Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chicken and Basil Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes

We are big baked potato fans in this house, but I rarely make them. Why, I have no idea. I think of them as more of a side dish, which I then self-limit to being served alongside steak, which we don't eat often. And there you have it. But these Chicken and Basil Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes are a meal in themselves, especially served with a side salad or some steamed veggies. SP was a big fan, which I was happy about. He knows he needs to eat healthier meals but old habits die hard. Of course he joked how much better they would have been with bacon, so maybe I'll look into turkey bacon to make them healthier (or just use two slices divided between 4 potatoes). I doubled the recipe so we'd have leftovers.

I cooked the potatoes and poached the chicken, made the sauce and then assembled the stuffed potatoes during the day, which meant all I needed to do was put the baking sheet in the oven when SP called to say he was on his way home. As Jessica said, these are not an easy weeknight meal due to the amount of time needed to prep them, but if you're able to do all the work ahead of time it isn't too bad. I think these could even be prepped the night before and stored in the fridge until ready to bake. Regardless, these are delicious and filling.

Chicken and Basil Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes
As Seen On Sunny Side Up in San Diego

4 baking potatoes
Olive oil and kosher salt for coating
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup half and half
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.

Scrub the outside of the potatoes really well, then pat dry with paper towels, prick each potato with a fork 6-8 times, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle each potato with about a teaspoon of oil and use a pastry brush to evenly distribute over surface then sprinkle with kosher salt. Flip the potatoes and repeat on the other side. Bake for an hour to an hour and a half, or until they are tender.

When the potatoes are close to being done, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the half and half and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime, chop the basil. After the sauce has simmered, add the basil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Once the potatoes have finished baking, cut them in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the insides, leaving a thin shell around the edges, then return the shells, open side up, to the baking sheet. Place the potato guts in a bowl. Use a fork to slightly mash the potatoes. Pour the sauce into the bowl with the potatoes and stir to incorporate. Add the cooked shredded chicken and stir.

Fill the potato shells with the filling, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese, and return them to the hot oven for 10 minutes, switching to the broiler for the last minute or so if the cheese hasn't yet started to turn golden brown. Serve hot with a small side salad or steamed vegetables.
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  1. I'm so glad you posted these so quickly. They look absolutely delicious, and I'm trying them next week. I may add some cream cheese too. Mmmm.

  2. I made these, too...loved them :)

  3. Yum! These look delicious. I love baked potatoes, too!


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