Chicken, Cranberries, Yams, Etc


When my brother and I were growing up in a preacher’s home, many of our meals were made out of what was on hand and leftovers. Our parents had a knack for creating some interesting and tasty meals out of little bits of this and that.

A few weeks ago, my brother posted a delicious looking dish he created out of what he had on hand and it looked scrumptious. It looked so good that I wanted to make it myself, and promised him I’d let him know if it was as good as it looked.

So in honor of his birthday coming up this week, I give you my version of his dish.

I had a couple pieces of chicken breast I needed to cook up, and I always have cranberries on hand. I didn’t have barley and today, I didn’t have greens, either. What I did have was a yam and a package of wild rice mixed with Jasmine brown rice. I didn’t have his vegetable broth, but I did have fat-free chicken broth.


I sautéed the chicken in a little olive oil and added thinly sliced fresh ginger, the yam cut into pieces, cranberries, and about half a can of the chicken broth.

After it had been simmering a while, I cut up a cooking banana that I had on hand, too. As I sliced it up, I thought “Now, what in the world is this going to taste like?” One just never knows, does one?


When everything seemed “done” the way it should be, I dished it up. I thought about sprinkling a little fresh cilantro over the top for more color, but that would have made it more Mexican. As it was, the red cranberries and orange yam made for a lively color combination without the green.


I have to say, it wasn’t bad – not even half-bad! In fact, it was so good I went back for seconds! The fresh ginger gave it quite a kick, as well as the soy sauce and sriracha sauce I doused over it. The end result had something like a Caribbean flavor. Next time I happen to have these ingredients on hand, I might add a bit of coconut milk.

I’m not a trained chef; I’m just a mother who retired years ago from fixing three meals a day plus snacks for four children. I don’t like to see things go to waste and I’ve never been afraid to experiment. So try it yourself – just start putting things together in a pan and see what happens.

A hui hou!

12 thoughts on “Chicken, Cranberries, Yams, Etc”

  1. Well Yummmmm! Your dish sounds like a combination of Eastern U.S.-East Indian-Jamaican flavors – I think I would have added that cilantro (Chinese parsley) and the idea of coconut milk sounds good too! If on hand, maybe just a smidge of serrano?

    1. I should come take cooking lessons from you, Evie! You certainly do know how much I love spicy! I like experimenting with whatever I have on hand. By the way, your spicy red beef burrito surpassed all expectations! I could have one of those every night for supper!

  2. Hi Lucy, I am inspired by your post to experiment. I’ve done more experimenting with food recently since my kids are no longer doing the 3 squares and snacks every day too. I am curious about using cooking bananas in more dishes. Thanks for great ideas!

  3. I do enjoy reading your blog. You are definitely a food person, as I am. I don’t usually stray too far from Mexican or Italian – but love different flavors – especially when I’m down to a certain number of ingredients. Glad you enjoyed the chili Colorado. Cooking lessons? I bet you could teach me a thing or two about your ethnic recipes! I keep forgetting to tell you that the photo of the black cat, looks exactly like my “Inky-Dinky”!

  4. Don’t know what happened to my reply – I’ll try to remember what I wrote prior to this. I love reading your blog – You’re a food person, as I am! Cooking lessons? I don’t stray too far from Mexican and Italian dishes, but do experiment when ingredients are limited and could definitely learn a thing or two from your ethnic recipes. I keep meaning to tell you that the photo of your black cat looks exactly like our “Inky-Dinky”.


  5. Lucy, we too cook many of our meals by using what we have on hand….(unless I’m trying a recipe for the blog or an article) and even then sometimes my own concoctions make it to the blog or articles…;-)

    This dish sounds delicious…I’m quite partial to Caribbean and/or Cuban cooking and will try a variation of this.

    A friend gave me some plantains the other day and I’m just waiting for them to get to the “just” past ripe stage for frying them Cuban style….platanos maduros fritos….they make their own caramel on the edges and are delicious!

    1. I lived on Guam for 3 years and loved using their cooking bananas – frying in the skillet like you mention, plus frying them in coconut milk. It was heavenly!

  6. I haven’t tried them with the coconut milk, but bet they are delicious!

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