Now that winter is settling in and we're transitioning into 40/50 degree days and way colder nights, it's time to eat that good ole soul food. The kind that keeps you warm all evening. The kind that fills you up in the best way. The kind that you never ever ever should feel guilty about eating.
Yes, it's time for that food. And one of the best ways to get there is twice baked potatoes.
For a very sweet wedding gift, my m.i.l. made a family recipe book for me, full of mine and Nathan's relatives favorite recipes. One of these happened to be Nate's favorite baked potatoes.
Now, they are super easy to fix. but they take a couple hours (potatoes gotta bake, yo!) so they're really great to make on Sundays.
So bake them! At 450 for about an hour. I always scrub my taters (gollum reference anyone?), poke them a bunch with a fork, and drizzle them with olive oil.
Then make a slice in the tops of them and scoop out the insides. Careful, it's going to be very hot!
(this is a great time to do the chicken steps...)
Then, mix the fluffy potato insides with milk, butter, salt, pepper, sour cream, and cheese.
It's wise to call in the husband during this phase to be sure the correct salt/pepper/cheese ratio has been acquired.
Make sure there's a 70 pound dog in the middle of your 3' wide kitchen for moral support.
And by moral support I mean being in the most inconvenient location for cooking ever.
Stuff those taters back up with the fluffy potato mix and slide them back in the oven for 20 minutes.
Then delicately place the chicken strips on top of the potato because presentation is important (obviously) and bake for another 5 minutes.
At this stage, top with salsa, additional sour cream and cheese, or whatever else you want! These potatoes are also extra tasty with a salsa and black bean mix instead of the chicken for your veggies lovers out there!
Here's the recipe. FYI it starts after you've baked the potatoes:
CHICKEN FAJITA SPUDS
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
6 skinned and boned chicken breast halves (I buy the thin sliced breasts)
6 large baked potatoes
1-1/2 cups shredded mexican cheese blend (divided)
8 oz sour cream (divided)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
chunky salsa and cilantro for toppers
Combine first 4 ingredients, rub on all sides of chicken. Place chicken in a backing dish and let stand for 15 minutes.
Bake at 400 for 6 minutes on each side. Cut into strips
Cut a small strip (mine's about 2 inches) for the top of each potato. Carefully scoop out pulp, leaving shells intact. Mask pulp, stif in 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, bittern, and next 3 ingredients. Spoon into shells, and place on baking sheet.
(I add these ingredients to the bowl before adding the potato pulp. That way the hot potato pulp melts the butter and cheese and makes it easy to mash together.
Bake potatoes at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with chicken. Bake additional 5 minutes.
Serve with remaining cheese and salsa.