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Chicken Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes


I think I'm in love!  A few weeks ago on Josie's blog, she posted these fantastic looking twice baked potatoes with CHICKEN in the filling!  I love twice baked potatoes and am always looking for a way to jazz them up.  I'd never thought about putting any sort of meat in the filling.  Now that this door has been opened to me, I see a future full of fun twice baked potatoes in our house.

Not only are the potatoes filling because of the addition of the chicken, the flavor was just fresh because of the fresh basil and lemon juice.  And of course the texture was phenomenal - creamy and cheesy - just like any good twice baked potato should be!

While I saw the recipe on Josie's blog, she adapted it from Jessica's blog, which is the version I actually used.  While I'm sure these would be fantastic with the Ricotta Josie added, not only did I forget to buy it, but I don't know that Rob would have liked them as much.

Twice Baked Potatoes take awhile, because you know, they're baked twice, but trust me when I tell you to put these on your menu one night; just make sure to plan time for them.  Serve with a green salad or some veggies and you'll have a great meal!

Chicken Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes
Ingredients:
2-3 Russet potatoes
Olive oil and Kosher salt for coating
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup chicken broth
small handful fresh basil
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
Juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper to taste
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  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 tender when pricked with a fork.

When the potatoes are close to being done, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skilled 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, 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Taste the sauce and add salt & pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Once the potatoes have finished baking and cooled a little, cut them in half lengthwise.  Carefully scoop out the flesh of the potato, leaving a thin shell around the edges, returning the potato shells on to the baking sheet.    Lightly mash the potato flesh in a separate bowl.  Pour the sauce into the bowl with the mashed potatoes and stir to incorporate.  Add the cooked shredded chicken and stir.

Fill the potato shells with the filling, sprinkle with 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.

Source: see on Pink Parsley, as adapted from Sunny Side up in San Diego (the version I adapted)

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