Wow – how is it Saturday afternoon already? I had all intentions of getting this post up days ago, then my week got turned up in the air. Moving sucks, agreed?
But, hopefully I caught you before you’ve made your snack plans for the big game tomorrow, and you can add this version of a pub-style favourite to your game-day menu!
*ps – we’re hockey fans in this household; specifically Habs fans. (#goHabsgo) I don’t really do football. Well, most sports in general, but we make an exception for the Super Bowl. I honestly believe it’s just an excuse to eat tasty food and yell at the tv for a few hours.
You likely have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen already, especially if you took my advice and roasted up some chicken during the week and set aside the leftovers.
So let’s get to it already – gather up the following and turn the oven on to 400ºF
Spices Mustard powder, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, paprika, chill powder, onion powder, salt, ground black pepper. 4 medium sized potatoes 1 cup chicken (chopped, pre-roasted, great use for leftovers!) Toppings Bacon (3-4 slices, or to taste - I do love my bacon!) - fried, reserve 3 tsp grease ~ 1/2 cup chopped green onions (3-4) ~ 1 cup Cheese of choice (see below for what I used) additional paprika To serve sour cream, or goat yogurt dried chives & parsley
Makes 8 loaded skins
Fry up the bacon (if you haven’t already), and be sure to set aside ~2-3 tsp of the grease. That stuff is perfect for adding flavour to the spice mix. If you don’t like the idea of cooking with the bacon grease, feel free to use olive oil (or oil of your choice) in the mix below, but really – the bacon grease really does add a little special something to the mix. I use my cast iron frying pan for frying the bacon, and then baking the skins – have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE my cast iron frying pan?)
Prep the potatoes by scrubbing well then either baking until soft, or microwave using that handy-dandy baked potato setting. I used 4 medium-sized potatoes.
While the potatoes are getting all softened up make up your Buffalo Spice Mix. This makes about a ½ C of dry spice, so you’ll have leftovers to use for lots of other buffalo flavoured meals. I mean, who doesn’t love a little spicy buffalo chicken? Be prepared though – it has quite a kick!
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For the Buffalo Chicken:
Use 2 tsp Buffalo Spice Mix 3 cloves minced garlic 2 tsp apple cider vinegar ~2-3 tsp reserved bacon grease (or other oil of choice)
Mix well until it becomes a paste. Add additional oil/bacon grease if it is too thick, but give it a good chance to mix before adding too much extra. You don’t need it to be flowing, just able to stick to the chicken.
Mix the cooked, chopped chicken into the paste and stir well to coat. Set aside to marinate and let the flavours get all into that chicken. Yum!
By now the potatoes should be good and softened. They don’t have to be perfectly baked through. Just enough to scoop out easily.
Cut the potatoes in 1/2 lengthwise and scoop out the centres. Leave about 1/4″ (~2 mm) potato on the skins. Don’t worry if they crack a bit – you’ll be filling them will goodies that will cover any imperfections 😉
*tip: save all that good scooped out potato to make potato waffles – watch for the recipe coming in a future post!
Lay out those scooped out halves, skin side down, in the same cast iron skillet that you used to fry up the bacon. Brush with olive oil or extra bacon grease, then put them in the oven to crisp up a bit (especially important if you used the microwave to ‘bake’ them like I did. I baked mine at 400ºF for ~10 min and they came out a with a little sizzle. You don’t want to over cook them now because they’re going back in that oven once they’re all topped up.
Speaking of topping them…
Put a scoop of the marinated buffalo chicken in each of the potato skins. Then top with crumbled bacon, cheese*, and chopped green onions. If you like a little more heat (remember the buffalo spice is pretty fiery already…) feel free to chop up a little pickled jalepeño to add to the toppings. Some chopped red onions would also be tasty – but I totally forgot to add them to my ‘test’ batch for their photo-op. I had them on my first batch. Sprinkle with some paprika.
*for my fellow dairy-free peeps, I’ve tried both the Daiya Cheddar Shreds (as
pictured here) and the Earth Island Vegan Gourmet Shreds Fiesta Blend, and both were tasty. My first batch was the first time I’d used the Earth Island Shreds and I was a little apprehensive. They were more costly than the Daiya, but I was very impressed! They melted nicely, and the extra fiesta spice made a nice addition to the buffalo chicken flavour profile. I think I’d go back to those if I had had more in the house, but I went through my bag so quickly, since it tasted so darn good, so the stand-by Daiya cheddar it was 😉
So, your skins are topped… everything is all piled into a lovely pan full of yumminess. Take that pan and bake it up for ~10-12 min. Check and rotate half way through. Once the toppings are all heated through and the cheese is melty they’re ready to dive in!
Serve them up with some sour cream topped with chives & parsley. I use Liberté goat yogurt as a great substitute for sour cream, since I can’t tolerate cow dairy.
Try to make sure you share with your friends…