 1 teaspoon
• Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
• Smoked Paprika: 1 teaspoon
• Ground Coriander: 1/2 teaspoon
• Salt: 1 teaspoon
• Black Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
• Lime Juice: 2 tablespoons
• Fresh Cilantro: For garnish
For the Sweet Potato-Corn Mash:
• Sweet Potatoes: 3 large, peeled and cubed
• Corn Kernels: 1 cup (fresh or frozen)
• Butter: 2 tablespoons
• Milk: 1/4 cup
• Salt: To taste
• Black Pepper: To taste
• Ground Cumin: 1/2 teaspoon
• Chopped Scallions: 1/4 cup (optional for garnish)

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