When we serve fried chicken, candied yams are a must-have side dish. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes plays off the saltiness of the crisp chicken, enhancing the flavors of both. If you like salted caramels, you’ll get exactly what I mean. I have tried lots of candied sweet yam recipes, but this one is the best we’ve ever tried. You get a true candied yam that is really permeated with the syrup, and the vanilla flavor makes this side dish truly pop!
Yield: 8 servings
- 8 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 1/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 450°
Prick each sweet potato with a fork in several places. Place sweet potatoes in a 9×13 pan or on a cookie sheet and bake until sweet potatoes yield when gently squeezed, about an hour. Peel sweet potatoes, cut into quarters, and place in rectangular casserole dish wide enough to hold the sweet potato quarters in a single layer, comfortably.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, combine remaining ingredients in 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until brown sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce heat and simmer syrup about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour syrup over the sweet potatoes quarters to coat them evenly.
- Bake at 400°F until bubbly, about 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.