Justin Chapple makes the smoky, festive side dish on this week’s episode of Mad Genius.
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Whether they appear in candied form or in a casserole, sweet potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side dish. On this week's episode of Mad Genius, Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple gives them the savory treatment with a drizzle of chorizo butter—yes, chorizo butter, packed with dry-cured Spanish chorizo and brightened with lime juice. The potatoes are twice-cooked, with a final run under the broiler giving them an appealing light char. They'd be right at home at your holiday table, or, really, whenever you want sweet potatoes.

Read on for Justin's step-by-step method and follow along with the video above.

Roast the Potatoes…

To kickstart this recipe, roast the sweet potatoes until they're nice and tender. You'll need medium-sized sweet potatoes—weighing between eight and 10 ounces each, Justin notes—some extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Place the potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet (Justin lines his with foil in the video), rub them with some of the oil, and season them with salt and pepper for the finishing touch. Give them 45 to 55 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven, and let them cool for five minutes post-roast.

…and Make That Next-Level Chorizo Butter

Next, Justin reaches for what he calls "one of my favorite ingredients of. all. time"—dry-cured Spanish chorizo. After the casings have been removed, the chorizo has been coarsely chopped, and then finely chopped in a food processor, it's ready to render. Heat some olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the chorizo, cooking for five to seven minutes until the fat has rendered (make sure to stir often as it cooks). Then, remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the cubed unsalted butter. Justin explains that you want to incorporate it slowly so the two fats can emulsify. 

Lastly, stir in the fresh lime juice and season with salt and pepper (note that the chorizo is salty, so adjust the salt as necessary). Take the finished butter and set it aside while you broil the sweet potatoes.

Score and Broil

Take the roasted sweet potatoes and cut each one in half lengthwise, opening them up. Then cut the pieces in half crosswise, leaving the skin on. Grab a paring knife and score each piece with a cross-hatch pattern on the flesh—this will not only help the steam escape, but catch the butter. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper once more, and then broil them for three to five minutes until they're lightly charred.

Smoky Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo Butter
Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

Drizzle and Serve

Once you've broiled the potatoes, reheat the chorizo butter over low heat until it's warm, and get ready to eat. Transfer the potatoes to a platter, and then drizzle the butter generously over the top. Sprinkle on fresh chopped cilantro—Justin says you can use parsley, if you'd prefer—and have a few lime wedges on hand for serving.

"That is so delicious," he says as he tries a bite. "You get all that classic sweet potato flavor. You get that smokiness from the broiling. And that lime juice, mixed with that butter, mixed with that chorizo fat is just incredible. I might be going out on a limb with this, but I think this might be your new favorite way to serve sweet potatoes." 

Get the Recipe: Smoky Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo Butter