photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about ¾ pound)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 slices thick-cut bacon,chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾-inch cubes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 475°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss by hand until oil is evenly distributed. Place vegetables onto baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large heavy-bottom pot or cast-iron skillet, brown chopped bacon on medium-high heat until the fat has rendered, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel. Add the chopped onions to the bacon renderings and cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir.

Reduce skillet heat to medium. Add the apples, thyme, and cinnamon to the onion-garlic mixture. Cook for 10 minutes or until the apples are just tender. Add chicken stock, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add additional salt to taste. Pour into a large serving bowl and top with crispy bacon. Serve warm.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.